Louisville Cardinals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date/Time: Saturday, September 2nd, 7:30pm
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium - Indianapolis, IN
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:LOU -24.5 / PUR +24.5
Over/Under Total: 68
One of the more underrated games of the opening weekend that not many are talking about is the ACC/Big Ten showdown between the Louisville Cardinals and Purdue Boilermakers. Of course this is not a quote…SEXY…game, but I think it could out to be a little better than many expect. Louisville is coming off of a 9-4 season that started out great that eventually became average at best. Purdue finished 3-9 and last place in the Big Ten West division. The Boilermakers while not a very good team in 2016, should have improved tremendously for 2017.
The line opened with Louisville favored by 23.5 and that line is now 24.5 in most books. The total points in this game is set at 68 combined between the two. As of Wednesday morning, Louisville was getting 58% of the documented action and the under on the total points was seeing 54% of the betting. This is a rather big spread for a home underdog when both teams are FBS, but Purdue has not shown yet that they have improved from the 3-9 campaign last season.
Louisville is coming off of a 9-4 season but it was a 9-4 season that saw them beat Florida State by 43 points and their quarterback, Lamar Jackson, take home the Heisman Trophy. Well, Jackson is back and the Cardinals believe that they can compete with Florida State and Clemson in the ACC Atlantic Division. It will not be an easy run for Louisville but they are very talented and the good news is that they get Clemson at home although they do travel to Tallahassee for the Florida State showdown. With the exception of the Clemson and Florida State games, Louisville has a pretty easy run in 2017 and could find themselves primed for an ACC Title game with a little help.
At one time, Purdue was a pretty respected football program but over the last few years, they have had a rough run. Coming off of a 3-9 2016 where they really were not competitive, it seems that things cannot get much worse than they did. The Boilermakers will need a solid game on both sides of the ball if they have any shot of pulling off this week one upset. The defense especially will need to improve. The Boilermakers D gave up over 40 points on six occasions in 2016…that is a pure recipe for disaster that cannot be repeated in 2017.
Louisville probably feels this should be an easy road win to kick off the 2017 season. Should they go to Indianapolis and win this game? Yes. Should it even be close? No. However, the last thing the Cardinals want is to allow Purdue to gain confidence and think they have a chance. This is a game where Louisville needs to jump out early and hold the lead. This game could be put away early but something tells me it may be a little tougher than most think. Yes, Louisville is going to win and Lamar Jackson will look like a stud, but I think when the game ends, that it will be closer than the 24.5 point spread. I like Louisville to take down Purdue by a score of 38-20.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I LIKE THE PURDUE BOILERMAKERS TO KEEP THIS GAME CLOSER THAN MOST THINK. TAKE PURDUE TO COVER!
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