The top-ranked Purdue Boilermakers continue Big Ten Conference play when they take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Thursday night. The Boilermakers (8-0), who opened league play with a 77-70 win over Iowa on Friday, will be playing their first game in school history as the No. 1 team in the country. The Scarlet Knights (4-4), who opened conference play with an 86-51 loss at Illinois on Friday, are looking for their fourth consecutive win over Purdue. The Boilermakers have not won at Rutgers since Feb. 3, 2018.
Tipoff from Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway, N.J., is set for 7 p.m. ET. Purdue leads the all-time series 12-4, including a 3-2 mark at Jersey Mike’s Arena. The Boilermakers are 12-point favorites in the latest Purdue vs. Rutgers odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 139. Before locking in any Rutgers vs. Purdue picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
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- Purdue vs. Rutgers spread: Purdue -12
- Purdue vs. Rutgers over-under: 139 points
- PUR: The Boilermakers are 7-1-1 against the spread in their last nine road games
- RUT: The Scarlet Knights are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight home games against a team with a winning road record
Why Purdue can cover
The Boilermakers have four players averaging at least 12 points or more, led by sophomore guard Jaden Ivey. Ivey is averaging 15.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game, and is connecting on 52.3 percent of his field goals, including 40 percent from 3-point range. He poured in 19 points in the win over Iowa, and is averaging 18.5 points, four rebounds and two assists in his last two games. He has made at least two 3-pointers in four of the last five games, going 11 of 23 in that span.
Also powering Purdue is sophomore center Zach Edey, who already has posted two double-doubles this season. He has also reached double figures in six games, including three of 20 or more points. He scored a season-high 22 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds in a 92-67 win over Indiana State on Nov. 12. For the season, he is averaging 15.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 18.5 minutes per game.
Why Rutgers can cover
Senior forward Ron Harper Jr. has been a catalyst for the Scarlet Knights all season and is averaging a team-high 14.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He is also dishing out 2.4 assists and registering 1.1 steals. Harper has scored in double figures in seven of eight games, including a season-high 23 points in a 74-64 win over Clemson on Nov. 30. He has recorded four double-doubles. In four seasons at Rutgers, Harper has played in 97 games with 84 starts.
Sophomore center Clifford Omoruyi has also been a handful for opposing defenses, and is averaging 11.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He is connecting on 60.3 percent of his shots from the floor. He has reached double-digit scoring in six games, including a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds in a 48-35 win over Merrimack on Nov. 13. He has played in 26 games in his Rutgers career, making nine starts.