What a matchup in the first round of the Hall Of Fame Classic, as we get North Carolina-Purdue betting odds coming live from a casino, of all places!
Both of these teams enter Saturday undefeated. Purdue has run everyone off of the court that they have faced this season, blowing out a couple of directional schools that you don’t need to be concerned about.
North Carolina, on the other hand, has had a bit of trouble. They’ve been tested by teams that they shouldn’t, in theory, be tested by. The Tar Heels are coming off of a visit to Charleston, where they were down by as many as 11 points in the first half to College of Charleston. Now, this was a road game against a good mid-major team in a hostile environment, so I’m sure Hubert Davis is happy with the mettle and toughness his team showed, but this wasn’t a runaway. Neither was their previous game, when they struggled to knock off Brown.
What is going to be great about this game is it is a good old fashioned matchup of big body front courts, bruisers that are going to go at each other for 40 minutes.
So where does the value lie?
NORTH CAROLINA vs. PURDUE BETTING ODDS
GAME TIME: 4:00 p.m. ET on ESPNNews
MONEYLINE: Purdue -225 ML, North Carolina +180 ML
SPREAD: Purdue -6.5
NORTH CAROLINA vs. PURDUE PREDICTION
My take here is pretty simple: Trevion Williams was a preseason first-team All-Big Ten big man. He got votes as a preseason All-American. He’s a star, and one of the best big men in the Big Ten.
And he was benched as a senior because Zach Edey beat him out for a starting spot.
If you haven’t seen Zach Edey play, you need to. A 7-foot-4, 295 pound sophomore, he’s as efficient and dominant as any five-man in college basketball. Think Isaac Haas without the legal issues. And he might be better. My biggest concern with the Boilermakers heading into the season was two-fold:
- Would Matt Painter be able to balance his two monster five-men?
- Would Purdue have enough shooting to be able to make sure that Edey has the space he needs to operate?
The former seems like it is going well so far. Purdue has won their first three games against solid mid-major competition by an average of 39.3 points. The latter has been good in a small sample size as well. Purdue is shooting 41.7% from three as a team, and that’s with Jaden Ivey really struggling with his jumper to date.
Now, here’s the most important part: Purdue matches up really well with North Carolina because the Tar Heels want to do something really similar to what Purdue is trying to do. They both want to play big guys. The problem is that UNC doesn’t have the kind of skilled bigs that can pull Edey out of the lane. Caleb Love has been really good, so has Armando Bacot, but without a stretch five that can keep Edey honest, it’s going to be very difficult for UNC to compete.
Bet Rivers has this line at Purdue (-6.5). KenPom has it at Purdue (-9). I tend to lean towards KenPom in this spot, so I will be backing the Boilers.