Gonzaga vs. Purdue Prediction, Odds and Key Players for NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 (Target Total)

Mar 23, 2024; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Graham Ike (13) shoots against
Mar 23, 2024; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Graham Ike (13) shoots against / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue advanced out of the first weekend in its revenge tour from last season's first-round exit as a No. 1 seed, dismantling opponents as the top seed in the Midwest Region, winning its first two games by 67 points. 

Now, the competition picks up. The Boilermakers take on a surging Gonzaga team, who blew out its opponents as a No. 5 seed in the Midwest Region. This is a rematch from the team’s meeting in the Maui Invitational in which Purdue won by 10. However, the Bulldogs are playing their best ball now, especially on offense. 

Can Gonzaga slow down Purdue and eliminate the No. 1 seed? 

I have my eye on the total in this one between two potent offenses. 

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Gonzaga vs. Purdue Odds, Spread and Total

Purdue vs. Gonzaga Betting Trends

  • Purdue is 18-15-2 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • Gonzaga is 17-16 ATS this season
  • Gonzaga went UNDER in four of five games as an underdog this season
  • Purdue has gone OVER in 23 of 35 games this season

Gonzaga vs. Purdue How to Watch

  • Date: Friday, March 29th
  • Game Time: 7:39 PM EST
  • Venue: Little Caesars Arena
  • How to Watch (TV): TBS/truTV
  • Gonzaga Record: 27-7
  • Purdue Record: 31-4

Gonzaga vs. Purdue Key Players to Watch


Graham Ike: The Bulldogs big man only played 44 minutes in the first weekend as the team was lightly challenged by McNeese State and Kansas, but will need to be at his best against Purdue. The Bulldogs big man scored 20 or more points in 10 of the final 14 games in the regular season but will have a much bigger opponent in Edey protecting the rim for the post-up first player. 


Zach Edey: Edey overpowered both Grambling and Utah State, but can he find the same success against Gonzaga’s elite interior defense that is 10th in two-point field goal percentage? Nobody has the size to take Edey one-on-one and it's worth noting that Gonzaga is bottom 20 in the country in bench minutes, so foul trouble could play a role early and often. 

Gonzaga vs. Purdue Prediction and Pick

I’m counting on points in this one. These are two teams that were in KenPom’s top 10 in adjusted offensive efficiency and both defenses are slightly overrated. 

Neither defense pressures the ball very much and relies on its size to keep teams away from the rim. However, both teams have proven to be dangerous from beyond the arc, Purdue is the best three-point shooting team in the country and Gonzaga is 43rd in the nation. Further, Gonzaga has a potent mid-range game to shoot over Edey, seventh in mid-range field goal percentage, and of course, the Boilermakers have the 7’4” big man, the nation’s leading scorer. 

Gonzaga likely won’t have a real answer for Edey and can find themselves in foul trouble early, but I’m not sure Purdue will be able to slow down the Bulldogs in transition, who are led by point guard Ryan Nembhard. The team is seventh in effective field goal percentage and is 52nd in offensive rebounding rate as well.

The whistle will play a role in how Gonzaga will do in terms of winning the game, the team isn’t flush with big men to slow down Edey,  but I’m confident the offense can keep up in a high-tempo affair. 

With all that being said, I’ll take the over. 

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