Returnees Shining for Sixth-Ranked Bulldogs
While some ranked teams have faced stiff opposition in the exempt tournaments, that wasn’t the case with either Purdue or Gonzaga in the Phil Knight Legacy event. Purdue scored the first nine points and rolled to a 80-68 win over West Virginia. Gonzaga put up 55 points on Portland State in the first half on the way to the 102-78 win.
Gonzaga allowed eight offensive rebounds in Thursday’s win and would gladly take that number again considering that Purdue big man Zach Edey leads all Division I players with an average of 5.5 offensive boards per game.
November has been very kind of Purdue with the Boilermakers winning their last 11 games in the month.
Gonzaga fell to 1-4 against the Las Vegas odds when listed as a 20-point favorite in Thursday’s 102-78 win over Portland State. That won’t come into play in this one as the Bulldogs are favored by five points.
The winner will play the winner of the Duke-Xavier matchup in Sunday’s championship game.
According to the college basketball playoff odds, Gonzaga (+325) is tied with Kentucky for the second-best odds to reach the Final Four. Purdue comes in at +2000.
Gonzaga is fifth in the coaches poll and sixth in the Associated Press Top 25 poll while Purdue is ranked 23rd by the coaches and 24th by the writers.
Gonzaga’s Drew Timme (+800) is second in the odds to win the Wooden Award as the national player of the year. Purdue’s Edey is priced at +2000.
Edey in it for the Long Haul
One of the issues for the 7-foot-4 Zach Edey has been his playing time. Whether it was conditioning or foul trouble, he played at least 25 minutes just three times in 63 games during his first two seasons.
It has been a different story this season.
After playing 24 minutes in a comfortable win against Milwaukee in the season opener, Edey has played 31, 33 and 27 minutes in the last three games. He picked up four fouls in two of those contests or his playing time might have been even higher.
Edey has posted double-doubles in each of the four games this season, and in the last three he is 27 of 36 from the field and has gotten to the foul line 27 times.
4 straight double-doubles to start the season.
18 & 10 so far. pic.twitter.com/slw5iJbWeT
— Purdue Men’s Basketball (@BoilerBall) November 25, 2022
Edey has seen his numbers rise from 8.7 points and 4.4 rebounds as a freshman, 14.4 points and 7.7 rebounds as a sophomore to 21.5 points and 13.3 rebounds this season.
Just one of Purdue’s first four games this season went over the Las Vegas oddstotal.
Smith Finds the Range
Gonzaga has had three different leading scorers in the last three games. It was Malachi Smith’s turn in Thursday’s win over Portland State.
The Tennessee Chattanooga transfer had 29 points in his first four games for Gonzaga. He matched that on Thursday. After going 5 of 12 in the last three outings, Smith was 9 for 12, including making all five of his 3-pointers as he had 23 points in the 102-78 victory.
With Smith adding offense while coming off the bench, this makes the Bulldogs even tougher to defend with returnees Timme, Julian Strawther and Rasir Bolton combining for 52.2 points per game.
It has been a quieter start for Gonzaga’s other high-profile transfer, with Efton Reid playing a total of 12 minutes over the last three games. Facing the 7-foot-4 Edey, perhaps there will be more opportunities for the 7-foot Reid on Friday.
Gonzaga has covered against the college basketball betting linesin only three of its last six games.
Purdue vs Gonzaga Game Injuries
Purdue vs Gonzaga Head-to-Head
This is the first meeting between the teams since 2000 when Purdue won 73-68 as a two-point favorite in the West Regional semifinal.
The last matchup between the teams in the regular season came in 1998 with Purdue, listed as a 10-point favorite, winning 83-68.
Purdue vs Gonzaga Game Information
- Game: Purdue (4-0) vs Gonzaga (4-1)
- Location: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
- Day/Time: Friday, Nov. 25th, 11:30 p.m. ET
- Purdue vs Gonzaga Live Stream: TBS.com
Purdue vs Gonzaga Betting Lines
Purdue vs Gonzaga Picks & Prediction
This will be the first game this season when Purdue is listed as the underdog. Look for the Boilermakers to provide a bigger challenge than Portland State did against Gonzaga.
The Bulldogs were pushed to the limit against Michigan State out of the Big Ten earlier this season and this could be another challenging assignment for a Gonzaga team that has also played Texas and Kentucky. Purdue is holding opponents to 37% shooting and 23% from 3-point range.
The total has gone over in seven of Gonzaga’s last nine games. This game could be headed the same way. Purdue’s size and physicality could keep the Boilermakers within five points.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are listed at -210 in our Vegas college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Bulldogs, you have a chance to win $48. The Purdue Boilermakers are +175, offering a chance to win $175 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Gonzaga a 67.74% chance to win, with Purdue at 36.36%.