College Football Picks: Reverse Line Move Favors Purdue +21 Against Overrated Michigan State

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, October 3, 2015 2:06 AM GMT

Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 2:06 AM GMT

We’re going to examine Saturday’s Big Ten clash between Purdue and Michigan State. Our betting preview article concludes with a college football pick.

Big Ten Opener for Boilermakers and Spartans
Michigan State (4-0) will host Purdue (1-3) on Saturday in what will be the Big Ten opener for both teams. The opening kickoff at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan is slated for Noon ET. The Spartans have won the last five games in this conference head to head series. As a matter of fact, the last time Purdue defeated Michigan State came on 11/6/2006.

 

Huge Reverse Line Move
According to college football odds at The Greek, Michigan State opened as a 24.5 point favorite. When looking at the last update (10/1) at Sportsbook Review, Michigan State has dropped to as low as a 21-point chalk, and that’s occurred despite 63.5% of early point spread wagering go the way of Michigan State. This is a classic example of reverse line movement, and a clear indicator of sharp players placing some pretty sizable bets on the underdog in this spot.

 

Huge Task for Purdue
The Boilermakers will certainly have their work cut out for them on Saturday against the #2 ranked team in the country. Despite a 1-3 start, they’ve shown some small positives signs along the way. One specifically came last week, and it pertained to the first career collegiate start of redshirt frosh David Blough at quarterback. Blough was the projected starter heading into fall camp, but was displaced from that role by junior Austin Appelby. After Appelby was ineffective and inconsistent in Purdue’s first three games, head coach Darrell Hazell opted for Blough as the starter last Saturday against BGU. Blough was terrific in that game, going 29-for-39 (74.4%) passing for 340 yards, tossed 2 passes for scores, and was intercepted just once. Blough also rushed for a touchdown as well. Unfortunately, his team came up short during a 35-28 loss.

 

Is Michigan State Overrated?
It’s difficult to link a #2 national rating with the word overrated, but that’s exactly what I’m about to imply. I haven’t been impressed in the least by Michigan State with all things being considered. First of all, they’ve failed to cover thus far in any of their four wins. Their most notable win to date came against a top ten team in Oregon. The Ducks fell out of the top 25 this week for the first time since 2009 after they were hammered at home 60-21 by Utah last Saturday. The strong suit of this Spartans team was deemed to be their defense, and they’ve allowed 285 yards or more passing in three of their four games. The lone exception came against the triple option rushing attack of Air Force, and they allowed 279 rushing yards in that contest. The offense has been solid, but far from dynamic. They’ve managed exactly 324 yards of total offense in each of their past two games versus Air Force and Central Michigan.

 

Final Analysis
I’m certainly not going to put myself on a limb and call for a huge upset in this contest. However, I believe there’s some ample betting value with the three touchdown underdog in this matchup, and one of my college football picks this week will reflect that statement.

College Football Pick: Play on Purdue +21 over Michigan State at 5Dimes

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