Purdue heads into what is now their biggest game of the season next Saturday against #5 ranked Michigan State at Ross-Ade Stadium.
The “Spoilermakers” reputation has re-emerged this year with their upset of Iowa a couple of weeks ago, which odd makers have definitely taken into account. Purdue has opened as a +2.5 point underdog for their matchup against the Spartans per Draft Kings Sportsbook. Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
This is a surprising spread given Purdue’s inconsistency and Michigan State’s undefeated season through week 9 of the college football season. Let’s take a bit of a deeper dive into the betting implications for this game.
Following Saturday’s win over Nebraska, the Boilermakers moved to 5-3 overall on the season. They are now a middling 4-4 against the spread and 1-7 on the closing over/under. (Last week I predicted correctly when the odds first came out of Purdue covering and the over 49 hitting.)
Michigan State on the flip side has been a hot commodity in the betting world this year, to little surprise. At 8-0 overall, the Spartans are a clean 6-1-1 against the spread this year. They failed only against Youngstown State and ended up pushing the spread against Nebraska. They are also identical to Purdue in the over/under with a record of 4-4.
In recent history, this matchup has been a one-sided affair. Purdue has not won against Michigan State since November 4th, 2006. Jeff Brohm has only faced the Spartans once during his time at Purdue in 2018 falling 23-13 a week after upsetting #2 Ohio State. Also, Mel Tucker has not faced Purdue since he arrived in East Lansing.
This has all the makings of Purdue’s loss against Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago. In that game, the Boilermakers gave up an insane 286 yards on 51 attempts. That is not ideal for playing Michigan State who has 1,194 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season. Purdue will have to play similarly, and honestly better than they did against Nebraska’s run game who was able to scamper for 130 yards on 29 total attempts.
Another thing to consider is Michigan State coming off their biggest win in recent memory over formerly #6 Michigan and reaching the AP Top 5. The Spartans may be due for a hangover game, which could be music to the Spoilermaker’s ears...
With the line opening at -2.5 in favor of Michigan State, it would be very smart to take that IF* you believe the Spartans will win. This line is destined to move rapidly throughout the week and Purdue could very well end up as a 7-10 point underdog by Saturday afternoon. You should be in wait-and-see mode for this scenario.
My official prediction will be in the staff predictions post this Friday. Until then, you can check out odds and place bets here.