Fresno State’s football program had itself a pretty good season last year.
The Bulldogs went 10-4, ending the season with nine straight wins after a 1-4 start. After a rough start, a solid defensive core led them to finish ranked 24th overall by the Associated Press.
With the majority of that core returning, that’s good enough for a #24 preseason ranking as well before they travel to West Lafayette, Indiana to play your Purdue Boilermakers.
While the Bulldogs are the more highly-ranked team in week one, they open as four-point underdogs as per DraftKings.
The Boilermakers might be going through a small-to-medium-sized rebuild and will begin the season outside the top 25, but the host team remains a four-point favorite over the visitors.
With the Boilers replacing a quarterback and their two leading receivers, facing a defense returning most of its leading linebackers and contributors in the secondary may make things a bit more difficult given who most teams schedule for their season opener.
That said, I see this as a game that’s uncomfortably close for the home team before they pull away by virtue of being slightly more talented from the high school ranks against a team with a ton of experience where it matters most. Purdue’s offensive line injuries concern me, but Hudson’s quick release should help get the ball out before he’s swarmed by an angry group of west coat Bulldogs
In other words, I agree with the point spread. The Boilers, with a stud transfer QB in Hudson Card, and returning receivers like T.J. Sheffield and Deion Burks, should be able to outlast even a group of Fresno State Bulldogs that, despite growing pains, really coalesced on defense last season under the Old Master Jeff Tedford. Also, as a rule, always bet against the west coast team flying east and playing at noon. It’s hard to get up for a 9am (your time) football game.
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You can find up-to-date DraftKings Opening odds here.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.