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Purdue’s March Madness Odds Still as Long as +8140 After Beating Michigan State by 29 Points

Mackey Arena at Purdue University
Purdue has been great at Mackey Arena this year, but can't be considered a true title contender until it shows better away from home. Photo by Netbymatt (wikimedia commons).
  • The Purdue Boilermakers have three huge wins this season over ranked foes
  • Purdue is tough to beat at home, but have won only two games away from Mackey Arena thus far
  • Purdue has four players averaging between 10 and 12 points per game

The Purdue Boilermakers picked up another huge win on Sunday with a 71-42 blowout win over No. 8 Michigan State in West Lafayette. The win improved the Boilermakers to just 10-7 on the season, including a 3-3 mark in Big Ten play. Despite another impressive win, Purdue’s 2020 March Madness title odds remain pretty long. Sportsbooks have them at +8140.

2020 March Madness Championship Odds

Team National Championship Odds
Gonzaga +710
Duke +845
Michigan State +935
Kansas +1050
Louisville +1175
Baylor +1400
Kentucky +1550
Auburn +1700
Oregon +1700
Butler +1952
Purdue +8140

Odds as of Jan. 15, 2020.

Big-Time Wins

Just this season, Purdue has destroyed a pair of perennial powers, defeating then-No. 5 Virginia (69-40) back on December 4, and the Spartans on Sunday. The Boilermakers won both games by 29 points. Also, Purdue has another impressive win, defeating then-No. 20 VCU on November 30.

While defending national champion Virginia has had its own share of struggles this year, that is still a quality win. And Purdue’s decimation of Michigan State left Tom Izzo a bit deflated.

Boilermakers Strong at Home

Purdue is 8-1 this season at home. In addition to massive wins over Virginia and Michigan State, the Boilermakers have also defeated conference foes Minnesota and Northwestern at Mackey Arena. With seven home games left, including tough matchups against Michigan and Penn State, you have to like Purdue’s chances of getting into the NCAA Tournament.

However, to take Purdue as a serious contender, the Boilermakers need to prove they can win away from the friendly confines of West Lafayette. In true road games this season, Purdue is a meager 1-4. One of those losses is an embarrassing 63-37 loss against a solid-but-not-spectacular Illinois squad.

On neutral courts, Purdue is 1-2. All three games were against teams that should be in the NCAA Tournament in March (VCU, Butler and Florida State). The losses against Butler and FSU were highly-contested games.

Defense Plays Well in March

Look no further than the defending national champion Virginia Cavaliers to see the importance of defense in March. KenPom.com has Purdue as the No. 16 overall team, despite its seven losses. Purdue ranks No. 7 in adjusted defensive efficiency, behind the usual stalwarts such as Virginia, Duke, and Kansas, among others.

But, for Purdue to be considered a true national title contender, the Boilermakers need someone else besides sophomore forward Trevion Williams to step up and become a consistent scorer. The Boilermakers currently have four players averaging between 10 and 12 points per game. Unlike last year’s team, this Purdue squad lacks a true go-to guy like Carsen Edwards who can create his own shot. That is usually an issue in March.

Don’t Trust Purdue in March

There are things to like about this Purdue team. The Boilermakers play outstanding defense, have some talent in the frontcourt, and are battle-tested after last year’s deep run. Although some of the names have changed, Purdue still has head coach Matt Painter.

However, the home/road splits are a concern. While the Boilermakers will be a tough out for anyone in March, they are not a team you should be counting on for a deep postseason run. No Carsen Edwards means this team will struggle to score against more athletic teams in the tourney. One positive to consider in Purdue’s favor is how it performed against two of the better defensive teams in America in Virginia and Michigan State.

Then, you remember the ugly loss at Nebraska and the Boilermakers scoring just 37 points against Illinois team ranked 31st in KenPom’s defensive efficiency ratings.

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