Looking to sit atop The Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time in school history, No. 2 Purdue kicks off Big Ten play at home Friday night against a similarly undefeated Iowa squad.
The Boilermakers (7-0) were ranked No. 2 in both the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons. This season, the Boilermakers have already beaten two Top 25 teams, defeating then-No. 18 North Carolina and then-No. 5 Villanova in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament, and are coming off a 93-65 thrashing of Florida State in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge on Tuesday night.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) December 1, 2021
Jaden Ivey scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures, as Purdue shot a blistering 59.3 percent from the field and hit 12 of 25 from 3-point range. The Boilermakers lead the nation in overall shooting at 54.5 percent and 3-point shooting at 44.2 percent, and are second in scoring at 92.4 points per game.
Ivey, who is second on the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game, is one of four players shooting at least 42 percent from deep. Monstrous 7-foot-4 sophomore Zach Edey leads the team in scoring at 16.9 points per game while shooting 73.8 percent and averaging 7.1 rebounds. Purdue is outscoring opponents by 28.3 points per game and has a plus-16.0 rebounding margin per contest.
The Boilermakers have also dominated the Hawkeyes at Mackey Arena, winning 10 of the last 11 matchups, including a 104-68 throttling in the most recent clash there in the 2019-20 season.
Scouting the Hawkeyes, and the lines
The Hawkeyes (7-0), though, are more than willing to go up and down the court with the Boilers as they come to Mackey Arena as the highest-scoring team in the country at 94 points per game. Iowa, which has not opened a season 8-0 since 2000-01, also represented the conference well in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, edging Virginia 75-74 on the road Monday night.
WHAT A FINISH 😱
Virginia came back from 21 down but Iowa hit the last-second game-winner to stay UNDEFEATED! pic.twitter.com/Pjc8ISf2xd
— ESPN (@espn) November 30, 2021
Jordan Bohannon hit six 3-pointers and scored 20 points as Iowa squandered a 21-point first-half lead, but Joe Toussaint’s jumper with eight seconds to play provided the winning points. Keegan Murray added 18 points and nine rebounds, while Toussaint finished with 10 points. Iowa is shooting 50.4 percent overall and 39.6 percent from 3-point range, and the Hawkeyes also lead the nation with a 2.28 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Iowa snapped a four-game losing streak against Purdue with a 70-55 victory in their lone meeting last season, as Bohannon contributed nine points on 3-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.
Despite this being a clash of unbeatens, sportsbooks have pegged Purdue as a heavy favorite to stay that way, There was some notable line movement towards the Boilermakers on Friday morning, with action pushing the line from Purdue -11.5 to -12.5 at most books. The Kambi platform powering BetRivers, TwinSpires, and Unibet has that number at -109, though most places are offering the standard -110.
Though both teams are averaging over 90 points and are among the nation’s leaders in offensive efficiency per 100 possessions — Purdue is first at 121.4 points and Iowa is third at 118 — oddsmakers do not feel a true shootout will emerge. As of 9:30 a.m. CST, there was a range from 158 on the low side, which was available at DraftKings and Betway at -110 both ways, to 160 at Unibet and Kambi with a -108/-113 split.
The most common number available was 158.5 points, as FanDuel, PointsBet, BetMGM, Caesars, and WynnBET were all offering the standard -110, while theScore Bet ticked higher to 159 points with a -110 listing.
Irish on road at Boston College for ACC lid-lifter
— @NDmbb Athletic Comms (@NDmbbSID) December 1, 2021
While much of the talk surrounding Notre Dame has centered around the football team, the basketball team has split its first six games heading into their ACC opener at Boston College on Friday evening. Notre Dame followed up its sixth-place finish at the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas with an 82-72 defeat at Illinois in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Freshman Blake Wesley scored a season-high 24 points off the bench and is second on the team in scoring at 13 points per game. The Irish have been suspect on the perimeter defensively, though, as opponents are shooting 42.2 percent from 3-point range and Notre Dame gave up a season-worst 11 treys to the Illini.
First-year coach Earl Grant has the Eagles off to a 5-3 start, which includes back-to-back wins over Columbia and South Florida. Boston College posted a 64-49 victory Monday night over the Bulls, as James Karnik totaled 12 points and seven rebounds.
BC has four players averaging in double figures, paced by DeMarr Langford Jr.’s 12.4 per game, and the Eagles are getting it done on the defensive end. Their 60.1 points per game allowed are the third-fewest in the ACC.
Notre Dame has won 20 of the last 23 meetings between the teams, but the Eagles salvaged a split last season with a 94-90 victory at home in the most recent matchup.
Oddsmakers are expecting the Irish to open conference play with a victory, and there is near consensus across the sportsbooks, with the line at Notre Dame -5. The Kambi platform is offering that number at -108, with most following closely at -110. BetMGM is on an island with the Irish -5.5 at -110.
For the moneyline, FanDuel has the best offering at -196, with BetMGM (-200), and BetRivers, TwinSpires, and Unibet (-205) close behind. The over/under is where there is some variance to totals and values. The low number is currently 130, with FanDuel the best play on the over at -105 and PointsBet on the under at -105.
BetMGM is offering the standard -110 at 130.5 points, while the Kambi platform has a -113/-107 split. Caesars is the lone book at 131, offering it at -110 both ways, and theScore is on the high side at 131.5 points, also at -110 on both sides.
Photo by Marc Lebryk/USA TODAY Sports