College Basketball Odds: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Purdue Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Sunday, 11/20/11, 7:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Alabama -1
Current Betting Line:  Alabama -3
Opening Total:  128
Current Total:  131
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Big Ten Tournament Betting Preview
The Purdue Boilermakers are underdogs against the Alabama Crimson Tide despite winning the last two meetings

Purdue will be meeting up with Alabama for the third consecutive year, winning the last two meetings easily and also covering the spread.  The Boilermakers overcome a 16-point deficit in Tuscaloosa in 2009 and earned a 66-47 win in last year’s meeting inside Mackey Arena.  The two teams are playing in the Puerto Rico Tip-off championship game.  Purdue has tallied a 26-16 record on neutral courts under the direction of coach Matt Painter, playing in the fourth exempt-event championship in as many years.  Purdue is 3-0 ATS versus SEC opponents the last two-plus years.

The Boilermakers offense has been driven by their success behind the arc, averaging 11.3 three-pointers per game, hitting 45 of their 101 attempts.  Senior Robbie Hummel has certainly shown signs of being healthy this season after tearing his right ACL in February of last year, averaging 20.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 31.8 minutes.  Purdue is getting solid play from its trio of seniors, led by Hummel, with all three averaging at lest 12.8 points per game.

Alabama advanced through the winners’ bracket with victories over Maryland and Wichita State, as the defense is allowing just 50.8 points per game, which is the 17th-lowest mark nationally.  “That was the goal coming in and we’re happy to have the opportunity to play for a championship,” stated Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant.  The Crimson Tide defense was in all its glory versus the Shockers, tallying a tournament-record 14 blocks, while also forcing 18 turnovers.  Alabama is 24-11 ATS as a favorite the last two-plus seasons.

The Crimson Tide will certainly be tested in facing a Boilermakers’ squad that’s scored 80 or more points the last two games, but they’ve managed to hold opponents to just 30.9 percent shooting this year.  Alabama returns three starters and six players from last year’s team that reached the NIT championship game and finished with a 25-12 record.  A victory in this contest would make the program 5-0 to open a season for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign.  The team has enjoyed spending time in Puerto Rico, winning nine of 12 games heading into this contest.

Bettors will likely back the Boilermakers due to their 7-2 ATS mark as an underdog of less than 6.5 points, while the Crimson Tide are 3-7 ATS in neutral site contests.

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