Iowa vs Purdue Big Ten Final Picks and Predictions: Hawkeyes Swarm Uninspiring Boilermakers

The Hawkeyes and Boilermakers meet for the Big Ten title in what is expected to be a game with plenty of fireworks. We're expecting this game to go Over the college basketball total. Find out why in our picks and predictions for Iowa vs. Purdue.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2022 10:45 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Jordan Bohannon Iowa Hawkeyes Big Ten Tournament
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Two of the best offensive programs in the country shoot it out in the Big Ten tournament championship game, when the Iowa Hawkeyes and Purdue Boilermakers meet inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse this afternoon. 

The Hawkeyes are playing their fourth game in four days after shredding some of the better defenses in the conference, most recently edging Indiana on a last-second shot in the semifinals. Purdue has the fresher legs, having enjoyed a bye to the quarterfinals, but has looked far from dominant in wins over Penn State and Michigan State.

Here are our free college basketball picks and predictions for Iowa vs. Purdue on March 13.

Iowa vs Purdue odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

This game opened as a pick’em at online sportsbooks and moved to Iowa -1 in the first hour of action before coming back to pick and eventually moving as much as Purdue -2.5.

The total also saw major movement early on, with offshore sites opening the number as big as 154.5 points. That lasted only a few minutes before a major adjustment to 148 points, which dipped to 147.5 before coming back up to 148.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Iowa vs Purdue predictions

Predictions made on 3/13/2022 at 8:16 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Iowa vs Purdue game info

Location: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Date: Sunday, March 13, 2022
Tip-off: 3:30 p.m. ET

Iowa vs Purdue betting preview


Iowa: No injuries to report.
Purdue: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Boilermakers are 1-8-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for Iowa vs. Purdue.

Iowa vs Purdue picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Purdue took both meetings between these clubs in the regular season but those came very early into Big Ten play, with victories on December 3 and January 27. 

The Hawkeyes are a much tougher team on defense since that last loss to the Boilermakers and have looked stellar on offense during the tournament, forcing some of the better defensive clubs in the conference to bend to their will.

Although some will look at Jordan Bohannon’s banked desperation 3-pointer – that put Iowa in the title game – against Indiana as a lucky shot, it was part of an 80-point effort from the Hawkeyes against the top-ranked defense in the Big Ten and a Hoosiers team that was absolutely on fire in the tournament.

In its three postseason games, Iowa has posted 80, 84, and 112 points while shooting an effective field goal clip of 63.6% and an almost off-the-chart offensive efficiency rating of 1.295.

Unlike other Big Ten counterparts this postseason, it dictated the pace and flow of its tournament tilts.

The same can’t be said for Purdue, which saw major pushback from Penn State and Michigan State in its two tournament games. The Boilermakers couldn’t put distance between those foes, who should have been massively outgunned against their top-ranked offensive rating.

Looking back at the home stretch of Big Ten play, the Boilermakers offense started to stumble in the final three games of conference play – averaging only 67 points – and that seems to have bled over into the tournament, with efforts of 69 and 75 points. They're shooting 51 for 109 from the field and just 13 for 38 from beyond the arc (34%). 

Forgetting about the past results or their seeding in the Big Ten tournament, the Hawkeyes have looked like the much stronger side and will continue to play their brand of basketball on Sunday.

Prediction: Iowa +2.5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

While most mainstream operators show an opening total of 148 points for this contest, the offshore markets – who are first up on the board – opened this Over/Under at 154.5 points Saturday night. And even with early play slimming that number to 148, those oddsmakers weren’t wrong.

Iowa has topped the total in all three tournament contests so far and butted heads with the tempo and game plan of those opponents, who wanted to slow things down and drag out possessions. The Hawkeyes didn’t let them and when they did get slowed into a halfcourt set, they made the most of their looks from beyond the arc.

Purdue still packs punch offensively and has the inside-out offense like their opponent, who can score at the rim as well as 3-point range. While the Boilermakers do play the ninth-slowest tempo in the conference, they’ll welcome the higher gear of this matchup after back-to-back grit-and-grind games.

One aspect that will help this game go Over the top is the likelihood of plenty of points being scored with the clock stopped. Iowa and Purdue can pound it inside to bigger frontcourts and both programs like to get to the line. 

In their most recent matchup, the teams were whistled for a collective 37 personal fouls which translated into 40 free throw attempts. That helped pump out 156 total points which eclipsed the 154.5-point total back in January.

Prediction: Over 148 (-110)

Best bet

As mentioned above, these teams can get to the charity stripe. And when there, the Hawkeyes don’t leave many points on the table. 

Iowa shoots better than 75% from the foul line on the season and is hitting at an 82.4% clip during the tournament. In the last meeting between these teams, it knocked down 17 of 18 freebies with the Murray Bros. – Keegan and Kris – going after the Boilermakers bigs. 

The Hawkeyes’ tempo will get Purdue’s lumbering frontcourt on its heels and the versatility of the Murray’s (especially Keegan) will stretch the interior defense of the opponent, drawing 7-foot-4 rim protector Zach Edey away from the basket. 

The Boilermaker’s defense nearly got run out of the gym by MSU yesterday (a team that has nowhere near the pop of Iowa), allowing 70 points – including 50 in the second half. The Hawkeyes will look to attack but also have the 3-point chops in the halfcourt set, putting this modest point total to bed.

Pick: Iowa Team Total Over 73.5 (-120)

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