As we approach the 2021 Music City Bowl, we have learned a lot more about how the game is going to look, at least on paper. Now, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the betting implications of Purdue vs. Tennessee on Thursday, December 30th.
Purdue started as 3 point favorites when the game was first announced in early December, but now they are currently +5.5 point underdogs against the Volunteers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise with everything going on in the Boilermakers program as it relates to the opt-outs and things along those lines. The over/under has not moved much, as it is set at 63.5 for the game.
As previously mentioned, the Boilermakers have been hit hard with opt-outs, and other circumstances which will leave them at a rather large disadvantage. The list of players who will not be participating in the bowl game has become big and worrisome for the Boilermakers. Those players include David Bell and George Karlaftis (NFL Draft), Milton Wright and Dedrick Mackey (reportedly an academics issue), and potentially Greg Long who is dealing with an injury and was labeled “doubtful”.
That is umm, not great if you’re Jeff Brohm and the coaching staff for Purdue. That leaves a receiving core of Jackson Anthrop, TJ Sheffield, Payne Durham, and Broc Thompson for Purdue to work with. Greg Long has been a mainstay at tackle for Purdue as well and although he’s had struggles at times, he is undoubtedly the top option at the position.
Defensively, Karlaftis opting out is not a surprise, but it leaves Purdue in a tough spot for the pass rush. The defense will have to lean on Kydran Jenkins, Damarcus Mitchell, and Branson Deen to get after Hendon Hooker of Tennessee.
That is why the line changed so dramatically over the last few weeks and could still shift in favor of Tennessee as we get closer to game day. Purdue is going to have to play near-perfect football to even cover the 5.5 points on Thursday afternoon.
You do have some alternate options in terms of the spread, over/under and game props that should be explored using DraftKings Sportsbook. The highest spread for the Boilermakers is +11 which is -210 ($210 bet would win you $100), which would be the smartest bet you could place.
Purdue’s odds to win the game outright is at +175 currently, which could be a nice value play if you think the Boilermakers can pull it off. Another bet that you should consider is the winning margin. This allows you to pick “Purdue to win by 1-6” or “Tennessee to win by 13-18”. That is something people should look at, especially if you are rolling with Purdue no matter what. Purdue to win by between 1 and 6 points is +475 and each 5 point increment increases into some big-time odds. It could pay off big time to throw a couple of small wagers on Purdue to win by 1-6 and/or Purdue to win by 7-12.
My official prediction will come on Wednesday as a part of the Hammer and Rails staff predictions for the Music City Bowl. Until then, you can check out odds and place bets using DraftKings Sportsbook!