NCAAF Free Pick: Laying the Points on Louisville Against Purdue

Louisville Cardinals

Willie Bee

Thursday, August 10, 2017 12:48 PM GMT

After fizzling out at the end of 2016, Lamar Jackson and Louisville are looking for a better showing in 2017, and we have a free NCAA football pick for their opener vs. Purdue.

For Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals, an ACC title and possible trip to the College Football Playoffs is the goal, and anything less than a New Year’s Six bowl invite will be something of a disappointment. For Jeff Brohm and the Purdue Boilermakers, well, it’s going to be difficult to have a disappointing season when you’re carrying the lowest win total of any Power 5 school.

The two sides will collide at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to begin their 2017 campaigns on Saturday, September 2, FOX televising the 7:30 PM (ET) boot. 5Dimes opened its wagering with the Cardinals giving up 23½ points, that spread now at -25.

The schools have only met once before, and that took place 30 years ago when Howard Schnellenberger and Fred Akers were in charge on the two sidelines. At least this time we know there will be a winner and a loser thanks to rule changes since the Cardinals and Boilermakers played to a 27-27 tie in West Lafayette.

 

Can Jackson Beat Odds With 2nd Heisman?

It started to well for Louisville last season, the Cards blowing away their first four opponents behind the play of quarterback Lamar Jackson who would go on to win the Heisman Trophy. Their only ACC loss was a 42-36 decision at eventual national champ Clemson, and all signs pointed to Louisville going to a prestigious bowl game in early November.

But then came two head-scratching losses at Houston and home against Kentucky, games the Cardinals were favored on the NCAA football odds by 17 and 128 points, respectively. Relegated to the Citrus Bowl instead, Jackson and the offense couldn’t crack LSU’s defense in a 29-9 loss.

Jackson is back and looking to become just the second player to win two Heisman’s. He’s a big reason why college football futures odds have Louisville as the third choice to win the ACC at +500 behind Florida State (+125) and Clemson (+385). The Cardinals will get a chance early to avenge their loss to Clemson with the Tigers coming to Louisville in Week 3, but have to travel to face Florida State in Week 8.

 

Rebuild Likely To Be Slow For Brohm & Staff

Brohm played for Schnellenberger at Louisville, and arrives in West Lafayette following success running the program at Western Kentucky. He guided the Hilltoppers to Conference USA titles the last two seasons, but really has his work cut out for him at Purdue despite several key players on offense and half of the defense returning.

The offensive line will be the biggest concern early, especially if junior QB David Blough is going to build on his nice season. The defense was atrocious last season, but should be improved with solid linebacker play led by Markus Bailey.

The Cardinals have been slipping in the national championship odds column, and Jackson is also trailing a few others on the Heisman list. They should feel a little disrespected and come to Indy with a rout on their minds. I’m laying the points for my free college football pick.

Free College Football Pick: Louisville -25Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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