Add Purdue +28 vs. Notre Dame to Your College Football Picks

Darin Zank

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 7:16 PM GMT

Notre Dame just spanked one Big Ten team, garnering an easy cover, sending Michigan home with its tail between its legs. The Irish run into another member of that dubious league when they take on the Boilermakers Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium (7:30 pm ET, NBC).

The Betting Line
As of mid-week most of the college football odds were chalking Notre Dame at -28 over Purdue, with a total of 56. Those who believe in minor miracles could get Purdue at around +3000 on the money-line to win this game outright.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":293889, "sportsbooksIds":[19,43,227,1096,999996,93,238,123,139], "LineTypeId":5, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

 

Game Set-Up
Notre Dame began this season with a 48-17 victory over Rice, out-gaining the Owls 576-367, covering the spread as 20-point favorites. Last week the Irish snuffed Michigan 31-0, easily covering as four-point chalk. ND actually got out-gained 289-280 and out-rushed 100-54, but took advantage of four Wolverines turnovers, while committing none of their own.

Irish QB Everett Golson, back from suspension, has hit on 66 percent of his throws through the first two games, with five TD passes against zero picks, and has run for three scores. Notre Dame is now 12-1 SU, 8-4-1 ATS in games Golson has started.

The Irish would have returned 11 starters from the team that went 9-4 last year, six on offense (not including Golson) and five on defense. But they lost three of those guys to those academic suspensions. As it turned out they returned five starters on offense, including last year's leading rusher and three along the offensive line, but only three on defense. But that defense looked pretty good against Michigan last week. 

Purdue opened this season, it's second under Coach Hazell, with a 43-34 victory over Western Michigan, covering as seven-point favorites. The Boilers then lost at home to Central Michigan 38-17, falling outright as three-point faves.

Statistically speaking Purdue and the Broncos were about a wash. The biggest lead in that game was nine points, and the Boilers didn't earn the cover until RB Akeem Hunt ran in from 38 yards out with just under four minutes to go.

Purdue also played Central Michigan to about a statistical wash, but gave up scores in the first quarter on an interception return and a 65-yard pass, and never recovered.

Purdue returned 15 starters from a team that went 1-11 last year. Eight starters were back on offense, including sophomore QB Danny Etling, last year's leading rusher and the top two receivers. But they had three holes to fill along the offensive line. And seven starters came back on defense, including six of the back seven.

Also, while Etling has started both games so far this season, he got yanked last week after throwing a couple of picks. So that situation is a bit fluid as of this writing.

 

Boilers-Irish Recent History
These two in-state rivals have met each season since 1946. Notre Dame has, of course, held the upper hand, especially of late, beating Purdue six times in a row by an average score of 29-18.

Last year the Irish won in West Lafayette 31-24, but the Boilers covered as 18-point home dogs. Notre Dame actually trailed 17-10 heading into the fourth quarter but rallied for three scores to avoid the upset.

After Saturday these two programs, separated by about a hundred miles, aren't slated to meet again until 2020. Notre Dame may as well be in the Big Ten.

 

Boilers-Irish Betting Trends
Purdue went 1-3-1 ATS last year as dogs of 20 points or more.

Notre Dame is 7-0 SU, 3-3-1 ATS as a favorite of 20 points or more under Coach Kelly.

The Irish are also 4-0 SU but 1-2-1 ATS for Kelly against the Boilermakers.

 

Free College Football Pick
Notre Dame is going to win this game; it's just a matter of by how much. If Purdue can score 17-20 points, it stands a decent chance of covering this spread. And even with a little uncertainty at QB we think that's possible. So we'll go with the Boilers and the points (+28 at 5Dimes) for our free college football pick.