Purdue Set To Carry Big Ten Flag For ACC Challenge Versus Florida State

Currently the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the country after claiming the No. 2 spot in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, Purdue looks to help its conference claim bragging rights in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge for a third straight year as it hosts Florida State at Mackey Arena on Tuesday night.

The Boilermakers (6-0) were not part of the Gavitt Games that pit Big Ten and Big East teams against one another, but they still took down the best the Big East has to offer with an 80-74 victory over then-No. 5 Villanova in the championship game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in Connecticut on Nov. 21. Purdue also defeated then-No. 18 North Carolina 93-84 the previous day in the high-profile, four-team tourney.

Purdue did not get caught looking ahead to this contest, either, dismantling Omaha 97-40 on Friday as Zach Edey had 20 points and Travion Williams added 11 points and 10 boards off the bench. The 7-foot-4 Edey has been a handful for opponents early, averaging a team-high 17.7 points while shooting 75 percent from the field. He also is co-leader with 7.7 rebounds per game with Williams and Caleb Furst, helping Purdue out-rebound opponents by a whopping 16.8 per contest, good for third in the nation.

The Boilermakers are seeking their first 7-0 start since winning their first 11 games of the 2015-16 season and remain among the top tier of teams for NCAA Tournament champion, Final Four, and Big Ten champion offerings. The best value for the Boilermakers cutting down the nets in New Orleans can be found at BetMGM (+1200), with FanDuel (+1100) a close second and a handful of books — Caesars, theScore Bet, PointsBet, and Betway  — all offering +1000.

For sportsbooks offering Final Four options, PointsBet has the top value at +350, followed by WynnBET (+300) and FanDuel (+220). Caesars currently has the best play for the Boilermakers to win the Big Ten title at +260, though it already has dropped as low as +150 on the Kambi platform, which powers BetRivers and Unibet.

Florida State (5-1), which was ranked 20th in the preseason AP Top 25 and has reached at least the regional semifinals in three of the last four NCAA Tournaments, has won four straight since a 71-55 defeat at Florida, but needed overtime to edge Boston University 81-80 last Wednesday. Freshman swingman Matthew Cleveland scored a season-high 17 points off the bench and is second on the team with 10.7 points per game.

Boilers a double-digit fave vs. Seminoles

Purdue, which has won 47 of its last 51 non-conference home games at Mackey Arena, is a heavy favorite for this game. There is rare consensus on the spread, with the Boilermakers an 11-point favorite across the board. PointsBet, theScore Bet, and WynnBET all are offering the number at -105, with most others at -110 as of 8:30 a.m. CST on Tuesday.

There is little in the way of return if picking Purdue on the moneyline, with DraftKings and Betway’s -590 plays the only ones under -600. There are two options for the over/under — 143.5 points or 144. On the lower number, BetMGM is offering -105 on the over, while FanDuel (-104) edges out DraftKings and Betway (both -105) for top value on the under.

At 144 points, BetRivers and Unibet are the only books straying off the standard -110 offerings with a -107/-113 split.

Indiana out to end Orange crush

It has been more than 34 years since Keith Smart’s baseline jumper lifted Indiana to a 74-73 win over Syracuse to win the 1987 NCAA Tournament, but it is also the last time the Hoosiers (6-0) defeated the Orange heading into Tuesday night’s tilt at the Carrier Dome in upstate New York.

Indiana has lost five straight in the series, including a 61-50 defeat in the 2013 NCAA Tournament regional semifinals as a No. 1 seed. First-year coach Mike Woodson has the Hoosiers off to their best start since opening the 2019-20 season with eight victories, but this will be their first game outside Bloomington. The best win of the season-opening homestand was a 76-74 triumph over St. John’s in the Gavitt Games, and the Hoosiers are coming off a 90-79 win over Marshall on Saturday behind a career-high 43-point effort from Trayce Jackson-Davis.

The junior forward has shot 50 percent or better in all six games and is hitting at a 66.2 percent clip after connecting on 18 of 24 field goal attempts versus the Thundering Herd. Jackson-Davis is averaging team highs of 20.5 points and 3.8 blocks and is second in rebounds at 7.7 per game.

Sportsbooks have pegged Indiana as slight road favorites, with bettors able to lay the Hoosiers -2.5 at FanDuel (-110), DraftKings (-115) and Betway (-115). Elsewhere, Indiana has been installed as a 3-point favorite, with the Kambi platform’s -112 lagging slightly behind the standard -110. Caesars is on an island with the Hoosiers -3.5, offering -110 for that play.

The most common moneyline offering is -150, though FanDuel (-142), DraftKings (-145), and Betwayy (-145) have slightly better listings. The over/under can be grabbed at 147, 147.5, or 148 points with varying values. Those bullish on a high-scoring game can grab an over of 147 at DraftKings and Betway at -105, while bettors who want to play the under can grab FanDuel’s 147.5 points at that price. Those wanting to play the under at 148 are best served with Caesars, which has a -110 listing.

Photo: Marc Lebryk/USA TODAY Sports