Purdue Boilermakers vs. Wisconsin Badgers Line at -5.5

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Feb/01/2011
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Wisconsin Badgers Line

The Purdue Boilermakers vs. Wisconsin Badgers line was set at -5.5 coming into Tuesday night’s game.  Sportsbook.com also featured a total of 123 for this college basketball game

Mr. Force, meet Mr. Object. When Purdue takes its 18-4 record to the Kohl Center to take on the host Wisconsin Badgers Tuesday evening, it will be trying to snap a three-game road losing streak against a Badger team that is undefeated at home. Matt Painter’s squad is trying to figure out why it has averaged just 65 PPG in those last three road losses, nearly 15 PPG less than it has averaged in its home games. A win would keep Purdue within striking distance of the top-ranked Buckeyes (as much as you can be within striking distance of a team that’s undefeated). A victory for Wisconsin would draw the Badgers within a game of Purdue, as the Big Ten, like the Big East, continues to exhibit how brutally difficult it can be to build a winning streak in a conference where practically half the teams are nationally ranked.

The Badgers are trying to bounce back from one of their more disappointing losses of the season, a 56-52 defeat Saturday at the hands of the Nittany Lions from Penn State. Wisconsin held a 13-point, first-half advantage, as well as a nine-point lead at the break, before collapsing in the second half, primarily because of the weakness of its perimeter game. The Badgers were a paltry 6-of-20 from beyond the arc, that included a 3-for-14 second-half performance from downtown. This was in stark contrast to its previous game versus Northwestern, when Wisconsin shot 12-of-26 from three-point range en route to a 78-46 blowout win over the Wildcats. Badgers leading scorer Jon Leuer had 18 versus Penn State, but shot just 3-for-9 in the second half, when the Lions took control of the game. "We hit a little bit of a cold spell on these shots right here and every guy in that locker room knows that we have to hit a couple of those," coach Bo Ryan said. "It was just one of those days." The Badgers are looking forward to not having “one of those days” when they return home to the Kohl Center, where they have won 32 of their past 33, and opponents are scoring just 55 PPG on 38.7% shooting.

Homecourt dominance aside, Wisconsin first and foremost will have to worry about stopping the conference’s most complete big man in JaJuan Johnson (20.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG). Johnson, the leading scorer in the Big Ten, is trying to reverse a trend of mediocrity in the Kohl Center, where he has a combined 14 points in his past two games in that arena. That is in stark contrast to the 24.3 PPG he has averaged in his past six games. Purdue followed up its stunningly poor performance at Ohio State last week, an 87-64 defeat, with a 73-61 bounce-back victory over Minnesota on Saturday. Johnson had 24 points, while junior Ryne Smith came off the bench to provide a major boost, scoring 15. Senior E’Twaun Moore (17.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.4 APG) is second on the team in scoring, rebounds, and assists. While Johnson has struggled in his recent trips to Madison, Moore is averaging 17.3 points in his past three games in Madison, shooting 71% from the floor, in helping his team to two victories in its past three games at Wisconsin. The Boilermakers will need that kind of production again if they are to deal the Badgers its first home loss of the year.

Both teams have had similar success ATS this season. Purdue is 12-6 ATS overall and 6-3 in Big Ten play, while the Badgers are 10-6 overall and 5-3 ATS versus conference foes.

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