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Siena vs Purdue Picks – Experienced Saints march past Hummel-less Boilermakers

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/17/2010 2:41:03 PM
NCAA Basketball Odds Pick Siena +4

Online betting players thought that Purdue would be one of the top darkhorses at the big dance this year, but with an injured Robbie Hummel, the Boilermakers are now going into survival mode after getting thumped in the Big Ten tournament. Now, they’ll face a Siena team with a taste for the upset, and they’ve got enough balance and experience in their team for take down the Boilermakers.

Siena vs Purdue: Siena +4
  • What: NCAA Basketball Betting
  • When: Friday, March 19th – 2:30 PM ET
  • Where: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, WA
  • Key Stat: Siena is 2-4 against the Big Ten in the NCAA Tournament

The Siena-Purdue Storyline

The 13th-seeded Saints are back in the dance for the third straight year after beating Fairfield 72-65 in overtime of the MAAC final, and for the second year in a row, they’ll go up against a Big Ten team in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Siena followed up an upset of Vanderbilt in 2008 by shaking off Ohio State last year, and they’re definitely one of the trendy upset picks of the first weekend.

The fourth-seeded Boilermakers stumbled down the stretch, and after they got past Northwestern in the Big Ten tournament, Purdue was clobbered 69-42 by Minnesota in the quarterfinals. No team has suffered an injury like the Boilermakers have as Robbie Hummel’s knee injury has left them without a leader, and they panicked against Minnesota in the first half when they scored 11 points.

Offensive Matchups

The Saints are solid offensively, and Alex Franklin leads a balanced squad that doesn’t waste many shots. Siena doesn’t take many three-pointers, and they’re experienced enough that they remember the upsets over the last couple of seasons. Their starters are all seniors and juniors, and they won’t be daunted by this matchup. If anything, Franklin and Ryan Rossiter should flourish with Hummel missing.

The Boilermakers were never an offensive juggernaut, but they haven’t cracked 61 points in five games since losing Hummel, and his versatility really was a big key to a Purdue offense that is 113th in points scored. This means E’Twaun Moore and JuJuan Johnson need to step up, but even moreso, Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant have to raise their game. Hummel drew attention, which created space for Moore and Johnson, and that space isn’t there without the forward.

Betting Edge: Siena

Defensive Matchups

Siena is aggressive without committing a lot of fouls, coming in 16th in steals but first in fouls, and all of their starters average at least one steal per game. Franklin and Rossiter also get after it on the boards, but if you can keep these two off the glass, you can be successful against the Saints. Clarance Jackson, one of their best perimeter defenders, hurt his ankle and is trying his hardest to be ready for this game.

If the Boilermakers are going to avoid falling further down the sportsbook ladder, they may need to ratchet up their defense even more, but again, Hummel was a big part of that as well. In fact, he’s probably a better a defensive player than at the other end of the floor, and now Johnson is left as Purdue’s main rebounder, which is a shame because Purdue is 212th in that category to begin with. They’re also brutal at defending the three-pointer, allowing 35.7%.

Betting Edge: Even

Injuries

Jackson (ankle) is the main injury worry for the Saints, and he’s doubtful for this game right now, while we know Hummel (knee) is out for Purdue. But the Boilermakers are also waiting on the status of Moore (ankle) and Lewis Jackson (foot). Moore is likely to play, but Jackson is up in the air.

Betting Edge: Siena

Betting Prediction: Siena vs Purdue Picks

The Boilermakers are 4-point underdogs in this contest, and this is the first meeting between these two programs. There was talk of the Boilermakers becoming the first four seed to be an underdog, and you can’t even really put into words how much Hummel means to them. Purdue struggled without him last year, and they’re staring down the barrel of a first-round exit this year. The Saints are balanced, tough mentally, and they’re going into the game thinking they’re the favorites after winning their last five games. It’s a trendy pick, yes, but I can’t think of one reason why Purdue will win this game.

WASHINGTON’S Pick: Siena +4

For more sports betting tips and articles, check out the Betting Edge at BetOnline.

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