College Football Picks: Notre Dame vs. Purdue

Jeff Grant

Friday, September 13, 2013 2:12 PM GMT

Friday, Sep. 13, 2013 2:12 PM GMT

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are coming off a tough loss and have quite a schedule ahead, which is why they may look past the Purdue Boilermakers a bit Saturday night. 

Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this in-state rivalry at Ross-Ade Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET. 

Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 3.

Troubles on the defensive end 

Notre Dame allowed its most yards in its last 20 regular-season games last time out, which led directly to a 41-30 defeat to the Michigan Wolverines as 4.5-point road underdogs last Saturday.

The Fighting Irish are a dominating 27-1 during regular season play under head coach Brian Kelly when holding foes to 382 or fewer yards, while going 1-9 when allowing opponents to go over that number.

Lack of offense 

Purdue has scored just 27 combined points and been outgained in both of its contests against Indiana State and Cincinnati this season, as the program begins life under first-year head coach Darrell Hazzell.

The Boilermakers have accumulated just 564 yards of offense in their last two games against the Fighting Irish, including just 174 on the ground over that span. 

In control of the series 

College football handicappers will find that the Fighting Irish are 22-5 SU in their last 27 games against the Boilermakers, including wins in the last five, while the UNDER is on a 3-0-1 run. 

Notre Dame returned 14 starters from a squad that reached the BCS championship game last season, but it may lack motivation in this spot due to an upcoming schedule that features Michigan State, Oklahoma, Arizona State and USC. 

Check out our Notre Dame 2013-14 Futures Odds article for more info on the Fightin' Irish!

No advantage under the lights 

I’m always interested in backing a home underdog in a nationally-televised contest, but it’s important to point out that the Boilermakers are 1-6 SU all-time under the lights at this venue, including a 0-3 mark versus the Fighting Irish.

The underdog has gotten the cash in six of the last eight meetings in this series.

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Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Boilermakers with their college football picks, as a good amount of action has landed on the Fighting Irish, but the number has fallen below 21 in some spots.

Purdue also possesses a big-time weapon in Cody Webster, who leads the nation with a 49.9-yard punting average in 2013.

College Football Pick:  Purdue Boilermakers +21

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