Minnesota hosts Purdue, Colorado at Stanford

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Vaughn Dalzell
·6 min read
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Purdue at Minnesota (-3)

This spread opened at -2 in favor of Minnesota and overnight grew to -3 and -3.5. The Big Ten home effect. Speaking of it, the Golden Gophers have played their best basketball at home. In 13 home games, Minnesota is 12-1 SU and has covered seven of the last eight at Williams Arena. The only loss was to a Maryland squad that also beat Illinois and Wisconsin on the road and split with Purdue.

Purdue has been hot on the road covering in their last four away from West Lafayette. The Boilermakers are 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine games overall and received guard Sasha Stefanovic back. He played 12 minutes and attempted three shots versus Northwestern and should not be expected to play more than 20 minutes on the road tonight.

Purdue has won the last two meetings, both at home versus Minnesota. In the last neutral court matchup and at Minnesota, the Gophers won both, which evens the series to 2-2 in the last four. Minnesota at home holds the advantage tonight. When Minnesota is home, they shoot 43.7% from the field compared to 34.7% on the road. Minnesota is hitting at a 30.1%-clip at home from three-point range but 28.1% on the road. Minnesota is 0-6 SU on the road this season.

Despite that, a common trend both teams have is the Under. In Minnesota's last five home games, the Under has cashed in all five, while Purdue's last five road games have gone Under four times. The Under is 8-2 in Minnesota's last 10 games overall.

Purdue is 3-5 SU on the road this season and 5-6 at Minnesota under Head Coach Matt Painter. Minnesota lost to Purdue 81-62 in the earlier meeting this season in West Lafayette. Purdue shot lights out from three (8/15) and 45.2% from the field in that win.

However, Minnesota is averaging 76.0 points per game this year, the most since 1992-93. The offense ranks 37th in adjusted offensive efficiency despite being 228th in two-point percentage (48.3%) and 309th in three-point percentage (29.4%). Guard Marcus Carr leads Minnesota with 19.9 points, 5.4 assists and minutes per game (35.2). 4.9 rebounds per game as a Gopher. Purdue not having Stefanovic at full strength does not help them in this matchup with Carr, and Zach Edey has been limited.

Edey, 7-foot-4 inch center, played 23 minutes in the last game after a combined 28 minutes in the last three games. That will be something to monitor, but Trevion Williams is the key to Purdue's success. Williams scored double-digits in 14 straight games before failing to in his last outing and has scored 20 or more five times this season. Williams averages 19.0 points per game in road Big Ten play, so that is where your attention should be if you have player props available for this matchup.

The only time you should back Minnesota is at home, and they should be pumped to host No. 24 ranked Purdue tonight. Minnesota beat Nebraska 78-61 at home earlier this week, giving them a chance at an undefeated week, both games at home and get revenge on Purdue.

Minnesota plays on the road the next two games, and Purdue has been off for four days and has four more off after this meeting. Take Minnesota, as they have been the more impressive team over the last two games and are a problematic squad to beat at home. I would buy the half-point and grab the -3. If this grows to -5, I will start to lean Purdue.

Game Pick: Minnesota -3 (1u)

Colorado (-1) at Stanford

For Stanford, injuries and COVID issues have started to affect the team again. Stanford won 76-70 at home versus California, sweeping the Golden Bears, but neither Ziaire Williams nor Daejon Davis (personal) took the court. Bryce Wills returned to Stanford after missing nine games since Jan. 4. He played 15 minutes and scored six points. On the season, Wills averages 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds with nine-of-10 games started.

If Davis and Williams are out, bet on Colorado as those are two of the three highest used players on the team. Williams was supposedly available to play against California but did not see the court, so he is the main player to monitor for this matchup.

Williams holds the second-highest usage rate (26.3%) despite an atrocious 88.1 offensive rating, 10th on the team. Williams has not played since Jan. 16, missing six straight games but scored double-figures in eight of his last nine outings. Davis has played in seven games and averages 13.1 points on five double-digit performances. The last game he played was on Jan. 16, a 13-point loss at Colorado, which he scored four points.

The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. In the last 16 games, Colorado is 11-5 ATS as the favorite. Colorado gets the slight edge pre-tip with the availability of Davis and Williams in question. Colorado has won 11 of the past 13 meetings between the programs and the earlier meeting, 77-64.

Stanford swept California but lose the last two games before that back-to-back. Colorado is 4-4 SU on the road this season and 3-0 SU on neutral court floors. Colorado has yet to play a road game since Jan. 23. The Buffaloes are 2-1 SU in their last three road games, losing 84-80 to lowly Washington as they went on a two-game tear, taking down Colorado and Utah before going back to another losing streak.

Stanford has lost the last six games in Boulder, Co and won two straight in Stanford. Stanford will be playing the third actual home game in Stanford after playing Santa Cruz due to COVID laws. Stanford went 5-0 SU in Santa Cruz this season and maybe should have stuck it out there, losing in the first home game back to Maples Pavilion. Stanford lost 72-66 to USC in the home-opener (Maples Pavilion) and beat California 76-70.

If Davis or Williams are out, this spread will grow to -3 or higher despite Stanford's success at home. The Buffaloes rank No. 9 in the nation with 116.5 adjusted offensive efficiency and the 41st ranked defense (93.9). Stanford fouls 17.1 times per game (133rd) and Colorado is the No. 1 team in the nation when it comes to free-throws, hitting 83% at the charity stripe.

Colorado has attempted 347 free-throws this season (17.3 per game), the 89th-most in the country. The Buffaloes also average 1.11 points per possession and hold both a top 100 turnover percentage, both offensive and defensive.

Expect Colorado to be aggressive and if Davis and Williams are out. If so, I like Colorado to get the outright Moneyline win and spread up to -3. If Stanford has a full roster with Davis, Williams and Willis, this becomes a stay away game or back the home team.

Game Pick: Colorado ML (1u) - If Davis and Williams are OUT