The 2021 NCAA Tournament is back in action on Friday evening with 16 first-round games. The second game of the night from Lucas Oil Stadium features a matchup between the fourth-seeded Purdue Boilermakers and the 13th-seeded North Texas Mean Green. Purdue enters with an 18-9 record, and this marks their sixth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. North Texas ended the season with a 17-9 record after taking the Conference USA Tournament Championship. This will mark the first NCAA Tournament appearance for the Mean Green since 2010.
Tip-off is at 7:25 p.m. ET in Indianapolis, Ind. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Boilermakers as seven-point favorites in the latest Purdue vs. North Texas odds, while the over-under, or the total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 125.5. Before making any North Texas vs. Purdue picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It has also returned almost $500 on all top-rated college basketball picks this season. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Purdue vs. North Texas in the NCAA Tournament 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for North Texas vs. Purdue:
- Purdue vs. North Texas spread: Purdue -7
- Purdue vs. North Texas over-under: 125.5 points
- Purdue vs. North Texas money line: Purdue -300, North Texas +240
- PUR: The Boilermakers are 7-2-1 against the spread in the last 10 games
- UNT: The Mean Green are 8-2 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why Purdue can cover
Unlike North Texas, who has never won an NCAA Tournament game and has just three appearances in school history, the Boilermakers are comfortable handling the pressure of 'The Big Dance.' This season marks the sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance for Purdue, and the 12th in 16 seasons under Head Coach Matt Painter. The Boilermakers have reached the Sweet 16 in each of the past three tournament appearances. They also should benefit from playing this game in their home state of Indiana, where the Boilermakers boast a 13-2 record this season.
Purdue had a rough start to the 2021 season, going 7-5 out of the gates. The Boilermakers hit their stride midseason and have an 11-4 record since the slow start. A big reason for their turnaround is the play of freshman center Zach Edey. The 7-foot-4 center has come on strong lately, averaging 12.6 points over his last eight games, compared to just 7.5 points per game before that. He and breakout forward Trevion Williams -- who averaged a team-high 15.6 points per game this season -- present a serious size mismatch for a North Texas squad that likes to play small.
Why North Texas can cover
The Mean Green enter the tournament as one of the hottest teams in basketball, and the seven-point spread might not be giving them enough credit for their recent play. As opposed to the 'known commodity' in Purdue, whose 51.8 percent cover rate against the spread indicates a tendency to be a bit overrated by oddsmakers, North Texas has an excellent 16-9 ATS record in 2021. North Texas covered in all four conference tournament games on its way to the school's first Conference USA Tournament title, and the Mean Green enter Friday's action with a stellar 8-2 record ATS in the past 10 games.
While North Texas doesn't have NCAA Tournament experience, it is a veteran team whose top-four scorers are all seniors who will be playing with their backs against the wall in what could be the final game of their career. Combo guard Javion Hamlet leads the charge for the Mean Green. Hamlet averaged 15 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds in 2021, which he elevated to an average line of 18.5 points, 7 assists, and 6.5 rebounds in UNT's four-game conference championship run.
How to make North Texas vs. Purdue picks
The model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 135 points. It also says one side of the spread hits in well over 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins North Texas vs. Purdue? And which side of the spread hits well over 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.