Saturday, January 19, 2013

Basketball Preview: Purdue vs. West Virginia - January 19th - 2:00 pm - CBS

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Big Ten conference game to bring you this special message.  Do you like large gross men with questionable ethics?  Gold suits? Coonskin caps? Muskets and hunting?  Then have we got a deal for you!  Tune in to CBS at 2pm on Saturday for a special edition of the Purdue vs. West Virginia Basketball Showdown!  Playing for the third time in four years, this match-up will feature two similar teams, each looking for consistency and an identity, and each with an overall record that belies their ability.
Most unfitting nickname ever

Why Purdue Will Win
In the two previous meetings, the victory went to the home team, so Purdue has that going for them.  Seriously though, if this game was on a neutral court I couldn't see it being bet as anything but a pure tossup. West Virginia plays physical defense, likes to rebound, spreads the scoring around without one go-to guy, and has a big man (Aaric Murray) who can cause problems for Hammons and do his own bit of scoring (10 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg).  They also have some other sizable forwards which may not allow Painter to go small as he's been doing recently, but the Mountaineers can also play four guards at times.  It's really going to be a chess battle since each coach has similar rosters to work with.

Why West Virginia Will Win
West Virginia shoots even more poorly than the Boilers (hard to imagine, right?), but they take twice as many three point shots as Purdue.  If those start falling, it becomes the main difference between these teams and will certainly give the Mountaineers the edge.

One thing you absolutely need to know before the game 
Since the game is being featured on CBS, let's look at how the Boilers have done in recent years in games on CBS (postseason excluded).  I expect this not to look very good.

  • Last year, Purdue played twice on CBS, losing in a big upset to Butler in the Crossroads Classic and getting owned in the second half by Michigan State at Mackey in the game immediately following Kelsey Barlow's dismissal from the team and DJ Byrd's suspension. (0-2)
  • Two years ago, the Boilers lost on the road to West Virginia on CBS, but they also beat Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio State.  Man that team had some big wins. (3-1)
  • Three years ago, they lost to Michigan State, and that was it. (0-1)
  • In the 2008-2009 season, they beat Davidson in the Wooden Tradition and also topped Wisconsin and Michigan.  The Boilers lost to Illinois and Michigan State (3-2)
So Purdue is 6-6, and I learned nothing from that exercise other than it's better than I expected, although not so good last season.  At least Painter doesn't have some terrible flaw getting the team ready for big weekend games on CBS.

One of the rare times he wears a suit and it's vomit-inducing.  Will he dress up for CBS?
Our Picks - We like to think we're better than Vegas.  So throughout the season, we'll be "betting" a whole dollar amount versus the spread between $1 and $32, but we can't repeat the same value twice. The spread for this game is Purdue by 3.5.

Erik's Bet: $5
Erik's Pick: Purdue 61 - West Virginia 56

Kirk's Bet: $13
Kirk's Pick: Purdue 64 - West Virginia 62

Erik +221 (15-4 Against The Spread)
Kirk -139 (7-12 Against The Spread)

Values already bet
Erik 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32
Kirk 13, 14, 15,16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32


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