Big Ten Conference Basketball: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

Purdue Boilermakers at Penn State Nittany Lions
Thursday, 1/5/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  N/A
Opening Point Spread:  Purdue -7
Current Betting Line:  Purdue -7
Opening Total:  126
Current Total:  125
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Purdue Boilermakers are led by senior forward Robbie Hummel

Purdue heads east in search of its fourth-straight win and 3-0 start to Big Ten Conference play when taking on Penn State in the Bryce Jordan Center.  The Boilermakers have won 27 true road games since the beginning of the 2007-08 season, tied for the most in the Big Ten over that period of time.  One of the strength of this squad is taking care of the basketball, ranking third nationally in turning the ball over just 9.7 times per game.  Purdue is 3-1 ATS as a road favorite of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Boilermakers have received some big contributions from junior Kelsey Barlow over the last three games, averaging 12.0 points and shooting 65 percent from the field.  Senior forward Robbie Hummel is the leader of the team, averaging 16.5 points in playing 30.2 minutes per night.  Purdue owns a 26-10 advantage in the all-time series, including a 10-8 mark when playing in University Park.  During the Matt Painter era, the program is 10-3 against tonight’s opponent.

Penn State dropped both games on its two-game road trip against the Michigan Wolverines and Northwestern Wildcats, while also failing to cover the spread in those contests.  The Nittany Lions are 6-2 at home this season and has actually out-rebounded 12 of its 15 opponents this year.  Junior guard Tim Frazier is the main threat on this squad, averaging 17.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.  He has tallied a Big Ten-best six 20-point games this season.  Penn State is 1-4 ATS as an underdog this year and all six games have gone ‘under’ the total in that particular situation.

The Nittany Lions suffered two losses in the series a year ago, including an 83-68 defeat as six-point home underdogs on Jan. 5, 2011.  Frazier is the only major college basketball player that’s averaging 17-plus points and 6.5-plus assists per game.  Jermaine Marshall has become another offensive weapon, scoring in double-digits in seven of the last eight games.  Penn State has still had offensive problems throughout, scoring fewer than 60 points in seven of 15 games this year.

Bettors will likely back the Boilermakers due to their 7-3 ATS mark in the last 10 meetings, while the Nittany Lions are 2-5 ATS as an underdog of 7 to 12.5 points.

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