The Fairleigh Dickinson Knights face a really tall task Friday when they face the Purdue Boilermakers in an East Region first-round matchup at the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The Knights (17-15) are the No. 16 seed after Texas Southern 84-61 in Wednesday’s First Four game in Dayton, Ohio. Now they’ll be in Columbus to face third-ranked No. 1 seed Purdue. The Boilermakers (29-5) are led by 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey, who will tower over the nation’s shortest team. FDU is in the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time but has never advanced past the first round. Purdue sent the 16th-seeded Knights home in their 1988 opener.
Tipoff at Nationwide Arena is set for 6:50 p.m. ET. The Boilermakers are 23-point favorites in the latest Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Purdue odds, and the over/under for total points scored is 145. Before making any Purdue vs. Fairleigh Dickinson picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s Larry Hartstein.
A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. He also has been SportsLine’s most profitable college basketball expert. In his last 169 college basketball picks, he has gone 97-71-1, which translates to a $1,895 return for $100 bettors.
- Purdue vs. FDU spread: Boilermakers -23
- Purdue vs. FDU over/under: 145 points
- Purdue vs. FDU money line: Knights +2100, Boilermakers -10000
- FDU: The Knights are 3-2 ATS in their past five in the NCAA tourney.
- Purdue: The Boilermakers are 1-6 ATS when favored by 15 or more.
- Purdue vs. FDU picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Purdue can cover
The Boilermakers are 5-3 against the spread at neutral sites and face an FDU team that had a losing record straight-up on the road this season (8-9). The Knights also don’t have a player in the same layer of atmosphere as Edey, with FDU’s tallest regular contributor 6-foot-6. Edey is second in the nation in rebounding (12.8 per game) and sixth in scoring (22.3) and blocks 2.1 shots per game. Purdue has a 10.7-point average scoring margin, allowing just 62.5 points.
Meanwhile, FDU is one of the nation’s worst defensive teams, yielding 76 points per game, which ranks 330th in Division I. Edey hits more than 60% of his shots, and the Boilermakers make 46.1% as a team. The Knights are 358th on opponent field-goal percentage (48.4). Guard Braden Smith is also a key player on both ends for Purdue, averaging 9.8 points, 4.3 assists and 1.2 steals. Fletcher Loyer scores 10.9 points and has hit 56 3-pointers this season.
Why Fairleigh Dickinson can cover
The Knights know they have nothing to lose after getting into the tournament despite losing the NEC Championship game to Merrimack. The Warriors are in the final year of their transition to Division I so were ineligible. Still, the Knights are capable of scoring with just about any team, as they rank 38th in the nation in scoring 78.3 points per game. Six players average at least 6.5 points and at least three rebounds, led by senior guards Demetre Roberts and Grant Singleton.
Both players produce across the board, as they combine for 30.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 3.2 steals. Forward Ansley Almonor averages 14.4 points and 4.8 rebounds and has blocked 23 shots this season. All three can shoot from outside, as all three have hit at least 60 3-pointers. Between them, they make almost 37% of their attempts from long range. Purdue has lost four of its past 11 games after losing once in its first 23 and relies very heavily on Edey.
How to make Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Purdue picks
Hartstein has broken down Friday’s Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Purdue matchup, and he’s leaning Over the total. He also has discovered a crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. You can see his picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Purdue vs. Fairleigh Dickinson in Friday’s NCAA Tournament matchup? And which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine right now to see who covers in Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Purdue, all from SportsLine’s No. 1 college basketball expert who has returned $1,895 on his last 169 college basketball picks.