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NC State vs. Purdue: Picks, Predictions, Odds and Player Props

The first of two national semifinal games on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona pits the top-seeded Purdue Boilermakers against the 'Cinderella' NC State Wolfpack.

On paper it may look like a mismatch, as Purdue has been a college basketball powerhouse for several years now while NC State needed an automatic berth to improbably make it into the tournament.

In reality, though, this has all the makings of an extremely entertaining showdown. With the game tipping off on Saturday evening at 6:09 pm ET on TNT, it’s time to break down the betting odds and make our best bets.

NC State vs. Purdue betting picks and predictions

NC State +9.5

NC State is in the midst of one of the most amazing runs in college basketball history. It has been going on for so long, too, that it clearly isn’t a fluke, with the sample size of this team’s success big enough to confirm that it is for real.

The Wolfpack reeled off five wins in five days to cut down the nets at the ACC Tournament, keeping their season alive when every game was a win-or-go-home situation.

Momentum continued to build with South Region defeats of Texas Tech, Oakland (in overtime), Marquette and conference rival Duke. This should be a decent matchup for head coach Kevin Keatt’s club.

DJ Burns Jr. has been the darling of March and he has the size to bang with Zach Edey down low. No, from a height standpoint Burns can’t compete – nobody in the nation can match Edey in height. However, Burns is a big body who can trouble Edey defensively and he is far more agile than Purdue’s star and wields a feathery touch that could draw Edey away from the basket when the ‘Pack are on offense.

DJ Horne is also on fire for NC State and Mohamed Diarra has scored in double-figures in four of the last five games.

The Wolfpack are getting contributions from so many spots on the court that they should be able to keep this game close from start to finish.

Under 146

This pick correlates nicely with NC State against the spread, as the Wolfpack probably need to keep the game somewhat low scoring if they want to be competitive or even win outright. After all, Purdue does not give up many points.

The Boilermakers allowed 50, 67, 68 and 66 points during their successful trek through the Midwest Region. They have not surrendered more than 70 points in regulation since March 5 (a 77-71 victory over a high-powered Illinois squad).

The matchup between Edey and Burns will be must-watch television. It’s also one that will likely be a physical slugfest as opposed to a points bonanza. It’s hard to think that N.C. State is going to let Edey score 40 points like he did against Tennessee in the Midwest Region final.

Keep in mind that even though Edey went for 40, Purdue still finished with a modest 72 points as a team.

NC State will be content to play a Big Ten brand of basketball against Purdue: hard-nosed, physical and defensive. Expect points to be at a premium.

Mohamed Diarra over 0.5 three-pointers made

Burns has been running circles around opposing big men dating back to the start of the ACC Tournament, but needless to say, that probably won’t happen when Edey is guarding him.

The Wolfpack may have to take their talents away from the basket and to the perimeter. With Edey manning the paint, Tennessee attempted 26 three-pointers and made 11 of them (42.3 percent). Gonzaga forked up 27 triples against Purdue in the Midwest Region semis.

Count on N.C. State dialing long distance plenty of times this weekend.

Diarra may be one of the guys who takes advantage. The 6’10’’ forward from France has drained at least one three-pointer in five of the last seven games and in 10 of the last 14.

Diarra’s stretch of four double-figure performances in the last five contests is his best of the entire season, so he is playing with a ton of confidence.

Read NC State vs Purdue: How to watch, TV channel, streaming, start time, injury report and stats.

NC State vs. Purdue odds

NC State

+350 ML


-450 ML


Purdue -9.5


O/U 146.0

NC State vs. Purdue player props

Player Points

Zach Edey (Purdue)

O/U 25.5

Braden Smith (Purdue)

O/U 11.5

Lance Jones (Purdue)

O/U 11.5

DJ Horne (NC State) 

O/U 15.5

DJ Burns Jr. (NC State) 

O/U 14.5

Casey Morsell (NC State) 

O/U 10.5

Read more Men’s College Basketball Tournament coverage.

Read the latest college basketball news on site.

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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