2020 Purdue Boilermakers NCAA Basketball National Championship Odds with Predictions
Last year was a big year for the Purdue Boilermakers. They went 16-4 in conference play in the tough Big Ten to grab a share of the conference regular-season title - their conference record 24th. They were knocked out early in the Big Ten Tournament by Minnesota but rebounded by beating Old Dominion, Villanova and Tennessee as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament to reach the Elite Eight before falling to the eventual champions from Virginia in overtime. Matt Painter was named national coach of the year for putting that season together after losing four senior starters from what was then the winningest class in school history. Don't look now, but Painter can coach. But now he has to deal with the loss of his best player, and two more senior starters to boot. Reloading and not looking back is what Painter does - the team lost superstar Caleb Swanigan two years ago and didn't miss a beat. But can they keep it up and remain dangerous yet again?
Purdue Boilermakers Additions/Losses
The big departure is Carsen Edwards, the all-World guard who averaged 24.3 points last year and made his final statement by sinking an NCAA Tournament record 28 three-pointers in four games on his way out the door. Having nothing left to prove, he opted into the draft after his junior year and went 33rd overall to Philadelphia before being traded to Boston, where he is trying to carve out a role now. Senior guard Ryan Cline, who averaged 12 points per game, and senior forward Grady Eifert, also graduated. Together, they represent the winningest senior class in school history, eclipsing the class from just the year before. That's a lot of leadership and scoring to make up for.
A key guy to keep things rolling is junior center Matt Haarms, a 7'3" giant from the Netherlands. He was solid last year and feels like he has a chance to be a breakout player this year in the mold of so many big Purdue stars who came before him. Freshman Mason Gillis, the only forward in an undistinguished recruiting class that was just eighth best in the Big Ten, will be looking to establish himself at the four.
In the backcourt, they have to figure out how to make up for the loss of Edwards. Grad transfer Jahaad Proctor, who scored 19.5 points per game last year at High Point in the Big South, is one guy who could help fill the void depending upon how well his offense translates to a much tougher league. His first game for Purdue was only against Green Bay, but his 26 points and five boards in 38 minutes are an early indicator that he could be just fine. Shooting guard Brandon Newman is the top recruit in the class at 126th nationally and has the outside shooting abilities that Purdue looks for. And freshman point guard Isaiah Thompson, the brother of former Purdue point guard P.J., will be looking to work his way into things, too.
Purdue Boilermakers Schedule
The nonconference schedule isn't relentless, but there are plenty of challenges and opportunities to prove themselves. They rolled over Green Bay in their opener, but up next is Texas and then a challenging trip to Marquette. Their early-season tournament is the Emerald Coast Classic, where they could face a ranked VCU team, then Florida State or Tennessee. And right after that they have a brutal game against Virginia in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The last challenge before plunging into conference play is playing geographical rival Butler in Indianapolis.
Purdue Boilermakers Futures Odds and Trends
Purdue is the sixth choice to win the Big Ten at +1400, trailing Michigan State , Maryland, Ohio State, Michigan, and Minnesota. That is far less optimistic than the pollsters are - they are the fourth highest ranked team in the conference. They are at +3300 to win the national title, which has them tied with Michigan and behind 14 other teams. In a strange way, the oddsmakers are implying that it would be easier for them to win it all than to win the Big Ten. The conference is very tough, but not that tough.
The Boilermakers went 26-10 last year. They went 20-15-1 ATS and went over the total 20 times and under 16.
Purdue Boilermakers Predictions
My first instinct was to discount the chances of this team. They lost a lot and are very young - they have only two seniors and two juniors on the roster. But then I felt some version of this same way coming into each of the last two seasons, and doubting the program did not go well for me. In Haarms and Nojel Eastern, they have two of the better defensive players in the league - at least potentially. If Proctor can keep scoring, and some other guys could step up, this team will be in fine shape. I look for them to take a step back from last year, but not a giant one.
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