DraftKings Sportsbook currently has Purdue as a 4.5 point favorite.
Iowa (4-4, 2-3) travels to West Lafayette to take on Purdue (5-3, 3-2). Let’s take a look at how these teams stack up:
Coming off a tough loss at Wisconsin, Purdue reached the much-needed bye week. Several Purdue players are fighting knicks or injuries and a week of rest might be the recipe for a charge into the final month of the regular season. Also on the docket for a bye week: scheme, scheme, scheme. With two weeks of prep for the Iowa defense, Aidan O’Connell and company should be well versed in the game plan. Make no mistake, Iowa has a quality defense that attacks the ball and AOC cannot make the same mistakes against this team that he did against Wisconsin. This could be a game where O’Connell needs to dink and dunk for yardage until the secondary starts to come down. Devin Mockobee will attempt to keep trucking along against a stout Iowa rush defense, but his emergence as a talented back could help open up the passing game.
As for Purdue’s defense, I’m sure everyone is happy that the uniforms on the other side of the ball say Hawkeyes rather than Badgers. Last time out, the Wisconsin offense looked elite and Purdue showed it’s weakness on defense. With Jamari Brown and Cory Trice banged up, the secondary is going to have to scratch and claw to be sound. The defense has had it’s struggles this year, so let’s hope the extra week of rest can help sure it up a bit.
Ok, time to address the elephant in the room. This offense is BAD and everybody knows it. It often seems that the best offense for Iowa is its defense getting a takeaway and giving them a short field. Spencer Petras has thrown for 151 yards per game and a whopping 3 touchdowns this season. Iowa’s leading rusher, Kaleb Johnson, has 353 yards on the ground and also has 3 touchdowns this year. There are several factors attributing to this inept offense but there is a lot of blame being put on OC, Brian Ferentz. If that last name sounds familiar, it’s because Brian is the son of head coach, Kirk Ferentz and who really wants to fire their son? Another factor in the offensive struggles are two players that left the program and headed east: Charlie Jones Jr. and Tyrone Tracy Jr. I don’t think I need to go into much detail on the impact these guys can have on a competent offense (see basically any Purdue football article over the past 3 months). The Iowa offense did have it’s best game of the season last week against Northwestern but the Wildcats have yet to win on American soil so we’ll take that with a major grain of salt.
Whatever the Iowa offense lacks (a lot), the defense carries the load. This defense allows less than 16 points per game and has forced 13 turnovers. The secondary has lots of speed and an innate sense of getting to the football. The defensive front is productive too, recording 21 sacks and allowing less than 94 yards per game on the ground. The caveat to this defense is that it has not played many offensive powerhouses. Ohio State put up 54 to nobody’s shock and Michigan was able to get 27. Purdue’s passing attack is somewhere in between those, which bodes well for the Boilermakers.
DraftKings has Purdue as a 4.5 point favorite at home and an O/U of 41.5. Look for Aidan O’Connell and the offense to look rested and attack the Iowa defense. On the other side, the Purdue defense has had its problems, but Iowa’s offense has had many more problems this season. Given these factors and the recent history of Purdue against Iowa, I think Purdue covers and the teams hit the over.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.