Purdue heads to Evanston on Saturday to take on the Wildcats. Can Purdue find a way to win a second game in a row meaning that they would have oh what’s that called...a winning streak? Let’s check in with the staff and see what they think. Let us know what you think will happen in the comments below, and of course join us in the open thread on Saturday.
Jumbo Heroes (5-5):
I didn’t believe in this team last week. I said as much in my prediction for the game against Minnesota. I predicted that Purdue would score all of 10 points. They scored 49. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me...you can’t get fooled again. Or so the saying goes. I talked on the most recent Boiler Alert podcast that this Purdue team has always found a way to pull me back in. Last week I was at my lowest point as far as belief in this team goes. Then, they pull me back in by scoring 49 points. Boom! I’m back in!
Northwestern has problems on their offensive line and don’t stop the run as well as they do against the pass. Purdue has seemingly found something that works in the running game as evidenced by the stellar game last week against a similarly situated Minnesota team. Can Purdue just queue up the same game plan and find similar results? That would certainly be nice. I’m picking Purdue here. I’m amazed that the spread has gone from Purdue being a 1 point dog to a 3 point favorite on Draft Kings. Maybe someone knows something that I don’t.
The offense finally showed some life last week against Minnesota and Card played with a lot more confidence in his decision making. Northwestern did just beat Wisconsin and are 1 game away from bowl eligibility but I’m still not too high on them. I think it’ll be close but Purdue builds off momentum from last week and gets a win on the road.
Am I a homer? Yes. But this time I have some numbers to back me up. If you look at the chart below, you’ll see that Purdue is good at scoring against teams that allow a lot of points. In their 4-game losing streak, Purdue played teams that allowed an average of 13.04 points prior to playing Purdue. Purdue averaged 12 points per game in that stretch. Against teams that allowed 27.25 and 23.22 coming in, Purdue put up 44 and 49 respectively. This gives me hope considering Northwestern has allowed 22.8 points per game this season. This is Purdue’s chance to put it all together in back-to-back games and build some palpable momentum. Oh, and Northwestern has allowed 41 sacks this year while Purdue has the top 2 leading sack-getters in the Big Ten.
Well, the news of Card and Scourton being both out as Purdue’s two best players turns the possibility of a Purdue to incredibly slim. Purdue can’t afford any of their starters being out at most positions but when it’s the two best players on the team, it isn’t going to go well. Northwestern’s offense is terrible and Jenkins will need a monster game to make up for Scourton’s absence. The larger issue is Card’s ability to take advantage of running lanes after establishing the run and extending plays in the passing game. The likely replacement of Bennett Meredith has some experience but on the road in the B1G doesn’t bode well for your first start. The only positive is that it’ll be cold and Northwestern can’t draw fans even when they are good.
Purdue heads into this game with momentum after the Gopher eradication last Saturday. Northwestern’s feeling good after doing the impossible (for Purdue at least) and beating Wisconsin on the road (granted with an injured Braelon Allen).
I like Purdue in this one. Graham Harrell, Hudson Card, and the rest of the offense finally found the right formula against Minnesota. The Boilermakers lean on their 3 playmakers (Card, Mockobee, Tracy) in the backfield and Card uses play action to open things up deep and slow the pass rush. Miller, Burks, and Sheffield cash in on the deep shots, and Purdue rolls.
The offense puts up 27 points and the defense holds on for the win.
Northwestern’s offense is historically ineffective and Purdue’s defense looks like more of a cohesive unit as weeks go by. I think if the Boilers score anything over 26 points, they’re golden. Give me Purdue.
Purdue comes into this one as a slight road dog with the game total sitting at 48.5. The homer in me thinks these lines make no sense. After all, Northwestern doesn’t score all that much, and Purdue just dropped 49 on Minnesota’s head last week.
But the sports/math guy in me says this line makes a ton of sense, because the books project Purdue to regress back to the mean. It’s easy to let recency bias cloud your judgement, but Purdue has struggled to put up 20+ points all year, and until I see it twice in a row, I’m not sold.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.