Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers Prediction: Boilers Look To Sweep Hoosiers

Written by: Andrew Norton
Published February 10, 2024
6 min read
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On Saturday evening, the Indiana Hoosiers (14-9, 6-6 in Big Ten) make the short trip north to West Lafayette to battle the No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers (21-2, 10-2 in Big Ten) in one of the most heated rivalries in college basketball. Earlier this season, the Boilermakers stomped the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall, winning by 21 points (87-66) in an embarrassing blowout. 

Despite being a top-ranked team for much of the 2022-23 campaign, the Boilermakers were swept in last season’s home-and-home series. Purdue certainly has revenge on its mind. Check out the Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers preview for an in-depth matchup analysis and our betting prediction!

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Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers Betting Odds for Saturday, Feb. 10

After getting steamrolled by 21 points by Purdue on their home floor, the Indiana Hoosiers enter this rivalry game as substantial 17.5-point favorites. Sportsbooks are expecting another blowout in this one. The point total hovers around 148.5 points, with both the Over and the Under holding odds of -110.

Indiana Hoosiers+17.5 (-110)N/AOver 148.5 (-110)
Purdue Boilermakers-17.5 (-110)N/AUnder 148.5 (-110)

Odds from BetMGM Sportsbook. Use our BetMGM promo code WSNMGM - bet $5, get $158 in bonus bets.

Optimism about the Mike Woodson era in Bloomington has started to subside. The Indiana Hoosiers are 6-6 in the Big Ten and on the outside looking in for an at-large bid to the 2024 NCAA Tournament. If it wants a shot at dancing in March for the third consecutive year, Indiana will have to put together a solid finish to the conference season, including the regular season and the Big Ten tournament.

Indiana has dealt with the following issues this season: injuries, an outdated offensive approach (two big lineups with little movement in the half-court), and shooting. For such a storied program that, until the past decade or so, has always seemed to roster a boatload of shooters, it is strange that Woodson has not put a significant emphasis on bringing in players who can knock down the three-point shot.

The Hoosiers shoot the ninth-fewest three-point attempts per game in the nation, which is quite literally only ahead of eight low-to-mid-major programs. If the Hoosiers could knock down the few attempts they take (15.5 per game), they might be able to get away with that style of play; however, they only hit 33.1% of those attempts, which ranks outside the top 200 nationally. 

Additionally, IU could mitigate its lack of three-point talent with elite perimeter defense, but again, it has yet to do that, allowing opponents to hit 34% of their attempts, which ranks 204th across D-I. That average is also propped up due to a relatively weak non-conference schedule (66th in the nation.) 

The Hoosiers were bound to regress from last season after they lost Miller Kopp, Race Thompson, Jalen Hood-Schifino, and Trayce Jackson-Davis, four of their five starters. Their fifth starter last season was Xavier Johnson (before his foot injury), but he has also struggled to remain healthy this season. Still, there is little excuse when the starting frontcourt is filled with former five-star players (Mackenzie Mgbako, Kel’el Ware, and Malik Reneau.) 

On the other hand, Purdue took the few weaknesses it had last season and turned them into strengths. The Boilermakers shot just 32.2% from behind the arc throughout the 2022-23 regular season but have completely transformed into one of the best three-point shooting teams, nailing 40.1% of their attempts, which ranks fifth in the nation. 

The most impressive aspect of their shooting ascension has been that they didn’t bring in many new players. In fact, they brought Lance Jones (second-leading scorer this year) in through the transfer portal, lost Brandon Newman (fifth-leading scorer last year), and just returned everyone else. 

Purdue has one of the most impressive resumes in the country, beating No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 10 Illinois, No. 16 Alabama, No. 8 Arizona, No. 7 Marquette, and No. 6 Tennessee. In fact, it has a 15-2 record in Quads 1 and 2, which is nothing short of sensational.

Can Indiana keep this rivalry game close against a frightening Purdue squad? Keep reading for our Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers prediction and betting pick below!

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Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers Prediction and Betting Pick

The key for this game will be the availability of Hoosiers’ center Kel’el Ware, who hurt his knee towards the end of their last game against Ohio State. With sixth-year point guard Xavier Johnson already sidelined due to a shoulder injury, Indiana would be down two significant players while playing its biggest rival on the road. And that rival is the No. 2 team in the nation.

If Ware cannot play, the foul-prone Malik Reneau or the former Ball State center Payton Sparks would be forced to defend Edey. Reneau has enough of an issue staying out of foul trouble when defending average players, let alone a physical and talented big man like Zach Edey. Edey is the reigning Wooden Award winner for a reason, and Reneau, at 6-foot-8, and Sparks, at 6-foot-9, don’t have a shot at defending him. Ware at least has the size (7-foot-0) and length to contest Edey in and around the paint. 

If Reneau gets into foul trouble and Ware is out, the Hoosiers have no individual offensive talent, and Purdue will pack the paint, forcing them to take and hit threes, which they have proven incapable of doing.

Assuming that Indiana doubles on Edey in the post, Purdue is amongst the best three-point shooting teams at home in the country, drilling 44% of its attempts. Georgia Southern, Lipscomb, and Samford are the only teams hitting a higher percentage. Further, the Boilers are 11--0, average just shy of 93 points, and have the fifth-highest average scoring margin at Mackey Arena, too.

We can’t recommend a play until we know the status of Ware for this game. If Ware can’t play, we would play the Boilers to -20.5 because the Hoosiers would be substantially undermanned in the frontcourt. Sparks and Reneau would inevitably find themselves in foul trouble (Purdue ranks tenth in opponent fouls per game), and IU would have no other centers or power forwards to deploy against Edey. The result would be drop-steps and dunks all night long.

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers pick: Purdue Boilermakers -17.5 at BetMGM.

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Andrew Norton

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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.
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