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Minnesota vs. Purdue Prediction: Can Purdue Avoid Letdown Game Against Minnesota?

Written by: Andrew Norton
Published February 15, 2024
10 min read

On Thursday night, the Purdue Boilermakers (22-2, 11-2 in the Big Ten) seek their ninth consecutive win against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-8, 6-6 in the Big Ten), one of the biggest surprise teams in the Big Ten this season. In the preseason, Minnesota was picked to finish dead last in the Big Ten media poll; expectations for this team were on the ground floor, to say the least. 

The Golden Gophers will be fighting to log just its second Quad 1 win on the road against the Boilers; however, if they were to string together this win and gain some momentum at the end of the 2023-24 season, they might find themselves in “bubble” conversations. Find our Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Purdue Boilermakers prediction and preview below to see an in-depth analysis of this matchup!

Minnesota vs Purdue Prediction

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Purdue Boilermakers Betting Odds for Thursday, Feb. 15

After dismantling the Indiana Hoosiers on their home floor, the Purdue Boilermakers will host the Minnesota Golden Gophers in another Big Ten battle. The Boilermakers are a 16-point home favorite over the Golden Gophers on Thursday night. The point total rests around 146.5 points, with the Under (-120) holding a slight advantage on the Over (+100).

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Minnesota Golden Gophers +16 (+100) N/A Over 146.5 (+100)
Purdue Boilermakers -16 (-120) N/A Under 146.5 (-120)

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It is hard to not feel bad for the Minnesota Golden Gophers after their 20-point collapse on the road against the Iowa Hawkeyes in their last game. A few minutes into the second half, Dawson Garcia, the Gophers’ star player, suffered an injury just below his mid-section and could not return to play. 

Unfortunately, his injury sparked momentum in the other direction for the Iowa Hawkeyes, who overcame the massive deficit to secure a home victory over Minnesota. That win could have propelled the Gophers to a 7-5 record in Big Ten play and a 2-3 Quad 1 record, with a chance to build on that in this game against the Purdue Boilermakers. 

At this point, it is a long shot for the Gophers to sneak into the 2024 NCAA Tournament, but stranger things have happened, especially since they had been playing quite well in the few games before the Iowa debacle, beating Penn State, Northwestern, and Michigan State. 

In fact, the Golden Gophers almost knocked off now-No. 21 Wisconsin at home, too (they lost by two points), which would have given them an even stronger resume leading into March. Still, if Minnesota were to string together six wins in its next eight games, things could get interesting. Of course, that will all depend on Garcia returning to the floor and the trio of him, Cam Christie, and Elijah Hawkins playing up to their full potential, though.

On the other hand, the Purdue Boilermakers have had about as smooth of a season as they could have dreamt of after collapsing in the Round of 64 in last season’s NCAA Tournament; they hold a 22-2 record, including an 11-2 record in Big Ten play. 

The Boilers dropped two of their first five conference games, but have since won every game. Purdue is led by 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey, who is the reigning Wooden Award winner, as well as Braden Smith Fletcher Loyer, and Lance Jones. 

Loyer and Smith have taken massive steps forward in their sophomore campaigns, expanding their games in a number of ways. Both guards struggled mightily in their first NCAA Tournament game but now have the experience and poise to avoid a similar downfall this season. Jones also transferred to Purdue from Southern Illinois this past summer to join those two in the backcourt and it has been a match made in Heaven. 

Purdue struggled with three-point shooting last year, but it turned that around this season, ranking fifth in three-point percentage nationally. Obviously, that is a monumental improvement from 277th, which is where the Boilers were the year before!

Can the Boilermakers avoid the potential letdown game after an emotional home win against the rival Indiana Hoosiers? See our prediction and betting pick for Minnesota vs. Purdue below!

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Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Purdue Boilermakers Prediction and Betting Pick

A 16-point spread in a Big Ten game with the underdog being a borderline NCAA Tournament-caliber team (Minnesota) is too much. The Golden Gophers have a lot going for them this season and in this game. For once, the Gophers have defended the interior quite well, ranking 41st nationally in opponent two-point percentage. Minnesota has decent size to defend Edey with, including Dawson Garcia, Pharrel Payne, and Parker Fox. 

In order for the Gophers to keep this game close, they are going to have to not only defend well but stripe it from behind the arc, too. Luckily, they have knocked down roughly 39% of their three-point attempts in their past three games, exemplifying a positive trend that we can feel good about in backing them.

Further, after a 20-point drubbing against the Indiana Hoosiers, it would not be a surprise if the Purdue Boilermakers had a letdown game, especially against Minnesota, a team that opponents have consistently underestimated. And that has been the case this season, as the Golden Gophers boast an incredible 20-3 (87.0%) ATS record, which is more than ten percent higher than the next-closest team nationally. 

Minnesota has only lost one game by 16 or more points (San Francisco) and that was in November, the beginning of the 2023-24 regular season. The key to this game lies in the availability of Dawson Garcia, who suffered an injury in the Gophers’ last game. We cannot suggest any play until we know more, but if he were to play, we like Minnesota to cover, like it has done so well all season.

How to Watch Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Purdue Boilermakers

  • When: Thursday, Feb. 15 @ 5:30/8:30 p.m. PT/ET

  • Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, IN

  • TV: FoxSports

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Andrew Norton

148 Articles

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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