#3 Purdue is 36.5 point favorites against Nebraska Omaha on Friday afternoon in Mackey Arena according to DraftKings. Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
That is... a very big line. If you’ve been watching along, Purdue has had a perfect start to the season. They’ve blown out their two bad opponents, covering once easy and failing to cover by about a point in their other. They’ve beat both the ranked teams they’ve faced on their way to winning the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament, North Carolina and Villanova.
They’ve shown that their depth is about as dangerous as their height and that Jaden Ivey is capable of taking over stretches of games and the big dudes Zach Edey and Trevion Williams might even be better than advertised.
Through four games, Coach Painter’s squad looks like it doesn’t have a weakness.
Nebraska Omaha on the other hand, pretty much all weaknesses. They’re outside the top 300 in offensive and defensive efficiency going into today’s game according to KenPom.
They don’t shoot the ball well. They don’t defend the shot well. They don’t rebound well. They’re not tall. They’re not athletic.
They’ve played a tough schedule and that’s about the only thing admirable to their season so far. They’re coming off a 94-40 drubbing from Texas Tech but did manage stay within 15 points with Kansas St. earlier in the season.
The narrative for Purdue’s week could certainly point to some trouble carrying such a big point spread even without ever being threatened. We are just a day past Thanksgiving, who is to blame them to have a bit of the same gravy hangover that the rest of us are experiencing? Who is to really blame them to not have this game stapled to their dream board. Purdue just got done with a grueling tournament weekend, back to back games against quality opponents, and now they have just this one game before another big non-conference game with Florida St. looming on Tuesday?
It would make sense that Purdue wins by 25 to 30 points and call it a day, giving their walk-ons plenty of time on the court as Purdue’s schedule starts to turn towards conference play.
But this team is special and maybe the biggest benefit of two starting fives, is that until those walk-ons come on, Purdue is going to have an advantage at every position throughout the whole game.
So even though 36.5 might not seem like a Black Friday deal, I’m taking Purdue to cover the points and get above 100 points for the first time this season. Even if it’s an off shooting night for Purdue, look for them to absolutely dominate the glass and smother Omaha like gravy on Thanksgiving.