Purdue vs UConn Odds, Injuries & Last Minute News for Bettors

The Purdue Boilermakers and UConn Huskies are set to square off for the 2024 NCAA Men's National Championship. Find out what you need to know as tip-off approaches!

Apr 8, 2024 • 16:14 ET • 4 min read
Donovan Clingan NCAAB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The end of the NCAA college basketball season has arrived, with the national championship game set to tip off a bit after 9 p.m. ET tonight. The Purdue Boilermakers have a tough task ahead of them if they are to halt the title defense of the UConn Huskies, who appear to be on a preordained mission.

Absolutely no one has slowed UConn in this tournament, not that Purdue has been much bothered, either. The Boilermakers’ closest call was a six-point win against Tennessee in the Elite Eight, but Purdue never trailed in the final 18:45 and used a 10-2 run across three of the last five minutes to seal the win. The Boilermakers won going away.

Let’s take a final look at the news and notes with some March Madness odds and predictions before tonight’s title tilt. For deeper dives into this championship game, turn to Jason Logan’s Purdue vs. UConn picks and predictions.

National Championship odds update

This spread has climbed since opening with UConn favored by -5.5 on Saturday, peaking at -7 or even -7.5 on Monday morning. Both BetMGM and DraftKings report the vast bulk of both bets and cash coming in on the Huskies, the money slightly outpacing the ticket count.

Despite the growing spread, the total has fallen to 144.5 after opening at 148.5. The cash has been effectively split 50/50 on the Over and the Under, though more than 60% of tickets have been on the Over. In other words, the larger bets are apparently on the Under, helping drive down the total.

Injury woes?

The surprise of the Final Four was UConn sophomore center Donovan Clingan taking the court with his right hand wrapped. He apparently took an elbow to the hand in practice last week, only to show no ill effect against Alabama. Clingan scored 18 points on 8 of 14 shooting while grabbing five rebounds and blocking four shots.

On Sunday, Clingan said the wrap was largely a precaution, intended to protect his hand just in case it took another blow. There should be no worry about his effectiveness tonight.

Alos, do not worry about the focus of Huskies' senior guard Hassan Diarra, either, despite his bloodied nose in the closing minute of the win against the Tide. Diarra said he was good to go during Sunday’s media availability.

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Further argument for the Under

The last national championship held in State Farm Stadium, in 2017, saw the Under cash by 19 points. The easy argument to be made from that precedent is shooting in such a cavernous football stadium can be tough.

Indeed, North Carolina and Gonzaga shot 15-for-47 from deep, 31.9%, part of the entire Final Four weekend shooting a 32.6% from beyond the arc despite only one of the teams entering the weekend shooting worse than 35.5% on the season.

The same did not apply this past Saturday, with the two semifinals combining for 39.1% from deep, 36 of 92. Then what is the further argument for the Under? The limits on math.

Sportsbook algorithms have a lower limit when pondering games that could be low-scoring. This is true in all sports. Eventually, the math refuses to believe a game could go beneath a certain total.

This may be one of those instances.

These are two slow teams — UConn ranks No. 328 in the country in pace, Purdue at No. 211 — driven by plodding big men. That is not an insult to Edey or Clingan, they are both adept in the post, but neither is racing down the court. And the nerves of this game and the stakes could show early on.

Repeat rarity

The last team to win two consecutive March Madness tournaments was Florida in 2006 and 2007, led by Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer and Taurean Green. To find a back-to-back before that, you have to go back to 1991 and 1992, when Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, and Grant Hill led Duke to two titles.

Yes, that Bobby is the brother of current UConn head coach, Dan Hurley.


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