Ohio State vs. Purdue Pick & Prediction
Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date/Time: Saturday, October 20th, 2018 – 7:30 PM ET
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium – West Lafayette, IN
By: Keith Franks, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Ohio State -14 / Purdue +14
Over/Under Total: 66
The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Purdue Boilermakers know each other well. As rivals within the B1G conference, these two have been locking horns for decades. These two teams have met 55 times in their histories dating back to 1909. The most recent encounter was in 2013 where the Buckeyes would bludgeon the Boilermakers 56-0 on Purdue’s soil. Though none of the players on either sides participated in the affair, it is certainly bulletin board material for both teams.
Ohio State Rises To Number Two In The Polls
The Buckeyes rose in the polls to No. 2 in the country after the Georgia Bulldogs were upset in Baton Rogue, Louisiana combined with Ohio State defeating Minnesota 30-14, last Saturday. Though the Buckeyes won, they made bookmakers very happy as they did not cover a lofty 29.5-point spread. Many analysts highlighted that perhaps in hoping to trying to find some sort of flaw in Ohio State’s game. However, the Buckeyes haven’t covered in their last three games but probably could care less, as they continue to win and climb in the rankings. A defensive team historically, Ohio State is known for their offense. The Buckeyes feature the third ranked passing attack in America (371.4 yards per game) anchored by a man who could perhaps be hoisting the Heisman if he continues to play at the level that he is. This is quarterback Dwayne Haskins. His numbers are exceptional as he has thrown for 2,331 passing yards while completing 72.3% of his passes. His touchdown to interception ratio? Sparkling, as he has hurled 28 TD’s and only four picks. No defense has had an answer for him yet this season. Ohio State averages 46.3 points per game (6th nationally) on 557.1 yards of total offense per outing (2nd nationally).
Purdue Wins Third In A Row
The Boilermakers had about as bitter of a start to the season as any team could hope for. The Boilermakers began 0-3, losing three games they could have easily won. Purdue lost to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan, and Missouri by a combined eight points. The center of their demise was found in costly mistakes such as silly penalties or careless turnovers. The Boilermakers have since cleaned that up and it has paid dividends. Beginning with a pummeling of a then No. 25 Boston College on September 22nd, Purdue has beat up everything it has come across since then.
The Boilermakers followed this result up with a 42-28 win at Nebraska and most recently they tarred rival Illinois 46-7, last Saturday in the Fighting Illini’s own house. In their own right, Purdue’s offense can sling the rock with the best of them. The Black and Gold Express sit seventh in the nation in passing yards (330.8 yards per game) and also average 510.2 yards per game of total offense (10th nationally). However, coaching acumen can be thanked for this. While he is no Urban Meyer in terms of national prestige, Purdue Head Coach Jeff Brohm is a brilliant coaching mind. Before coming to Purdue, Brohm was the architect of a high-powered Western Kentucky offense that produced similarly catalytic numbers through the air. In his second season in West Lafayette, the Boilermakers have shown they bought into the system and are reaping the benefits now.
A Key Match-Up To Focus On: Purdue’s Defense Against Ohio State’s Offense
The difference maker in this game could be Purdue’s defense against Ohio State’s offense. Purdue sits 109th in the country against the pass averaging 267.5 yards per game. Ohio State on the other hand gives up 221.6 yards per game through the air with its defense (59th nationally). Purdue will have to step up its game here if it wants to give itself a chance to compete in this contest. This game has shootout written all over it and it will likely come down to which team’s defense can make the stop when it needs to. If Purdue can replicate what it has achieved in the last three weeks against Nebraska, Boston College, and Illinois in not allowing more than 200 yards through the air from any one of these teams, Purdue will have a shot in this game.
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Pick Purdue +14
Out of the gate, the public has hopped all over Ohio State as the line has already begun to move away from the Buckeyes in this market. The line dropped at 13 in some markets, now it has already gone up a point to reflect this lean. As the favorite to win the B1G with many projecting them into the College Football Playoff, the Buckeyes will garner plenty of love by virtue of the hype alone. However, the Over/Under in this market is 66 which indicates this one likely will be a high-scoring shootout.
In any shootout scenario, the academic move is to take the points if the line is above a touchdown. Fortunately, we have two scores to work with here and are taking them back with a team that has the potency on offense combined with home field advantage.