NC State and Purdue are set to face off on Saturday evening with a trip to the national championship game on the line.

The Wolfpack enter this contest on a 9-game winning streak dating back to the ACC Tournament. Purdue, on the other hand, has won 4 games so far in the NCAA Tournament, all by double digits.

Here’s a breakdown of this highly-anticipated showdown:

1 Purdue vs. 11 NC State betting info

Purdue is 20-15-2 against the spread so far this season and has covered in all 4 NCAA Tournament games. The Wolfpack are 3-1 against the number in the Big Dance, with all 3 wins coming when they were an underdog. Overall, NC State is 12-6-1 against the spread as an underdog this season.

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To help with making predictions in this matchup, here’s some advanced stats via KenPom for both teams:

Opponent-adjusted offensive ratings

  • Purdue: 126.4 (2nd)
  • NC State: 115.1 (40th)

Opponent-adjusted defensive ratings

  • Purdue: 95.3 (17th)
  • NC State: 99.0 (44th)

Opponent-adjusted tempo

  • Purdue: 67.2 possessions per game (205th)
  • NC State: 68.1 possessions per game (143rd)

Here are 3 player prop picks for this game:

Zach Edey over 40.5 points + rebounds (-130 at ESPN BET)

No one has been able to stop Zach Edey to this point in the postseason — or even slow him down — and I don’t see DJ Burns as being the first. Burns will have to be careful to not get into foul trouble early on. He’s been NC State’s best offensive player during this magical run to the Final Four and he is irreplaceable for the Wolfpack on both ends of the floor. Edey has cleared this number in 4 of Purdue’s 6 postseason games so far (including the Big Ten Tournament). NC State is pretty mediocre as a rebounding team, so Edey should be able to get plenty of boards to hit this number.

DJ Burns over 14.5 points (+100 at DraftKings)

Burns is averaging 16.6 points per game on good efficiency over this run of 9 straight wins for the Wolfpack. Foul trouble is a concern, especially against Edey, but I think NC State will have a plan for guarding the 7-foot-4 big man that doesn’t always include Burns. Ben Middlebrooks and Mohamed Diarra are going to contribute as well — they have to, as Burns only averages about 25 minutes per game. I’d expect that number to rise a bit given the stage, but Burns is not going to match Edey minute-for-minute. I think oddsmakers are anticipating some foul trouble for Burns, and that’s certainly within the range of outcomes. But it’s worth noting that Burns is only averaging 3.9 fouls per 40 minutes this season, which is by far the best mark of his career. He’s been very disciplined on that end all season. Burns should also get a few open shots in the mid-range as Edey sags back into the paint.


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Braden Smith over 7.5 assists (+105 at DraftKings)

Edey grabs all the headlines, but Braden Smith makes this offense go. He keeps the ball moving on the perimeter and throws an elite entry pass. Smith has easily cleared this number in 5 of his last 7 games. The lone exceptions are the Utah State game, when he only played 22 minutes because Purdue won in blowout fashion, and the Tennessee game, when he finished 1 assist shy. He had 15 in his previous outing against Gonzaga and also hit double digits twice earlier this postseason. I like Smith to get to at least 8 against the Wolfpack, especially at plus-money.