Big Ten Conference Tournament Odds: Purdue Big Favorites

Indiana, Maryland, MSU Loom as Top Contenders

The Big Ten Conference Tournament odds show the Purdue Boilermakers as good-sized favorites to win the tournament. Purdue is the most well-rounded team in the Big Ten Conference. There are teams better than the Boilermakers offensively and defensively, but Purdue doesn’t have a weakness.

The Big Ten Conference is ranked No. 2 in the country because it has a number of good teams, many of which can beat Purdue on any given day. The Boilermakers finished first in the conference with a 15-5 record. There are three teams that suffered eight conference losses. Purdue deserves to be favored but nothing is easy in the Big Ten.

The Favorite

PURPurdue Boilermakers (+150)

The Boilermakers lead most of the Big Ten college basketball stats. Purdue ranks No. 11 nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 23 on defense. Ken Pomeroy has Purdue as the No. 6 team in the country, about 5.5 points better than Maryland, his No. 2 team in the conference. Offensively, Purdue is going to hit the boards, ranking No. 2 in offensive rebounds. The Boilermakers aren’t a great shooting team but they give themselves plenty of chances.

On defense, Purdue doesn’t allow offensive rebounds and the Boilermakers don’t send teams to the foul line. The team is solid from 2- and 3-point range, making it tough for opposing teams. Purdue doesn’t force many turnovers, which hurts its defensive rating a bit. The one negative against Purdue this season is its dismal NCAAB betting record. The Boilermakers are 12-17-2 against the spread this season.

The Outsiders

INDIndiana Hoosiers (+550)

The Big Ten Conference Tournament odds on the Hoosiers is a bit generous at +550. But you can make a case that Maryland or Michigan State are just as good, if not better, than Indiana. The Hoosiers shoot the 3-pointer well, but they seldom shoot from that range. Indiana shoots 37.6% from 3-point range but scores just 23.3% of its points from 3-point range. The majority of Indiana’s points come from the inside, with the Hoosiers scoring 60% of their points on 2-point field goals.

On defense, Indiana is solid defending the 2-pointer and block a lot of shots. But the Hoosiers don’t force many turnovers and aren’t as good defending the 3-pointer as the 2-pointer. The Hoosiers did lose twice to Iowa and Northwestern during the regular season.

MDMaryland Terrapins (+600)

The Terrapins are probably the team most happy to see the Big Ten Conference Tournament played on a neutral court. Of Maryland’s nine conference losses, all of them came on the road. Maryland was 2-1 on neutral courts this season. The Terrapins are cut in the same mold as the other Big Ten contenders, in that they’re solid offensively and defensively. The don’t have any one area where they’re one of the elite teams in the country. But they don’t have many real weaknesses, either.

Maryland is a decent shooting team from the inside and aren’t that great on 3-point attempts. The Terps are pretty good across the board defensively. Maryland’s slow-down style helps out on the defensive stats. Maryland is a good team that can’t be discounted, but you could say the same for several other squads. Maryland probably needs one win to secure an NCAA Tournament bid and could be a sleeper worth using for your March Madness contest.

MSUMichigan State Spartans (+600)

The Spartans are yet another team in the tournament who are solid offensively and defensively. Their rankings aren’t quite as high as Maryland, but they’re not far off either. MSU is one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation. They simply don’t shoot enough of them. The Spartans are No. 3 in 3-point shooting percentage but just one-third of their field goal attempts are 3-pointers. On defense, the Spartans defend the 3-pointer much better than the 2-point shot.

The Spartans don’t get to the foul line often, scoring just 15.9% of their points from the charity stripe. That’s No. 314 in the nation. MSU doesn’t send teams to the foul line, either. While part of that is Big Ten officials letting them play, it’s also a bit of playing style. That could help in the tournament.

NWNorthwestern Wildcats (+750)

The Big Ten Conference Tournament odds on Northwestern are a decent +750, which isn’t bad for the best defensive team in the conference. Of course, Northwestern’s offense isn’t nearly as good as the other top contending teams, which could be its downfall. To say the Wildcats don’t shoot the ball is putting it politely. Northwestern is No. 276 in the nation in 3-point percentage and No. 305 in 2-point percentage. The Wildcats are better from the foul line, although you can’t count on that.

Northwestern’s defense can pick up the slack. The Wildcats can force turnovers and are solid in the paint. Northwestern does allow some 3-pointers and will have to do better in the tournament if it wants to stick around for more than a day.

Projected Championship Matchup

Those betting the Big Ten Conference Tournament have a bit of a choice to make. Do you play it safe and ride Purdue or take a bit of a longshot? The Boilermakers’ toughest competition on the top half of the bracket should come from the Spartans. There’s more talent in the bottom half of the bracket, with Maryland, Indiana and Northwestern. Of the three, Maryland appears to have as good of a chance as anybody, so we’ll call it Purdue versus Maryland in the title game and take the generous odds of +600 with the Terrapins.

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