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Gonzaga vs. Purdue: Picks, Predictions, Odds and Player Props

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Purdue Boilermakers face off on Friday night at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.

Purdue will have a small home-court advantage due to the proximity of East Lafayette to Detroit, but expect Gonzaga’s fans to travel and have a strong showing for Mark Few’s team.

Both these teams have played at a championship level over the past week, but only one team can advance and Gonzaga can pull off an upset on Friday.

Here’s a preview of the matchup and our expert picks for the game.

Gonzaga vs. Purdue betting picks and predictions

Gonzaga +5.5

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Mark Few have never won a National Championship, but this program has qualified for the last 16 or further in nine straight tournaments.

Few typically leads this team past the first weekend, but making the Final Four has been a different story and now they will have to take down the likely National Player of the Year, Zach Edey.

The Purdue big man is averaging 24.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per game on 63.4% shooting and already has 53 points and 35 rebounds through two games at this year’s tournament.

Although Gonzaga won’t be able to stop Edey completely, there are other ways to take down Purdue.

The Bulldogs don’t have one single player leading the way, as six players average between 9.2 and 16.4 PPG. Graham Ike (16.4 PPG and 7.3 REB), Anton Watson (14.5 PPG and 7.2 REB) and Ryan Nembhard (12.6 PPG, 4.0 REB and 6.9 AST) make up the main trio for the Zags, and Ike will need to stay out of foul trouble against the Boilermakers.

Braden Huff and Ben Gregg are both 6’ 10” and can man up against Edey, so it will be critical that Few allows Ike to stay in the game and attack the big man on the offensive end. 

These two teams faced off back in November at the Maui Invitational and Purdue won 73-63.

The Boilermakers have been held to 75 points or fewer in just nine of their 35 games this season and three of their four defeats this season came when they scored 75 points or less.

So, Gonzaga has shown they can slow down Purdue’s offense, but the Zags must make their threes. They went 6-32 from deep in the loss and shot just eight free throws. 

Few will be telling his team to attack Purdue’s defense on Friday, which should lead to open threes. They’ve gone 18-36 (50%) from three through two games in the tournament, and if the Zags shoot 40% or better from three, they can pull off the upset.

The Boilermakers have looked strong through two tournament contests, but Gonzaga has the players and skill to take them down.

Ryan Nembhard Over 12.5 Points

Anticipating that Gonzaga will take down Purdue on Friday, Ryan Nembhard will be a big reason why.

The Crieghton transfer can impact the game in multiple ways, but Gonzaga will need him to score on Friday night.

Edey’s presence will make scoring inside extremely difficult, so Gonzaga’s guards need to score early and often for this to be a game. Nembhard scored just 11 points in Gonzaga’s loss to Purdue earlier this season, but he took 17 shots in that game.

Although he couldn’t convert his attempts, he will easily score 13+ if he takes 17 shots on Friday. He’s mainly been a facilitator through two tournament games (13 points and 21 assists), but he scored 13 or more in seven of Gonzaga’s final eight regular season games.

Read more Men’s College Basketball Tournament coverage on site

Gonzaga vs. Purdue odds

Gonzaga

+195 ML

Purdue

-240 ML

Spread

Purdue -5.5

Totals

O/U 154.5

Gonzaga vs. Purdue player props

Player Points

Zach Edey (Purdue)

O/U 25.5

Graham Ike (Gonzaga)

O/U 16.5

Nolan Hickman (Gonzaga)

O/U 13.5

Ryan Nembhard (Gonzaga)

O/U 12.5

Anton Watson (Gonzaga)

O/U 12.5

Braden Smith (Purdue)

O/U 12.5

Read Gonzaga vs. Purdue: How to watch, TV Channel, streaming, start time, injury report and stats on site

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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