March Madness Betting Odds: Purdue vs. Yale

After making a run to the Big Ten Tournament title game, hopes are high for the Purdue Boilermakers heading into the NCAA Tournament. However, they will face a talented foe in the first round, the Ivy League champion Yale Bulldogs. As could be expected, Purdue is a heavy favorite at Indiana sportsbooks.

While not common, No. 14 seeds have been known to upset No. 3 seeds over the years and have done so 22 times since 1985). Yale could become the 23rd No. 14 seed to pull off a first-round upset if the Bulldogs can exploit the hole in the Boilermakers’ defense.

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Purdue vs. Yale March Madness Betting Odds

SportsbookPoint SpreadMoneylineTotal
BetMGMPurdue -15.5 (-110)
Yale +15.5 (-110)
Purdue -2000
Yale +1000
Over 142.5 (-110)
Under 142.5 (-110)
DraftKingsPurdue -16 (-110)
Yale +16 (-110)
Purdue -1750
Yale +950
Over 143 (-105)
Under 143 (-115)
BetRiversPurdue -16 (-109)
Yale +16 (-110)
Purdue -1667
Yale +950
Over 143 (-109)
Under 143 (-110)
CaesarsPurdue -16 (-110)
Yale +16 (-110)
Purdue -2000
Yale +1000
Over 143 (-110)
Under 143 (-110)

Why Yale Could Win

Purdue has struggled to defend the perimeter all season. Pick and rolls have worked like a charm throughout the year. But does Yale have the personnel to take advantage of the Boilermakers’ shortcomings on defense? Eh—maybe.

The Bulldogs are led by Ivy League Player of the Year Azar Swain, a senior with a reputation for making tough shots look easy. He averaged 19.1 points per game this season but dropped 20+ in four of his last five games, including 23 in the Ivy League title game against Princeton.

After Swain, the Bulldogs have just one other player that averaged double-digit points (Jalen Gabbidon, 11.6 points/game). Against Purdue’s defense, scoring is the least of Yale’s worries. The problem is going to be slowing down the Boilermakers’ No. 13 scoring offense with a defense ranked No. 170.

Yale does, however, have the No. 35 three-point field goal defense in the country. Yale might have a chance if the Bulldogs can slow Purdue down from behind the arc. The Boilermakers rank No. 4 in three-point field goal percentage. But they will need someone other than Swain exploiting Purdue’s defense and putting up points.

Why Purdue Will Win

The Boilermakers are not a strong defensive team. It’s a point that has been widely talked about and analyzed, but since they can run up the score better than most, it has not been a huge issue for them. While Swain is a solid scorer, no one else on the Yale roster is impressive.

The Bulldog roster ranks No. 203 in offensive efficiency per kenpom.com, so ranking No. 100 in adjusted defensive efficiency per kenpom.com may be sufficient against Yale. If it isn’t, then Purdue will just have to unleash the third most efficient offense in the nation on the Bulldogs.

Purdue has the experience and talent to compete with the best teams in the country while crushing the rest of the competition. Yale certainly qualifies as one of the ‘rest.’

Betting Analysis

Purdue’s struggles with perimeter defense have opened the door for teams to beat it this year, but Yale does not have the talent nor the offensive philosophy to give the Boilermakers a challenge. The Bulldogs put little effort forth on the offensive glass and boast an offensive rebounding rate of 25.8%.

For a team that does not shoot particularly well, that’s a little surprising and makes it hard to see their March Madness run extend past the first round.

Our Pick: Purdue -15.5

About the Author

Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver is a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.