- The #2 Purdue Boilermakers face the #11 Gonzaga Bulldogs in Hawaii on Monday afternoon
- Purdue returns most of the key pieces from last season’s Big Ten-winning team, while Gonzaga is full of new faces
- See the Purdue vs Gonzaga odds, spread, picks, and predictions for Nov. 20
Two teams harboring national championship aspirations meet in Honolulu this afternoon as the #2 Purdue Boilermakers (3-0, 0-0 neutral, 2-1 ATS) face the #11 Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-0, 0-0 neutral, 1-0 ATS) at the Stan Sheriff Center at 5:00 pm ET (noon local time). ESPN 2 will have the broadcast.
The Boilermakers, who received seven first-place votes in the latest AP Top 25 poll, are listed as neutral-court favorites.
Purdue vs Gonzaga Odds
|Purdue Boilermakers||-4.5 (-110)||-195||O 155.5 (-110)|
|Gonzaga Bulldogs||+4.5 (-110)||+165||U 155.5 (-110)|
After opening at -5.5, Purdue is a 4.5-point favorite in the college basketball odds as of Monday morning. Gonzaga is +165 to win straight-up while the game total is a relatively high 155.5. The Boilermakers are getting the vast majority of action in the college basketball public betting splits, including 86% of moneyline handle and 68% of ATS handle.
Not only is Purdue the second-ranked team in the country, Matt Painter’s team also has the second-best odds to win March Madness (+1217 on average). Just outside the top-ten in the latest polls, Gonzaga is also just outside the top ten in the national championship odds (+2917).
Purdue Runs Over Xavier to Improve to 3-0
Led by reigning national player of the year Zach Edey, who is a heavy favorite in the Wooden Award odds again, Purdue has started the year strong with three double-digit victories. The first two came against overmatched competition – Samford (158th at KenPom) and Morehead State (232nd) – but the latest was an impressive 83-71 win over Xavier (31st). After the Musketeers took a 2-0 lead, Purdue responded with a 7-0 run and never relinquished the lead thereafter, taking an eight-point advantage into halftime.
As he’s done each game this season, Edey led Purdue in points and rebounds, dropping a season-high 28 – to up his average to 20.7 PPG for the season – while grabbing 11 rebounds.
Purdue isn’t a one-man Edey show, though. The team returns each of its top-four scorers from last season, including Fletcher Loyer (11.0 PPG, 2.4 APG), Braden Smith (9.7 PPG, 4.4 APG), and Mason Gillis (6.8 PPG, 3.8 PPG). Painter was also active in the transfer portal, bringing in fifth-year senior guard Lance Jones from Southern Illinois (13.8 PPG, 2.4 APG last season).
While last year will always be remembered for their first-round NCAA Tournament exit to #16 Fairleigh Dickinson – becoming just the second-ever #1 seed to lose to a #16 – it was massively impressive prior to that dud. The Boilermakers earned their #1 seed by going 29-5 and winning both the Big Ten regular-season title and Big Ten Tournament title. During the early non-conference play, they routed Gonzaga 84-66 on a “neutral court” in Portland (which was really more of a semi-home game for the Zags).
The Bulldogs had no answer for Edey that night as the 7’4 center had 23 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. Loyer and Smith added 14 apiece as the Boilermakers dominated the glass (46-31).
Gonzaga Starts Strong With Win Over Yale
Unlike Painter, Mark Few has to replace the vast majority of his production from last season. Gone are leading scorer and rebounder Drew Timme (21.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG) and second-leading scorer and rebounder Julian Strawther (15.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG).
As a result, the Bulldogs don’t enter this season with the hype they’ve gotten used to over the past decade, but there is still a boatload of talent on the roster. Anton Watson, who averaged 11.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game as a junior, is back for his senior season in Spokane. Few also lured 6’9 junior Graham Ike (19.5 PPG, 9.6 RPG last season) away from Wyoming and point guard Ryan Nembhard (12.1 PPG, 4.8 APG) from Creighton, while adding two impact freshman: 6’10 forward Braden Huff, who currently leads the team with 21.0 PPG, and 6’6 wing Dusty Stromer, who was #34 in ESPN’s national recruiting rankings.
The re-tooled Zags looked fairly cohesive in their first action together against Yale. After falling behind 16-2 in the first five minutes, the Zags had opened a five-point lead by halftime and ran away with an 86-71 decision, covering as 11-point home favorites. Huff had a team-high 19 points off the bench, while Nembhard added 16 plus seven assists and just one turnover.
Gonzaga’s only other game this year was a mismatch against DII Eastern Oregon, which they won 123-57. Sportsbooks did not list a spread for that game.
Purdue vs Gonzaga Prediction
There isn’t a player in the country who can matchup with Edey in the post. At 7’4 and three bills, he will have a size and strength advantage on literally everyone he faces. But Few’s additions in the offseason should have Gonzaga better prepared to at least slow him down this time around. Ike, Watson, Huff, and Ben Gregg are all capable rebounders in Gonzaga’s frontcourt. The way Gonzaga dominated the boards against Yale (42-28) provides a modicum of hope they won’t get out-rebounded to the same degree they were by Purdue in last year’s blowout loss.
In the backcourt, the Zags should have a modest advantage with Nembhard running the offense. Purdue ranked just 276th in three-point percentage last season, and their hot shooting to start this year (46.3% from three, fifth-best in the country) isn’t going to last.
Bettors can still get Gonzaga at +5 on the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
- Purdue vs Gonzaga pick: Gonzaga +5 (-110)
- Sascha Paruk’s 2023-24 NCAAM betting record: 5-3 ATS