North Texas vs Purdue March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 19

Updated: March 15, 2021

Jared Hochman

Clock Icon Mar 15, 2021 – 12:24 AM ET

One of the most interesting college basketball betting matchups of the opening round takes place in the South Region, where No. 4 Purdue plays No. 13 North Texas.

It’s a classic narrative for making March Madness picks: the senior-laden mid-major against the younger roster from a big-time conference.

Which squad will prevail in this David vs. Goliath matchup? Find our thoughts below in our free North Texas vs. Purdue picks and predictions for Friday, March 19. 

North Texas vs Purdue odds

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The line opened at Purdue -7.5, with the total at 125. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

North Texas Mean Green vs Purdue Boilermakers betting preview


North Texas: Rubin Jones G (Out).
Purdue: Ethan Morton G (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Mean Green are 5-0 ATS in their last five neutral site games. Find more NCAA betting trends for North Texas vs. Purdue.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Considering Purdue was another team to survive the rigorous Big Ten season, they are no doubt battle-tested heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers finished 18-9 SU this season (14-11-2 ATS) but were bounced out of the Big Ten Tournament in a quarterfinals overtime loss to Ohio State.

That loss snapped a five-game SU and ATS streak, but that doesn’t change the fact that Purdue is a deep, balanced team, ranking 23rd in KenPom’s adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. The Boilermakers, currently with March Madness odds of +6,600 to win the title, are led by All-Big Ten First Team selection Trevion Williams, a 6-foot-10 forward that averaged 15.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game and stepped up to drop 26 points in the loss to OSU.

That said, there are some reasons to hesitate on automatically just backing Purdue in this matchup. First, the Boilermakers only have one other player that averages double-figures. Second, Purdue is not a great 3-point shooting team (188th in the nation at 33.5 percent). And third, this is a young roster facing North Texas—which is a Cinderella backer’s dream.

The Mean Green only finished sixth in Conference-USA this year, heading into the conference tournament on a three-game losing streak, but banged out four straight wins – including an overtime victory against Western Kentucky in the title game – to get back into the Big Dance for the first time since 2010. That would immediately make us think that North Texas is lucky to be here, and would be severely overmatched, but think again: The Mean Green start five upperclassmen, have a true difference-maker in two-time All C-USA guard Javion Hamlet, they shoot the ball very well—and they defend.

North Texas is 39th in the nation in effective field goal percentage and 30th in the country in 3-point percentage (37.6 percent), while getting after you defensively. The Mean Green are 42nd in adjusted defensive efficiency, they only allow opponents to shoot 40.9 percent from the floor and give up the 10th-fewest points per game.

Purdue has been a 7.5-point (or larger) favorite six times this season and is 3-3 ATS in those games. Without the luxury of being able to rely on the deep ball, this game could be a slogfest against a tenacious Mean Green defense.

North Texas faced off against Arkansas, Mississippi State and West Virginia earlier in the season. It lost each game but remained competitive, and already has an idea of what life is like against top-tier competition. It may not be able to pull off the upset, but this has the recipe to come down to the wire—so we’re backing the Mean Green with the points. 

PREDICTION: North Texas +7.5 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

Not only are these teams both in the Top 50 in adjusted defensive efficiency, but, my goodness, they love to play slooooow.

Purdue is 274th in the nation in adjusted tempo, averaging 18.4 seconds per possession (295th in the country), while the Mean Green are 350th in tempo and 326 at 19.0 seconds per possession.

These clubs like to take the air out of the ball and work at a slow, methodical pace, and with Purdue allowing opponents to only shoot 31.5 percent from beyond the arc, while not being a great 3-point shooting team itself, points are going to be coming the hard-earned, old-fashioned way.

The Under has also hit in 10 of North Texas’ last 13 games, while Purdue has gone 3-2 O/U in its last five.

It’s a low total, but we’re expecting this to be a grind to the final buzzer. Let’s go with the Under.

PREDICTION: Under 125 (-113)

Covers March Madness betting analysis

First-half team total pick

One of the most noticeable storylines in any March Madness game is seeing how young players handle adversity on the biggest stage. Experience shines through, especially in the early going when players are getting their footing.

We think that plays into the hands of the senior-heavy Mean Green, who should lay the defensive pressure on Purdue (which has four freshmen in its rotation and nary a senior on the roster) and frustrate the young squad in the early going.

We’re expecting the Boilermakers to weather the storm in the early going and regroup at the half—but “weathering the storm” means it’s a very low-scoring opening half for the South’s No. 4 seed. 

PREDICTION: Purdue first-half team total Under 31.5 (-115)

North Texas vs Purdue betting card

  • North Texas +7.5 (-110)
  • Under 125 (-113)
  • Purdue first-half team total Under 31.5 (-115)

March Madness parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s March Madness North Texas vs. Purdue picks, you could win $57.28 on a $10 bet?

Use our March Madness parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on March Madness odds?

March Madness is one of the most popular times of the year for sports bettors, which of course makes it one of the busiest times of the year for online sportsbooks. Every betting site will offer March Madness odds but the top sites are safe and secure, offer a wide range of banking options, and give you a ton of markets for each game. Check out the best March Madness betting sites in your region.

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