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12/20 Big Ten Preview: Purdue Faces Ohio

Preview the Big Ten’s slate for Thursday.

NCAA Basketball: Crossroads Classic-Notre Dame at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten will continue its lead up into Christmas with one game on Thursday night. Purdue will return home after falling to Notre Dame on Saturday and will face a feisty Bobcat squad.

Let’s take a look at today’s Big Ten action.

Game of the Day:

-Ohio Bobcats at Purdue Boilermakers

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Purdue (-17)

For the first month and a half of the season, Purdue has teetered on the edge. The Boilermakers are 6-5 overall, but four of the losses have come by single-digits and all five have come away from home. It’s why Purdue is an incredible 332nd nationally in KenPom’s luck metric. Things just haven’t fallen the right way for the Boilermakers.

On the one hand, the nature of Purdue’s losses is relatively encouraging. This is a good team. Maybe not a great or nationally elite team like last year. But this is a quality team. Otherwise, Purdue wouldn’t have been so close in so many games against tough teams.

However, it’s also left Purdue with a pretty thin resume heading into Christmas. And that’s a pretty big concern. The team’s only marquee win came against Maryland and the Terps haven’t exactly been perfect, either. Simply put, Purdue needs to start compiling wins before we get too close to March.

And with that pressure building, Purdue heads into Thursday looking to grab a key win against Ohio at home. However, this isn’t a simple “buy” game. The Bobcats are 7-3 overall and have a pretty good defense. Carsen Edwards and his teammates are going to have to work on Thursday night. Purdue will need a relatively focused effort. Expect things to stay close for awhile, until the Boilermakers pull away in the second half.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Purdue

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 27-18-1