It can be lonely at the top as the top-ranked Purdue Boilermakers just fought off a spirited challenge from Michigan and now get to face Michigan State on Sunday.
Every Big Ten team except Minnesota has a winning record at home while only Purdue (6-0) and Northwestern (4-1) have winning marks on the road.
Purdue is back atop the two national polls as the Boilermakers received a total of 63 first-place votes. No other Big Ten team is in the top 25 in either the Associated Press or coaches’ polls. Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan State, Illinois and Wisconsin are receiving votes in both polls.
According to the college basketball playoff odds, Purdue (+1200) is fourth in the odds to win the national title. Indiana is next at +5000.
Here’s a look at the upcoming games in the Big Ten with some odds and betting information to consider.
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Game of Week
Michigan State vs Purdue
- Date, time (TV): Sunday, Jan. 29, 12:15 p.m. ET (CBS)
Michigan State and Purdue are both coming off hard-earned wins on Thursday night.
Tyson Walker had a basket and an assist on a hoop by Jaden Akins as the Spartans scored on back-to-back possessions late in a 63-61 win over visiting Iowa.
Just what @TysonWalker13 does. pic.twitter.com/XkmhznEo6v
— Michigan State Men’s Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) January 27, 2023
Balance was crucial for the Spartans (14-7, 6-4 Big Ten) as five players had 10-12 points in the win. Purdue is proving that there is more to its team than just 7-foot-4 national player of the year front-runner Zach Edey.
The Boilermakers (20-1, 9-1) outscored Michigan 23-9 in bench points in a five-point road win. Edey had 19 points and nine rebounds as he just missed his 17th double-double of the season.
Purdue has won six of the last seven showdowns with Michigan State. Four of the last five have been decided by five points or less while seven of the last nine finished under the total.
When the teams played on Jan. 16, Edey had the winning basket with three seconds to play as he finished with 32 points and 17 rebounds in a 64-63 win. Michigan State will try to even the season series. However, the Spartans are just 2-3 on the road.
Rest of the Weekend Schedule
Minnesota vs Northwestern
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, Jan. 28, Noon ET (Big Ten Network)
Northwestern is back at it after having a couple of games postponed due to Covid-19 issues within the program. Since returning to action, the Wildcats (14-5, 5-3) have topped Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Ty Berry is coming off a season-high 26 points in the win over Nebraska.
Minnesota is in the Big Ten cellar, but the Golden Gophers lost by four points in each of the last two games as Jordan Battle averaged 17 points in those two contests.
Minnesota (7-12, 1-8) has won just one road game.
Minnesota had won six of seven against Northwestern before the Wildcats’ 75-62 win in the last meeting.
Just one of the last five games in the series went over the total.
Illinois vs Wisconsin
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, Jan. 28, 3 p.m. ET (FOX)
After providing a spark off the bench, freshman Jayden Epps recently moved into the starting lineup and had 14 points in a win over Ohio State the last time out.
Wisconsin (12-7, 4-5) is in a bit of an offensive funk, shooting 39% in back-to-back losses to Northwestern and Maryland.
Illinois has won five straight against Wisconsin and covered in six in a row.
The Fighting Illini (14-6, 5-4) were 10 of 19 from 3-point range when the teams played on Jan. 7. The Fighting Illini won by 10 as a 7½-point favorite. It was the third straight game in the series to finish over the total.
Nebraska vs Maryland
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, Jan. 28, 4:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
After almost upsetting first-place Purdue, Maryland bounced right back with a convincing win over Wisconsin behind 22 points from Jamir Young. Young has scored at least 20 points in four of the last five games for the Terrapins (13-7, 4-5).
Nebraska (10-11, 3-7) is averaging just 59.2 points over its last five games and is 1-4 in those contests. The Cornhuskers have games with 19 and 23 rebounds over the last four outings.
The Cornhuskers have covered against the Las Vegas odds in just seven games, the lowest total in the conference. Just five of Nebraska’s games have finished over the total and that is tied for last in the Big Ten.
Maryland has won four in a row in the series as well as six of the last seven. Four of the last six games finished under the total.
Ohio State vs Indiana
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Ohio State (11-9, 3-5) is just 1-5 on the road and will be facing an Indiana team that is 10-1 at home.
Freshman Brice Sensabaugh had 27 points in a recent win over Iowa and has hit double digits in points in the last 13 games for the Buckeyes.
Trayce Jackson-Davis is averaging 30.3 points and 15 rebounds over his last three games for Indiana (14-6, 5-4).
Ohio State has won seven of the last nine games, and something of note to those who bet online: In each of the last seven games, the winning team also covered.
Four of the last five games in the series were decided by more than two points.
Michigan vs Penn State
- Date, time (TV): Sunday, Jan. 29, Noon ET (Big Ten Network)
Michigan will need to tighten things up on defense after allowing Purdue to shoot 54% from the field and 58% inside the 3-point line. The Wolverines fell to 0-3 against teams ranked in the Associated Press poll.
Jalen Pickett has been flirting with triple-doubles for Penn State (13-7, 4-5) with seven rebounds or more in six of the last seven games and at least six assists in 11 of his last 14 games. He is one of the reasons why the Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in 3-pointers made and attempted, while Michigan is in the middle of the pack in 3-point percentage defense.
Michigan has won three in a row and 10 of the last 11 games against Penn State. However, the Nittany Lions had covered in four straight matchups before Michigan’s 79-69 win on Jan. 4 as a four-point favorite.
Rutgers vs Iowa
- Date, time (TV): Sunday, Jan. 29, 2 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
This game features teams with completely different styles. Iowa (12-8, 4-5) is first in the Big Ten in scoring offense, but last in scoring defense.
Rutgers (14-6, 6-3) is in the top five nationally in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense, and will be tested by the high-scoring Kris Murray of Iowa.
Iowa looks to bounce back after a tough loss at Michigan State. Leading scorer Murray was held to 11 points as the Hawkeyes lost their second game in a row.
Even with a win over Purdue, the Scarlet Knights are flying a bit under the radar, though they are in second place in the Big Ten.
Iowa has won five of the last six matchups as well as four of the last five at home.
When the teams met on Jan. 8, visiting Iowa won 76-65 as a 5½-point underdog thanks to connecting on seven more 3-pointers than the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers had covered in five straight meetings before the Hawkeyes covered in three of the last four.
Rutgers leads the Big Ten with a 14-6 record against the college basketball betting lines. Iowa isn’t far behind with a 12-8 mark.