NC State vs Purdue Predictions, Final Four Picks, and Odds for Tonight's Matchup

Oddsmakers are expecting NC State's Cinderella run to come to an end on Saturday night vs. Purdue, but our college basketball betting picks expect D.J. Horne and the Wolfpack to give the Boilermakers all they can handle.

Apr 6, 2024 • 15:00 ET • 4 min read
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North Carolina State Wolfpack NCAAM DJ Horne
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The Final Four tips off tonight with a clash between the No. 11 seed NC State Wolfpack and the No. 1 seed Purdue Boilermakers.

The Boilermakers were the No. 1 seed in the Midwest and have been near the top of the college basketball rankings all season, so it's no surprise to see them here. However, the No. 11 seeded Wolfpack are the Cinderella team in the March Madness bracket this year and entered the NCAA Tournament as a +20,000 long shot to win the title.

That Cinderella run is expected to end in this spot as March Madness odds have the Boilermakers as 9-point favorites with the O/U at 146. Here are my best free Final Four picks and predictions for NC State vs. Purdue tonight. Be sure to check out Jason Logan's NC State vs. Purdue props picks for even more analysis ahead of tip-off.

NC State vs Purdue best odds

NC State vs Purdue picks and predictions

The Purdue Boilermakers have been dominant this season but they needed a heroic performance from Player of the Year favorite Zach Edey to edge Tennessee 73-67 in the Elite Eight. Edey had 40 points and went 13-for-21 from the field in that contest but the rest of the team shot just 34.4% from the floor. 

The NC State Wolfpack were considered a bubble team before snatching an automatic bid by winning the ACC Tournament. This squad was inconsistent at the start of the season but at a certain point you have to acknowledge that they aren't a fluke and are entering this contest on a nine-game winning streak where they beat North Carolina, Marquette, and Duke (twice).

This is a Wolfpack offense that rarely turns the ball over and should have plenty of time to set up against a Purdue team that ranks 342nd in opponent turnover rate (13.4%). They also have four players averaging more than 11 points per game led by sharpshooter D.J. Horne (16.8 ppg on 44/41/81 shooting splits) and 275-pound big man D.J. Burns Jr. (16.8 ppg on 62.2 FG% over the last month).

That doesn't even include 6-foot-10 forward Mohamed Diarra who has five double-doubles over his last seven games. Burns and Diarra won't be able to stop Edey but they should be able to at least slow him down while making him work on the defensive end of the floor.

This handicap comes down to whether or not NC State's 3-point defense is actually as good as it's looked lately. At the end of the regular season the Wolfpack were outside the Top 250 in opponent 3-point percentage (35.1%). But since the start of the ACC Tournament, foes are shooting just 28.4% from deep against them.

The Boilermakers have a sizzling 40.6 3PT% but they don't take a high volume of 3s and have been streaky from the arc over the last month. Unless they catch fire from downtown I don't see them covering this hefty spread.

My best bet: NC State +9 (-110 at DraftKings)

NC State vs Purdue same-game parlay

NC State +9

D.J. Horne Over 15.5 points

Braden Smith Under 1.5 made 3s

Horne is averaging 18.8 ppg over his last 20 games and is coming off a 20-point performance against Duke. Purdue does an excellent job of defending the rim thanks to Edey but Horne rarely attacks the rim. Instead, he takes a high frequency of shots from midrange and beyond the arc, which are areas where the Boilermakers are below-average at defending. 

Since I'm expecting NC State to cover in part due to their improved 3-point defense, I'm expecting guard Braden Smith to go Under his made 3s. Smith has knocked down fewer than 1.5 treys in 14 of his last 20 games. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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NC State vs Purdue spread and Over/Under analysis

  • This line opened with Purdue at -9.5 with the O/U at 146. As of Tuesday night, the total has remained unchanged, but the spread has slimmed to -9 at most books with others adjusting the juice on -9.5 to -115. 
  • Purdue is second in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency and 16th in adjusted defensive efficiency (KenPom) while NC State is 40th on offense and 45th on defense.
  • However, the Wolfpack have made massive strides on both ends of the floor lately going 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games with six of those victories coming as underdogs.
  • The Boilermakers are 4-0 SU and ATS in their last four games.

NC State vs Purdue betting trend to know

The Boilermakers are just 5-13 ATS when favored by more than seven points against Power Six opponents this season. Find more college basketball betting trends for NC State vs. Purdue.

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NC State vs Purdue game info

Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Date: Saturday, April 6, 2024
Tip-off: 6:09 p.m. ET

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