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A few ranked teams play during Wednesday’s college basketball slate! There aren’t any important conference games or matchups between two ranked teams; however, now is a good time to continue to evaluate the top teams and get an idea of how they might fare come conference play, which is just a few weeks away.
Below, we cover the New Orleans Privateers versus the Purdue Boilermakers and the McNeese State Cowboys versus the Houston Cougars. See which teams we have covering these ginormous spreads!
When: 9:00 PM EST
New Orleans Privateers
O 149.5 (-115)
U 149.5 (-105)
For the second consecutive season, the Purdue Boilermakers have reached the No. 1 ranking in the AP poll. Purdue lost several key players, including Trevion Williams, Jaden Ivey, Sasha Stefanovic, Eric Hunter Jr, and Isaiah Thompson. In other words, the Boilermakers lost five of their top seven players and still have found a way to be one of the best teams in the nation so far this season. What is even more impressive is the fact that Purdue is starting two freshmen guards, both of whom were not considered top recruits.
Despite Purdue being the No. 1 ranked team, it is only 7th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin. The Boilermakers have a highly efficient offense, behind Wooden Award favorite Zach Edey, a 7-foot-4 big man, but need to improve on the defensive end to maximize their potential. As far as covering spreads goes, Purdue is merely 1-3-1 against the spread as home favorites this season. The Boilermakers have a tendency to play down to weaker opponents and up to stronger competition. In this case, New Orleans is 344th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin, a horrendous mark. The Privateers’ meager 3-7 record reflects that ranking quite accurately.
Even with my struggling faith in Purdue’s ability to cover at home against weaker teams, I can’t see a world where this game stays within 40 points. New Orleans is fresh off a narrow eight-point win against an NAIA team. Competitive basketball can be found at any level and anywhere in the world, but narrowly beating an NAIA team as a Division I team is really telling of what we can expect from New Orleans in this one. Edey should have a monstrous game.
When: 8:00 PM EST
McNeese State Cowboys
O 127.5 (-110)
U 127.5 (-110)
Houston’s only loss on the season so far has been to a tough Alabama team, and it quickly bounced back with a road victory against the then No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers. The Cougars have displayed seal tight defense, ranking second in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency as well as in adjusted efficiency margin. They are one of the best teams in the nation, and a legitimate title contender come March.
McNeese has not had a good season, to say the least; it boasts a 3-9 record and has lost three straight and six of its past seven. The Cowboys have played a few major programs like Baylor, Tennessee, and Iowa State. In those games, they lost by 29, 36, and 37, and were only able to score 40 points against Tennessee and Iowa State.
This game will be an epic beatdown; it’s hard to imagine McNeese State scoring more than 40 points against the Cougars, the second-best defensive team. The Cowboys have looked awful recently, and are the 13th worst team in the nation (out of 363 teams) per KenPom. This spread is massive, but so is the talent gap between the two teams.
Andrew has always been an avid sports fan and followed his hoop dreams all the way to college. He’s well-versed in everything betting with multiple years of experience and is qualitatively and quantitatively knowledgeable in sports statistics and analytics.More info on Andrew Norton
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