Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Purdue Boilermakers
College Football Pick: Purdue +3.5 (October 10th 2015)
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The betting markets play very close attention to NFL injuries, with the lines swinging fairly significantly on gameday based on player availability. But in college football, the betting markets only seem to react significantly when there is a quarterback injury that sidelines an effective starter.
That’s how we see lines like this one, with Minnesota as road favorites as they travel to West Lafayette to take on Purdue this Saturday.
The Gophers have a third year starter at QB in Mitch Leidner. But Leidner has been completely ineffective – only 91 completed passes for 950 yards and four TD’s in their first five games of the season – because of the injuries surrounding him. He’s not fully healthy either. Head coach Jerry Kill: “He’s been beat up. You get hit — and we’ve been beat up on the offensive line — and he’s taken some shots. And you take those kinds of shots, your body wears down. So it’s been tough on him. I don’t think there’s any question about it.”
20 Gopher players missed practice on Wednesday due to injuries, including four starting offensive linemen and secondary studs Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Damarious Travis. Kill’s quote speaks volumes about why the Gophers have no business as road chalk at Purdue: “I’ve never seen anything like it in my 32 years of coaching. Just one of those years. What do you do? Like I tell our guys, ‘You can’t get down. You just coach them.’ We’re going to play with some young players probably, and that’s part of it. They’ll have to grow up, and we’ll be better down the road for it.”
Purdue hung tough with Minnesota last year, leading most of the game before a late Gopher field goal gave Minnesota a one point victory as 12.5 point favorites. And there’s no reason to think the Boilermakers can’t hang tough again, with frosh QB David Blough rallying the team from a 24-0 deficit at Michigan State last week, giving Purdue a legitimate spark. And with frosh RB Markell Jones coming off his best game — 157 rushing yards against the Spartans elite defense – a Purdue team that hasn’t had much to be excited about in recent seasons has some legitimate positive momentum right now. Expect the outright upset! Take Purdue.
Purdue vs. Michigan State
Betting Pick: Michigan State -6.5 points (March 4th 2015)
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Each of these teams comes off Sunday losses, but in very different ways. Bubblicious Purdue proved they were overrated when they allowed the dominant 2nd half lead at Ohio St. to slip away. Purdue remains on the bubble with an RPI in the 50s and a recent 9-1 ATS mark. With an 11-5 SU mark in Big 10 play, they lead this Michigan St. team by a game in the standings. But, the schedule has broken just right for the Boilers, as they have faced many teams when they were battling injury for in negative situational spots. When stepping up in class on the Big 10 road, they have lost to Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio St. This is not one of Michigan St.’s HC Izzo’s Final Four teams. But, you can be sure they will come to battle tonight! They proved their moxy by covering at Wisconsin on Sunday with their “never say die” style resulting in a 7 point loss, after trailing by 21. Now, this team returns to the Breslin Center, where they will be facing a Purdue team that is above them in the standings. Of equal importance is that the Spartans come off back-to-back losses, including a previous home loss to Minnesota. Note that Izzo coached teams are 21-6 ATS following a defeat, including 8-1 ATS this season. Play the Michigan St. bounce back as they further expose Purdue.
Purdue vs. Ohio State
College Basketball Pick: Purdue +9 point spread (March 1st 2015)
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The Boilermakers are showing some great value here as a 9-point underdog. Purdue has won 4 straight and 8 of 9 overall with their only loss coming by a mere 4-points at Minnesota. This streak includes a 60-58 win at home over the Buckeyes. Typically a team that has been on a run like the Boilermakers are overvalued, but we are seeing an overreaction here based on the most recent results for both teams. Purdue failed to cover at home against the leagues worst team in Rutgers, while Ohio State cruised to a 24-point win over Nebraska.
I don’t know if Purdue will have enough to extend their win streak, but I’m expecting a highly contested game that comes right down to the wire. The Buckeyes are a mere 2-8 ATS in their last 10 off a home blowout win by 20+ points, while the Boilermakers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 off a home win and a perfect 7-0 ATS in their last 7 road games off 2 straight games where they forced their opponent to commit 11 or less turnovers. Take Purdue!