The Michigan Wolverines will aim to win their eighth straight Big Ten tournament game and in doing so their second consecutive conference championship when they take on Purdue on Sunday. Beating the Boilermakers won’t be easy as UM has dropped both matchups with Purdue this season, including their only home loss of the year. The Wolverines did beat top seeded Purdue last year on their way to a tournament title however. Oddsmakers have set Purdue as -4 favorites heading into this Big Ten championship game free pick.
Do the Wolverines Run Out of Gas Today?
Michigan finds themselves in the Big Ten championship game free pick after beating their in-state rivals Michigan State 75-64 on Saturday as +5 underdogs. The Wolverines opened the tournament with an OT victory over Iowa and a win over Nebraska as well. UM proved last year that they could win four games in four days but they’ll be up against a battle tested Purdue team that has already beaten them twice this season. Michigan has won six straight games heading into this contest and is powered by their defense, which has held 6 of 8 opponents to under 63 points.
UM is one of the few teams in the Big Ten that can match up with the size of Purdue. The Wolverines 6’11” Moe Wagner is averaging 15.3 points and 8 rebounds through the first three games of the tournament. He’ll be up against 7’2″ Isaac Haas on Sunday. Wagner has put up 13.0 ppg and 5 rebounds in the two games against the Boilermakers this season. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had one of his best games of the year when he put up 26 points against Purdue on January 25th. Him and Charles Matthews will need another big game today against Purdue’s inside-out attack.
Can Purdue Make It Three In a Row Over the Wolverines?
The Boilermakers have won five straight of their own but they also have a tendency of playing down to their opponent as they’ve gone just 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10. Purdue is also 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 against a team with a winning SU record. Purdue won both meetings with the Wolverines this season, but Michigan covered in both and the Wolverines are 4-0 ATS in the last four head-to-head contests.
The two games against Michigan this year were a 92-88 home win as -11 favorites and a 70-69 victory in Michigan as -1.5 favorites. Haas is averaging 20.5 points and 6.0 rebounds versus UM this year while Vince Edwards went for 30 in the game in West Lafayette. It’s ben Carsen Edwards that is the front runner for the MOP of the tournament as he’s averaged 26.5 points through the first two games. Another big game from Edwards in the Big Ten championship game free pick can give Purdue their first tourney trophy since 2009.
Big Ten Championship Game Free Pick
Michigan +4 is the 4th most popular bet on today’s CBB slate as nearly 70% of the public is behind the Wolverines. Purdue hasn’t covered many games lately, but they’ve also been 8 point favorites or more in 9 of the last 10 games. The Boilermakers have talent, depth (they bring a 7’3″ freshman off the bench), and have played one less game than the Wolverines this weekend. With 10+ days off until the NCAA opening round, expect Purdue to be focused on getting the ‘ship and then resting up for a long tourney run.
Free Pick: Purdue Boilermakers -4