Northwestern vs. Purdue Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Wednesday, Jan. 31 (Boilermakers Get Revenge)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for Northwestern-Purdue. 

Jan 28, 2024; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Purdue Boilermakers guard Braden Smith (3) dribbles up
Jan 28, 2024; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Purdue Boilermakers guard Braden Smith (3) dribbles up / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off back-to-back home victories in the Big 10, the Northwestern Wildcats have climbed to the No. 4 spot in the conference heading into a showdown in West Lafayette, Indiana. Northwestern handed Purdue its first loss of the season Dec. 1, pulling out a 92-88 victory over the Boilermakers. Can they somehow sweep Purdue as massive underdogs at Mackey Arena? 

No. 2 Purdue has revenge on the mind after that loss to Northwestern spoiled a 7-0 start to the season. The Boilermakers have won five straight since losing to Nebraska Jan. 9 and have cruised in their last two home contests (95-78 vs. Penn State and 99-67 vs. Michigan). Does Purdue coast again as double-digit favorites? 

Here’s is the betting preview for Wednesday’s conference clash with a best bet. 

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Northwestern vs. Purdue odds, spread and total

Northwestern vs. Purdue betting trends

  • Northwestern is 9-9-2 ATS this season 
  • Purdue is 12-7-2 ATS this season
  • Northwestern is 3-4 ATS as an underdog
  • Purdue is 11-7-2 ATS as a favorite 
  • The OVER is 12-7-1 in Northwestern games this season
  • The OVER is 14-7 in Purdue games this season

Northwestern vs. Purdue how to watch

  • Date: Wednesday, Jan. 31
  • Game time: 6:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Mackey Arena
  • How to watch (TV): Big Ten Network
  • Northwestern record: 15-5 (6-3 Big 10)
  • Purdue record: 19-2 (8-2 Big 10)

Northwestern vs. Purdue key players to watch


Boo Buie: The 6-foot-2 senior guard is fifth in the Big 10 in scoring at 18.5 points per game, a career-high for the fifth-year standout. Buie has averaged double figures every season of his college career and is 128 points away from becoming Northwestern’s all-time leading scorer. He had 31 points on 10-of-20 shooting in the Wildcats’ upset of the top-ranked Boilermakers in December. He had 29 in Northwestern’s 96-91 overtime win over No. 10 Illinois on Wednesday. 


Braden Smith: The do-it-all guard averages 12.1 points per game while leading Purdue in assists (7) and is second in rebounding (5.5) behind John R. Wooden Award frontrunner Zach Edey. Purdue has the No. 1 three-point shooting team in the Big 10 led by Smith, who hits triples at 43.8% clip while backcourt teammate Fletcher Loyer shoots 42.4% from deep. After being held to single-digit points in three consecutive games, Smith has scored 30 points on a combined 11-of-14 shooting over the last two contests. 

Northwestern vs. Purdue prediction and pick

You’re not gonna find many metrics that go against Purdue in a majority of its contests this season, especially in conference play. Purdue is the No. 2 overall team in KenPom with the No. 2 offense and No. 11 defense.

Turn your attention to the perimeter, as it's been the only chance opponents have had this season to beat the Boilermakers. In its two losses, Purdue allowed Northwestern and Nebraska to go a combined 24-of-53 from beyond the arc (55.8%). The Wildcats went 10-of-20 in the December meeting. 

Northwestern’s offense is ranked No. 36 in KenPom and No. 24 in shooting from the perimeter. Purdue’s defense is No. 38 in defending 3-point shots but the Boilermakers have just been a different animal inside Mackey Arena, covering twice in three tries when laying double figures. 

Purdue has no trouble getting margin because of its ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor.

With Edey drawing so much attention in the paint, the Boilermakers are kicking it outside and rank No. 6 in KenPom in 3-point shooting and No. 11 in effective field goal percentage (Northwestern’s defense ranks No. 215). The Wildcats rank No. 300 in 3-point defense and  will especially get hurt on the offensive glass as they’re a poor defensive rebounding team (No. 221) and Purdue, led by Edey, ranks No. 18 in offensive rebounding percentage. Purdue cruises again at home - lay the points. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.