No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 Vermont Preview
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center— Milwaukee, Wisconsin
When: Thursday, March 16, 2017, 7:27 PM ET
TV Broadcast: truTV
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Betting on the Purdue Boilermakers (-8.5)
One team that’s playing well at the moment is Purdue. The Boilermakers have hit their stride late in the season, winning eight of their last 10 games to secure a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Such was Purdue’s dominance this campaign that they won the Big Ten title by two games. The Boilermakers now focus their attention to their first-round clash against Vermont. The Boilermakers know fully well the perils that this stage can offer as they lost as a 5-seed last year to No. 12 Little-Rock.
The Boilermakers were sloppy with the basketball in that double-overtime loss, committing 18 turnovers against the Trojans. They can ill afford to produce that same display in their upcoming round-of-64 showdown with Vermont. The Boilermakers are ranked near the bottom of the league in turnover differential and are allowing opponents to shoot 41.3 percent from the field.
Fortunately for head coach Matt Painter, his team’s offense has been terrific this season. Led by twin towers Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas, the Boilermakers have managed to put up 80.1 points per game this campaign (34th-best in the nation). Swanigan, the Big Ten Player of the Year, averaged 18.7 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game this season while Haas posted 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds a night.
Purdue (+3,000) is 8-2 SU and 5-3-2 ATS in its last 10 games.
Betting on the Vermont Catamounts (+8.5)
There’s no hotter team in the NCAA today than Vermont. The Catamounts are in the midst of a 21-game winning streak, which includes a perfect run through the America East regular season and tournament slates. Vermont, who currently owns the longest unbeaten run in the country, hasn’t lost since falling at Butler on December 21.
Powering Vermont’s resurgence has been their excellent play on the defensive end. The Catamounts are 11th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 61.6 points per game this season. They will have their work cut out for them, however, against a Purdue side that’s 24th in Division I in adjusted offensive efficiency, scoring 116.9 points per 100 possessions.
With regards to their own offense, the Catamounts will rely on their star duo of Anthony Lamb and Payton Henson. Lamb leads Vermont in scoring with 12.6 points per contest while Henson, a 6-8 junior follows closely behind with 11.4 points and 5.3 rebounds. They combined for 29 points in Vermont’s 56-53 win over Albany in the America East Tournament final.
Vermont is pegged at +100,000 to win the national title.
Purdue (-8.5) wins, but doesn’t cover.
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