Big Ten Battle: Purdue at Wisconsin

Johnny Davis has led Wisconsin to four straight wins since suffering a home loss to Rutgers.

Wisconsin Wolverines vs. Purdue Boilermakers

Line: Purdue -2.5

Total: 143.5

Where: Kohl Center

When: Tuesday, 3/1 at 9:00 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

No. 10 Wisconsin can clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title with a win over No. 8 Purdue on Tuesday night.

The Badgers are one game ahead of Purdue and Illinois in the standings with two games remaining. A win on Tuesday would allow Wisconsin to clinch the title with either a win over Nebraska on Saturday or an Illinois loss.

Purdue is not going to roll over for the Badgers, though. The Boilermakers have not lost consecutive games all season and are coming off a 68-65 loss at Michigan State on Saturday. They will also have revenge on their mind after losing to Wisconsin as 12.5-point home favorites in early January.

Oddsmakers have opened this line in a drastically different spot, as offshore sportsbook BetOnline opened Purdue as a 2.5-point road favorite on Monday afternoon. Tuesday night’s total opened at 143.5, which is up four points compared to the first meeting (139.5).

Wisconsin is now riding a four-game home winning streak since being upset by Rutgers two weeks ago. The Badgers are currently No. 38 in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings, leaning heavily on a turnover rate that is third-best in the country.

Their discipline branches off from fifth-year senior guard Brad Davison, who averages 14.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Johnny Davis has been one of the best players in the country, averaging 20.9 points and 8.3 rebounds. He scored 15 points in the second half of a 66-61 win at Rutgers on Saturday.  

Wisconsin became the first team in the conference to win a game at Rutgers this season. Davison and Davis are being complemented by forwards Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl, who are combining for more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.

The Badgers are facing a Purdue defense that has been mediocre, ranked No. 105 in adjusted efficiency. It has not been forcing many turnovers, sitting at No. 338 in that category.

The Boilermakers have more than made up for it on the other end of the court, leading the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency. They are inside the top 10 in both 3-point and 2-point shooting percentages.

Their offense struggled at times during their 68-65 loss at Michigan State on Saturday, snapping a three-game winning streak. They will close the regular season with a home game against Indiana on Saturday afternoon.

Guard Jaden Ivey leads Purdue with 17.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Center Zach Edey has been a force in the paint, averaging 14.8 points and 7.4 rebounds. Forward Trevion Williams and Sasha Stefanovic are both scoring in double figures as well.

Purdue dropped the first game between these teams this season, but it has won and covered in seven of the last 10 meetings. The Boilermakers are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games this season, though.

Wisconsin has covered the spread in four of its last six games. The Badgers have gone ‘over’ the total in 12 of their last 18 games, while Purdue has gone ‘under’ in four of its last five contests.

The pick: Purdue -2.5

This is a huge line adjustment from when these teams met earlier this year—it is still a 5-point swing after home-court advantage is accounted for. Wisconsin is not going to beat itself, which has allowed the Badgers to take control of the Big Ten with two games remaining. However, they also lack the explosiveness to compete with a team like Purdue when the Boilermakers are at their best. Purdue is the top offensive team in college basketball, while Wisconsin is outside the top 200 in 2-point and 3-point percentages. These teams have been playing higher-scoring games than oddsmakers have expected over the last few years, with the ‘over’ cashing in five straight meetings. A high-scoring game favors Purdue on Tuesday night, especially with the pressure on Wisconsin.

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