Penn State vs Purdue Preview & Free Pick [2/1/2023]

Penn State (14-7) at Purdue (21-1)
When: Wednesday, February 1st 2023
Where: Mackey Arena,
West Lafayette, IN
Time: 6:30 ET | TV: BTN
Opening Odds: Purdue -11/135

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The Purdue Boilermakers will look to remain the No. 1 team in the country when they host the Penn State Nittany Lions on Wednesday night in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue holds a three-game lead over Northwestern in the Big Ten Standings entering Tuesday’s action and is clearly the best team in the conference. Voters also think the Boilermakers are the best team in the country, voting unanimously as the No. 1 team in the current Associated Press Top 25 poll. Even though Purdue is 21-1 on the season, they are just 9-11-2 against the spread, but an impressive 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight contests.

Those last eight games have all resulted in victories for the Boilermakers, including a 76-63 win over Penn State, in a game played at the Palestra in Philadelphia. Zach Edey delivered a dominating performance in that game, finishing with 30 points and 13 rebounds as well as three assists and three blocks. Penn State’s Jalen Pickett nearly recorded a triple-double with 26 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. The Nittany Lions played one of their best games of the year on Sunday afternoon, destroying Michigan 83-61 at home. Penn State held the Wolverines to only 41 points over the first 30-plus minutes of the game and led by as many as 32 points in the second half.

Penn State has been inconsistent over the last few weeks, alternating wins with losses over their last five games, during which they have gone 3-2. The Nittany Lions win on Sunday was their largest margin of victory ever against Michigan. Pickett led the way with 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting, while Seth Lundy contributed 22 points. Pickett, Lundy, and Andrew Funk all average double-digits in points and Penn State is a top-30 team in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency with 114.9 points per 100 possessions, per KenPom. Pickett leads the Lions in points (17.6), rebounds (8.0) and assists (7.0).

This is the sixth week Purdue has been ranked No. 1 this season and a major reason has been Edey, who is coming off another big game against Michigan State in Sunday’s 77-61 win at home. Edey finished with a career-high 38 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had three steals and three assists. He is a tough matchup for Penn State, given his height, skill, and experience. The 7′ 4″ junior is averaging 22.1 points and 13.0 rebounds per game this season. Purdue ranks 11th in the country in allowing just 60.3 points a game.

Purdue should win this game, but it won’t be easy. Penn State is coming off one of their best games of the season defensively on Sunday. They also have scorers in Pickett and Lundy who can keep this close. Purdue is only 3-7-1 ATS at home this year.

Pick: Penn State +10

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