Purdue vs Michigan Odds, Picks and Predictions: Shaky, Slow Offenses Ensure Low-Scoring Tilt

The head-to-head matchup between Purdue's Zach Edey and Michigan's Hunter Dickenson will be fascinating, but their teammates may not hold up their end of the bargain, as our college basketball betting picks explain.

Last Updated: Jan 26, 2023 2:47 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Zach Edey Purdue Boilermakers NCAAM
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers face off against the Michigan Wolverines in NCAA basketball action on Thursday night.

The Boilermakers are atop the Big Ten standings with an 8-1 record, while the Wolverines are tied for third place, having gone 5-3 in conference play. This matchup features a battle between two of the best big men in the country, with Wooden Award favorite Zach Edey taking on Wolverines center Hunter Dickenson.

College basketball betting odds opened with the Boilermakers as five-point road favorites, with the total at 136. Here are my best free Purdue vs. Michigan picks and predictions for Thursday, January 26.

Purdue vs Michigan best odds

Purdue vs Michigan picks and predictions

The Boilers are fifth in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom, but they have really regressed lately. Part of the reason for that is they aren't getting to the free-throw line at the same rate as they were earlier in the season, and the other is that they're simply facing physical defenses in Big Ten play. 

Against non-conference foes, the Boilermakers averaged 77.4 points per game. But in conference play, that has dropped to a modest 69.0 ppg on 44.5% shooting. However, they've been terrific on the other end of the floor, and are holding Big Ten foes to just 60.1 ppg on 41.3 FG%.

The Wolverines have also been stingy on defense against conference opponents, and are allowing 66.4 ppg on a conference-best 40.3 FG%.

Both of these squads have really struggled on offense lately, with the Wolverines averaging just 59 ppg on 39.1% shooting in their last two contests, and Purdue averaging 61 ppg on 42% shooting in its last three.

What might be most concerning about that poor offensive production is that Zach Edey and Hunter Dickenson are still filling up the hoop at an efficient rate, but their supporting casts have looked awful, especially from the perimeter. 

With the Boilermakers playing at one of the slowest paces in the country – and both teams unable to knock down shots lately – take the Under.

My best bet: Under 136 (-110 at bet365)

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Purdue vs Michigan spread analysis

The Boilermakers are coming off a 58-55 home victory against Maryland. The Boilermakers had a 35-21 lead at the half, but struggled to score in the second frame. Edey was the only player to score from the field in the final 16 minutes.

Thankfully, their hard-nosed defense held the Terps to 37.3% shooting from the field (including just 3-for-21 from long range), and they had a 40-30 edge in rebounds. 

Purdue is on a six-game winning streak, and has lost just one contest all season. The Boilermakers have a 7-1 record against Quadrant 1 foes, and boast impressive non-conference victories against Duke, Gonzaga, and Marquette. That said, while they have been winning on the road in Big Ten play, it hasn't always been easy. They edged the Spartans and Buckeyes by knocking down game-winning shots with just seconds left, and beat the Huskers in overtime. 

The Wolverines are 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five games. In their last contest, they held on to beat Minnesota 60-56 at the Crisler Center.

It's been an inconsistent season for Michigan, which has gone 0-6 against Quad 1 opponents. The Wolverines are 8-2 SU at home this season, but are a modest 5-5 ATS. They suffered an embarrassing home loss to Central Michigan on Dec. 29. 

Dickenson is a two-time All-Big Ten selection who is averaging 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while shooting 57.1% from the floor. As good as Dickenson has been, the 7-foot-4 Edey has been on another level, and leads the conference in scoring (21.5 ppg), rebounding (13.2 rpg), and field goal percentage (61.4%) while ranking second in blocks per game (2.3).

Michigan's second-leading scorer Jett Howard (14.6 ppg) didn't practice yesterday, and is considered day-to-day with an ankle injury.

Michigan lost point guard Jaelin Llewyllen to a season-ending injury in December, but freshman Dug McDaniel has actually been more productive since taking his spot in the starting lineup. The No. 64 recruit in the country according to ESPN, McDaniel is averaging 9.3 ppg, 4.6 apg, and 1.5 spg across 11 starts.

Purdue vs Michigan Over/Under analysis

Purdue has been heavily reliant on Edey to get buckets, with freshman guards Fletcher Loyer (12.8 ppg, 39 FG%) and Braden Smith (9.9 ppg, 4.3 apg, 46/45/90 shooting splits) their only other players averaging at least 8.0 ppg. That lack of scoring depth has been exposed over the last few weeks, especially since they haven't been getting as many trips to the charity stripe.

The Boilermakers were 15th in the country in free-throw attempts per offensive play at 29.7% three weeks ago, but that number has plummeted to below 18% over their last six contests. They likely won't get too many calls going their way at the Crisler Center against a Michigan squad that does a good job of defending without fouling.

The Boilermakers are 330th in the country in adjusted tempo, and the Wolverines don't really push the pace either, ranking 146th in the country in average length of possession (17.3 seconds).

Michigan ranks seventh in the country in turnover rate (14.1%), but while they rarely cough the ball up, they also don't force many mistakes. The Wolverines rank just 327th in opponent turnover rate (15.6%).

The Boilermakers also rank outside the Top-300 in opponent turnover rate (15.8%), so expect both offenses to take their time in half-court sets without facing much pressure.

Purdue vs Michigan betting trend to know

The Under is 24-9 in Purdue's last 33 games overall. Find more college basketball betting trends for Purdue vs. Michigan.

Purdue vs Michigan game info

Location: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, MI
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2023
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET

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