This one is going to be tough, let’s not pretend otherwise. Last week a lot of the staff picked a Purdue win over Nebraska. They were rewarded with misery. Surely no one is drunk enough on black and old gold kool-aid to pick the Boilermakers here right? Read on to find it.
Jumbo Heroes (4-4):
I was way off last week. I picked Purdue because I thought they could win an ugly game against a heavily injured Nebraska Cornhuskers squad. Losing three offensive lineman I thought would have a greater impact on Nebraska’s offense especially considering that the defensive line is the strength of the Purdue defense. Alas, earwax.
I lost a lot of hope about the direction of this team after seeing the way the offense played last week. I’m skeptical they will find a way to put it together this year and least of all this week against a Michigan team that, sign stealing or not, is incredibly talented on both sides of the ball. Purdue is currently a 32.5 point underdog on Draft Kings and I’m tempted to throw some money on Michigan to cover but it’s just SUCH a big spread. I’m gonna pick Michigan to cover the spread but I think my wallet will stay in its pocket, for now.
I’ve looked at this thing from every angle trying to find a way forward for Purdue. If Michigan comes out distracted instead of motivated and Purdue’s defense remains tough against the run....this thing will still probably be a blowout, but it’s the best I’ve got.
The talent gulf is too wide for Purdue to win without a massive assist from the Wolverines. This Purdue team plays hard regardless of circumstances, so if Michigan does decide to no-show the game, the Boilers will be ready to pounce. The chances of that happening? Less than 5%.
In the end, the X’s and O’s don’t matter when there is such a wide gulf in class between the Jimmys and the Joes.
This is going to get ugly quick in Ann Arbor. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the defense keep the Boilers within two scores in the first half simply because they can dial up pressure and they seem adept at getting timely turnovers but the offense has been abysmal. There is some hope with how Indiana played against Penn State this past weekend and very nearly snuck a victory out where they had no business doing so but that is doubtful to happen this weekend. As much as I want to make an incredibly bold prediction here or at least a spicy one, I just can’t do it with any reasonable justification.
Is it possible to have negative confidence in a team’s ability to win a game? Maybe, just maybe, Purdue used its two weeks prior to the Nebraska game to prep for Michigan rather than the Cornhuskers. The real question is if this game will even count in a few years.
I liked Drew’s thoughts when he did he preview of Michigan, don’t pay as much to the score but to individual successes in this one and that’s the mentality I’m going in this game with. Let’s be honest, it’s not going to be pretty. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in our offense against Nebraska and I sure as hell don’t have any against this Michigan D. We may get into the end zone when backups enter the field to avoid a shut out but I still don’t think Purdue covers against the spread and J.J. McCarthy may set some season bests against our D. I’m sure this crowd is going to be riled up with all the scrutiny they’ve been under and team/coaches may be out for blood after Walter’s remarks yesterday (even though they were justified and honestly just badass.) Leave the busses running and let’s get out of there as quickly as possible.
So I was wrong last week. Big whoop. I have a feeling I know who wins this week though.
Considering Purdue goes into this as a 32.5 point underdog, I don’t like their chances. For reference, only 9 times since 1980 has a team overcome a point spread that big. But as a type that, no matter how hard I try, the only thing going through my head is, “So you’re saying there’s a chance?”
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.