It's hard to believe that Michigan basketball is a 17.5-point underdog on Tuesday night against No. 2 Purdue, but that's where we are with the Wolverines sitting at 7-11 overall and 2-5 in the Big Ten.
Michigan basketball has the worst overall record in the conference. It's tied for last place in the Big Ten and the Wolverines also won't have their starting point guard, Dug McDaniel, due to his suspension for road games. Even with McDaniel, the Wolverines would be heavy underdogs, especially on the road against a team that hasn't really been challenged at home all season.
Zach Edey is the best player in college basketball. The 7-foot-2 center is a tough matchup, although Tarris Reed might be ok. Yet, the Boilermakers are loaded with shooters and are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country. Purdue is 10th in 3-point field-goal percentage (39.3) and part of that is constantly getting open looks due to the attention paid to Edey. Purdue has four guys making at least 1.3 triples per game. The Boilermakers score 1.19 points per possession. They also surrender just 0.97 points per possession.
It's really hard to see the Wolverines hanging around in this one. Purdue's 3-point defense is solid and it's going to require getting Zach Edey into foul trouble, plus forcing turnovers, which isn't something Michigan basketball has been great at all season.
Unless Michigan makes a barrage of 3-pointers and Purdue has a freezing cold night, it's hard to see this team hanging around within single digits. But you never know. That's why they play the games and here's how to watch, plus our prediction.
Michigan basketball vs. Purdue how to watch
Date: Jan. 23 Game Time: 9:00 PM EST Venue: Mackey Arena How to Watch: Peacock
Michigan basketball vs. Purdue odds
As we said, the Wolverines are a 17.5-point underdog. It's the first time Michigan has been a double-digit underdog since the 2021-22 season when the Wolverines didn't have Hunter Dickinson. The over/under is 152.5.
Michigan vs. Purdue prediction
The Wolverines would do well to keep this game competitive. I don't expect them to lay down and I wouldn't be surprised to see some fight in the first half, but Purdue is too good and Michigan is too bad on defense to keep it close.
Prediction: Purdue 89, Michigan 70