College Basketball Predictions: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Michigan Wolverines

Purdue Boilermakers at No. 2 Michigan Wolverines
Thursday, 1/23/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan -16
Current Betting Line:  Michigan -16
Opening Total:  134.5
Current Total:  134.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Michigan Wolverines have outscored opponents by an average of 19.8 points per game this season
The Michigan Wolverines have outscored opponents by an average of 19.8 points per game this season

Purdue has won and covered the spread in its last three games, as it comes off an impressive 79-52 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers as 3.5-point home favorites, while going OVER the total in four of its last five contests.  The Boilermakers have been doing it on the defensive end, allowing just 50 points per game on 29.7 percent shooting during their current win streak.  The team is certainly up against it here, with its last road victory against a top-five opponent coming in 1979.  Purdue is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games following a SU win of more than 20 points, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks Thursday night.

The Boilermakers have compiled a 35-26 record in their last 61 road games under Matt Painter, which is far different than dropping their first 17 contests in that situation when he arrived on campus.  Purdue has scored 258 of its 470 points over the last seven games in the painted area, while it averages 32.9 points per game in the paint overall, outscoring foes by an average of 7.8 points in that category.  Junior guard Terone Johnson is the main player to watch offensively, averaging a team-high 13.3 points per game.

Michigan returns home after splitting its recent two-game road trip, as it comes off an 83-75 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers as 2.5-point underdogs, while going OVER the total for the first time in three contests.  The Wolverines are led by their talented backcourt of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., who combined to average 34.4 points per game.  The program is 26-1 at Crisler Center over the last two seasons, with the lone loss coming against Purdue last year.  Michigan is 21-5 ATS in its last 26 Thursday games, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.

The Wolverines have won by an average of 19.8 points per game this season, which is fourth nationally in that particular category.  Michigan has done a great job of getting after it on the defensive end in the early going of games, limiting foes to just 27.7 points in the first half.  Offensively, the team is one of the best from the perimeter, as it shoots 41 percent from beyond the arc.

Sports bettors will likely back the Boilermakers due to the underdog covering four of the last five meetings.

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