Before betting on this match, know that althought Nebraska & Purdue may be playing at different levels, both are 6-2 ATS on the season. They're two of the better teams in the country to bet on so far.
Boilers-'Huskers Betting Odds
Most of the College Football odds market opened Nebraska at right around -23.5 over Purdue, with a total of 60.5. And while the total had been bumped to 61.5 as of midweek, the spread had held steady.
For those who believe in minor miracles the Boilers could be bet at +1250 on the moneyline at 5Dimes.
Boilers-'Huskers: The Situation
Nebraska began this season getting around 8/1 to win the Big Ten championship, and with a wins OVER/UNDER of eight. At 3-1 in Big Ten play the 'Huskers are tied for first place in the West Division. They also need just two wins in their last four games to play OVER their season total.
Big Red opened this season by sweeping its four non-conference games, beating FAU by 48 points, McNeese State in a squeaker, Fresno State by 36 and Miami (Fla.) by 10. Nebraska then began conference play with a 45-14 victory over Illinois, but lost at Michigan State 27-22 in a game that wasn't that close. The 'Huskers then bounced back to win at Northwestern 38-17, and last week beat Rutgers 42-24.
Nebraska outgained the Scarlet Knights 455-348 and outrushed them 292-143. So the 'Huskers have outgained and outrushed every opponent this season except the Spartans.
Nebraska is powered on offense by RB Ameer Abdullah, who leads the nation in rushing with 1,249 yards and is tied for the lead in touchdowns with 19.
Purdue went off this season with a wins OVER/UNDER of 3.5. At 3-5 the Boilers need one victory in their last four games to top their total, and three wins to become bowl-eligible.
Purdue opened this season with a 43-34 win over Western Michigan, then lost to Central Michigan 38-17 and Notre Dame 30-14, then beat Southern Illinois 35-13 to get to 2-2, topping last year's win total (1). The Boilers then began Big Ten play with a 24-10 loss at home to Iowa, but then won at Illinois 38-27. They then held their own in a 45-31 loss to Michigan State, and covered as 21-point home dogs.
Two weeks ago Purdue gave up an 11-point halftime lead and lost at Minnesota 39-38. The Boilers outgained the Gophers by a yard, 451-450, and outrushed them 298-285. So Purdue has scored at least 31 points each of its last three games.
The Boilers had last week off.
Last year Purdue averaged just 15 points per game, while allowing 38 PPG; so far this year the Boilers are averaging 28 points, while giving up 31. So improvements have been made.
These two teams have played two common opponents so far this season; Illinois and Michigan State. Both teams beat the Illini; Nebraska outgained them by 285 yards, the Boilers by 36 yards. And both teams lost to the Spartans; the 'Huskers got outgained by 93 yards, Purdue by 192.
Extrapolating from those numbers our guess is that Nebraska will outgain the Boilers by around 175 yards Saturday. But does that equate to 24 points?
Boilers-'Huskers Recent History
These teams met for the second time ever, the first since 1958, last year in West Lafayette, a 44-7 Nebraska victory. The 'Huskers outgained the Boilers 432-216, outrushed 'em 251-32 and won time-of-possession by a 37/23 margin, all in covering as 13-point road favorites.
Boilers-'Huskers Betting Trends
Purdue is 3-1 ATS in Big Ten play this year, and 4-0 ATS as a double-digit dog.
Nebraska is also 3-1 ATS in Big Ten play, 3-2 ATS as double-digit chalk.
When the season began Abdullah was listed at around 33/1 to win the Heisman Trophy; as of earlier this week those odds had been bet down to around 8/1.
Boilers-'Huskers Free Pick
Nebraska is very likely to win this game, but that pointspread seems inflated, because Purdue might be a tad underrated. The Boilers have already covered as dogs of 30 points against Notre Dame, 10 points against Illinois, 21 points against Michigan State and 12 points against Minnesota. If they play like they did against the Gophers they'll cover this spread. And we believe that's possible. So our College Football pick here is with underdog Purdue.
Free College Football Pick: Boilermakers +23.5 at Pinnacle