Big Ten Picks: Purdue vs. Wisconsin
Purdue Boilermakers (4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS)
NCAA Football Week 13
Date and Time:Saturday, Nov, 23 at 4pm ET
Point Spread: PUR +22/WIS -22 (Don’t re-deposit for “nothing” –> Best Sportsbook Bonuses)
Over/Under Total: 47.5
There are just a couple of weeks left to make college football dreams come true, and while the College Football Playoff field is looking rather set, plenty of other goals are still in play for so many teams. Purdue is looking for a hot finish to the season as two wins are required to net a bowl berth, but they will have to pull a big upset this weekend against Wisconsin to see the postseason. The Badgers can secure a trip to the Big Ten Championship game if they win out, and they will look to avoid a letdown against a program they haven’t lost to since 2003. Jonathan Taylor will most likely be making his final appearance in Madison as a college player, and he will look to produce along the lines of the 321 yards he put up against Purdue a year ago.
Third String Slinger
Purdue has been a bit hard by the injury bug this season and are now down to their third QB. Elijah Sindelar and Jack Plummer are both out, leaving sophomore Aidan O’Connell at the helm. O’Connell was pressed into action two weeks ago but led a game-winning drive against Nebraska and followed with a 271-yard, two-touchdown effort against Northwestern. Purdue enters the week 17th in passing yards per game, and the coaching staff hasn’t backed off the pass-first approach, as evidenced by O’Connell hitting 50 attempts against the Wildcats. The run game is ranked 128th (of 130), so that passing game work has been a necessity. Wisconsin is 3rd against the pass, allowing 154 yards per game on average with 36 sacks for. Zack Baun (9.5 sacks) and Chris Orr (10) are the best pass-rush tandem in the conference and Wisconsin’s overall defense will be the best that O’Connell has had to work against in his limited duty.
Impact player doesn’t quite sum up how important Jonathan Taylor is to the success of the Badgers offense. He became the NCAA’s leading rusher through a junior season last week, but the focus is too often on the superlatives as any Taylor mistakes, or lack of production can drag Wisconsin down quickly as well. Fumbles have been an issue in his career, and Taylor coughed one up late against Illinois that aided an Illini comeback. Ohio State held the running game in check and easily pulled away from Wisconsin in Columbus. The good news for UW is that Taylor has rushed for 454 yards in his last two games alone, and similar results could be in store Saturday with Purdue ranking 82nd against the run. Taylor has 21 total touchdowns on the season, and the attention he demands sets up Jack Coan (73% completions, 13/3 TD/INT) for easy throws. The Badgers are 104th in passing yards per game, but they do certain things well when they throw as two receivers are at 15 yards per catch, and 48 receptions have gone to running backs. The receivers work in the run game as well, with 22 non-RB carries averaging 12.2 yards per tote with three rushing scores. Watch for Quintez Cephus (35/527/4) when Wisconsin needs a big play in the passing game.
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Purdue has remained relevant by winning each of their last two games, but they weren’t getting blown-out during a 2-6 start. The Boilers lost by three to Nevada, seven to Minnesota, and six to Iowa. All were rather good showings considering several injuries, but the lack of playmaking seemed to be the central theme. The running game is netting just 77 yards per game, putting Purdue on the wrong end in the time of possession. Nebraska gouged Wisconsin’s run defense last week, but neither King Doerue or Alexander Horvath have been able to do anything better than 3.5 yards per carry individually, and Purdue sits at 2.6 yards per rush as a team. David Bell has been spectacular, however, and he leads the Big Ten with 65 receptions and ranks 5th in yards at 791. Purdue also has a nice option at tight end with sophomore Brycen Hopkins at 561 yards and three scores, but that has been about it for consistency. Ten different Boilermaker receivers have at least one touchdown this season.
Purdue has been one of the better road teams in the conference with a 17-7 mark against the spread in the Big Ten as the visitor. The road team has also won each of the last five against the spread in this series, including last season when Wisconsin won in West Lafayette as 3.5 underdogs. Wisconsin is 5-2 ATS in the last seven at Camp Randall but have struggled to a 1-5 ATS mark in the last six against a sub-.500 opponent. The favorite is 9-3 against the spread in the last twelve between these teams, with Wisconsin earning all nine ATS victories. The Under is 12-4 in Purdue’s last 16 road contests, and the Under is 5-2 in Wisconsin’s last seven overall. The line opened at Purdue +21 but has added a point in the early betting with Wisconsin seeing 65% of the action still. The Over is getting just north of 55% of the bets.
Purdue has lost 25 straight road games to ranked opponents, so it doesn’t look like an outright upset is on tap for Saturday, but the Boiler passing game could make this an interesting contest with the points. The trouble for Purdue is going to come if they face too many long down-and-distance scenarios. Wisconsin is allowing less than 25% conversions on third down, and the Badger pass rush is going to be problematic for O’Connell. Wisconsin has given up at least 21 points in four straight contests, but most teams have run against the Badgers, including designed QB runs, and that doesn’t appear to be something that Purdue can duplicate. The weather will be fine on Saturday afternoon, but it will be cold with the daytime high projected for 39 degrees in Madison. That isn’t exactly passing weather, so add another advantage in Wisconsin’s column. I think this is somewhat easy for Wisconsin, so I’m not afraid of the big line here. It will be close through three quarters, but UW pulls away late en route to a 38-14 win.
Ted’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting the Wisconsin Badgers minus the points! Bet this game and ALL your sports bets at -105 reduced odds at one of the web’s best –> BetAnySports!