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Pick on the spread for Rutgers-Purdue on March 10

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Friday’s college basketball matchup between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Purdue Boilermakers.

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NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights picked up a huge win on Thursday vs. the Michigan Wolverines that boosted their NCAA Tournament resume but a win on Friday against the Purdue Boilermakers would greatly reduce their perspiration levels on Selection Sunday.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Purdue Boilermakers (-5.5, 128)

Entering the Big Ten Tournament, Rutgers ranked fourth in the nation overall in points allowed per possession but also allowed 21.7 points more per 100 possessions in games played on the road.

The Rutgers offense has been one of the worst in the nation since starter Mawot Mag went down with a season-ending injury. Even including the Feb. 4 game against the Michigan State Spartans where Mag originally left due to injury, Rutgers has scored 62 points or fewer in eight of its last 10 games.

The last time these two teams squared off, Rutgers came out with a 65-64 road victory. In that game the Scarlet Knights made 6-of-14 shots from beyond the arc, a number that should regress considering it entered the Big Ten Tournament ranked 295th in 3-point shooting percentage at 31.9%.

The Scarlet Knights have to try to get their offense going early against a Boilermakers squad that ranks 21st in the nation in opponent 3-point shooting percentage in away games and rosters Wooden Award front-runner Zach Edey.

The 7-foot-4 Edey ranks in the top 10 qualifying Division I players in points and rebounds, averaging 21.9 points and 12.8 rebounds per game this season. He also averages a whopping 2.3 blocks per game, good for 17th in the nation.

Edey’s contributions are why Purdue has the top rebounding rate at 58.4%, with no other team even eclipsing 56.5%.

With the way Rutgers has executed on offense without Mag coupled with Purdue’s ability to control the boards consistently, Purdue will avenge its January loss and make Selection Sunday a stressful one for its conference foe.

The Play: Purdue -5.5

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