As great as Zach Edey is, the Under belongs in your betting picks Sunday when his Purdue Boilermakers face the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Sunday, March 12, 2023 – 03:30 PM EST at United Center
Zach Edey is the best player in college basketball today. If there was any doubt that Edey was going to win the 2023 Wooden Award, he probably put it to rest Saturday when he led the Purdue Boilermakers to an impressive 80-66 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
Here are some of Edey’s stats from that game in 35 minutes of work:
- 32 points, 14 rebounds, three assists
- 12 of 25 from the floor
- 8 of 11 from the line
- one foul, one turnover
Numbers like this haven’t been all that unusual for Edey. But he’ll find it difficult to match that performance this Sunday when Purdue faces the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Big Ten final.
The sportsbooks already have their player props for this game on the NCAAB odds board as we go to press; taking the Under on the most popular Zach Edey props is just smart business.
Can Penn State Stop Zach Edey?
They can certainly hope to contain him. The 7-foot-4 center had one monster game against the Nittany Lions on January 8, but the rematch on February 1 wasn’t quite as impressive:
January 8 (at The Palestra in Philadelphia)
- 30 points
- 13 rebounds
- 3 assists in 36 minutes
February 1 (at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette)
- 18 points
- 13 rebounds
- 1 assist in 29 minutes
Edey’s services weren’t required as much in that second game, with the Boilers blowing out Penn State 80-60. The first game wasn’t that close either; Purdue won 76-63 at what was technically a neutral site, but it was a de facto home game for the Lions, and they really had no answer for Edey.
Why Bet the Under?
That’s where the value is when it comes to sports betting – and even more so when dealing with player props involving the biggest names. The three props we’ve selected are among the most familiar on the market: Total PAR (Points, Assists, Rebounds), Total Points, and Total Rebounds.
We don’t have any player projections to work with at press time, but Purdue does project to win somewhere in the 69-63 range, which already suggests that Edey will have a harder time reaching his given targets.
Let’s start with that total of 37.5 for PAR. Edey cleared that bar in Purdue’s first game against Penn State, where he finished with 46, but “only” managed 32 in the rematch. Chances are he’ll land somewhere in between this Sunday; there should be fewer points to go around for the Boilers, which will limit Edey’s PAR to some extent.
NCAAB Pick: Zach Edey Under 37.5 Total Points, Rebounds and Assists (-125) at Bet365
How Bad Is Penn State’s Defense?
It’s not great. The Nittany Lions are No. 111 in the nation in defensive efficiency, according to Ken Pomeroy’s advanced stats. But they do improve to No. 66 in defensive rebounding at 26.3 per game, and No. 54 in field-goal percentage allowed at 46.8%.
Penn State also happens to operate at a very slow speed when they have the ball in their hands. The Lions are No. 318 in Division I when it comes to Adjusted Tempo, fitting in just 64.4 possessions per game.
Edey won’t be able to reach his scoring total of 22.5 points if he doesn’t get enough shot attempts.
NCAAB Pick: Zach Edey Under 22.5 Total Points (-105) at Bet365
What About Edey’s Rebounds Prop?
Rebounds are another matter, but even here, Penn State’s particular brand of basketball is what we need for our Under bet.
The Nittany Lions take a lot of their shots from behind the arc: 27.5 per game, which ranks 12th in Division I. Longer shots mean longer rebounds, and those are the ones that Edey will be least likely to hoover up.
Note that Penn State guard Jalen Pickett is one of their top rebounders at 8.0 per 40 minutes despite standing just 6-foot-4. The Lions also take just 29.9 shot attempts per game from 2-point range, which ranks No. 350 out of the 363 teams in Division I.
Edey managed to grab 13 boards in each of his two regular-season games against Purdue, so he’s certainly capable of going Over in this and the other two categories we’re dealing with. But having to play all these consecutive Big Ten Tournament games without any rest might be the difference-maker here. Bet accordingly.
NCAAB Pick: Zach Edey Under 11.5 Total Rebounds (-110) at Bet365