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Texas vs Purdue: NCAA Basketball Betting Picks and Game Predictions

Texas vs Purdue
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Mackey Arena


A couple books opened Purdue as seven-point favorites. But most opened and still have the Boilermakers favored by eight. The total is hovering between 134 and 135.


These teams met last December. Texas beat Purdue 72-68 in Austin. Purdue got absolutely no offensive production from any of its players not named Carsen Edwards, who now plays with the Boston Celtics.

On the other side, Texas was led by 22 points from Matt Coleman, which was an anomalous performance that saw him reliably hitting three-pointers. The other three Longhorns who produced double figures are no longer with the team.

Both teams will feature players who participated in that game, but played a minimal role. Now, those players will need to step up.

Texas Faces A Big Challenge Inside

Last year, Texas’ most efficient scorer was center Jaxson Hayes, who took flight to convert 72 percent of his two-point opportunities. Hayes, currently in the NBA, was expected to be a long-term piece in front of the basket.

Hayes’ departure left a big hole in the frontcourt for former role players and guys who played limited roles to step up.

In their season opener, the only Longhorns who did anything inside were Jericho Simms and Kamaka Hepa. They combined for 5-for-5 from two against a small and low-quality Northern Colorado squad.

To say that Purdue will test Texas’ front court is an understatement. Seven-footer Matt Haarms is still patrolling the rim. The long-armed shot-blocking machine with an amazing head of hair that he constantly touches ranked 13th nationally in shot blocking percentage.

While Haarms provides height, Trevion Williams will have at least 30 pounds on any Longhorn. With his big body and physicality, he accumulated a 25.8 defensive rebounding percentage last year.

Purdue Lost Its Offensive Firepower

Last year, Purdue provided a major three-point threat. The Boilermakers ranked 44th nationally in three-point efficiency and owned the 18th-highest point distribution from three. It counted on Carsen Edwards, Grady Eifert, and Ryan Cline, who collectively accounted for 281 of the team’s 365 three-pointers.

In an attempt to make up for the loss of Edwards, Eifert, and Cline, Purdue grabbed Jahaad Proctor from the transfer market. The former High Point guard/forward was the centerpiece of Purdue’s offense in its season opener. He dominated both minutes and percentage of shots.

While Proctor had a big game against Green Bay, he’s always disappointed against stronger competition. His two worst games last season were the only two against tournament-caliber competition.

Proctor was poor against Ohio State and Wofford, combining for 5-for-19 against them. In eight career games against KenPom top-50 teams, he’s shooting 37.5 percent from two and 5-for-18 from three. Those numbers are even inflated by a lot of garbage time production in 2018 against Tennessee.

Although Purdue does own an advantage inside, Haarms isn’t typically a go-to scorer. As for other key Boilermakers, Eric Hunter shot 9-for-36 (25%) against Tier-A competition last year and Nojel Eastern is not reputed for his offensive ability, either.

Texas Lost Its Top Scorer

While the Boilermakers lack scoring options, Texas misses Hayes plus its most involved offensive piece in terms of percentage of possessions and shots, Kerwin Roach.

Without reliable scoring inside, this year’s Longhorns are absolutely driven by their guards. Matt Coleman is a great distributor and Courtney Ramey is their most talented scorer. However, Coleman is an unreliable scorer — his career average from two is 45.2 percent and his career three-point percentage is 31.

Ramey is the team’s go-to scorer — unless Jase Febres pulls out one of his random great scoring outputs -- and so it’s Ramey who I expect Eastern to focus on defensively.

Eastern is justifiably reputed as a top defender. He has great size and length at 6-6, while he still has the speed and agility to stay in front of opposing point guards.


Both teams lost major and consistent sources of offensive production without apparently reproducing reliable personnel. Texas will be largely confined to the three-point line with Ramey, Febres, and feel-good story Andrew Jones as it won’t compete inside against Purdue’s bigs. I don’t like relying on teams to hit threes in foreign venues.

On the other side, Purdue will be more balanced, but only because it’s neither particularly strong inside or outside the arc.

Best Bet: Under 135 at -105 odds with Heritage


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Jesus I was getting the impression that SS wasn't even going to play. Dude has a very quick release. Obviously hot today.


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Wow ref made a crucially bad foul call on Wheeler. Looks like he was anticipating the foul. Should totally be Purdue ball down two.

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