Michigan State vs. Purdue: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (11/6/21)

Michigan State vs. Purdue Betting Odds

The undefeated and No. 5 ranked Spartans travel to West Lafayette this Saturday for another massive Big Ten showdown.

Michigan State is, of course, coming off a big comeback win against in-state rival Michigan to move to 8-0. Kenneth Walker III has put the team on his back, and the Spartans are enjoying an amazing season because of it.

Meanwhile, Purdue has been stop-and-start this year, but they did record a signature win over Iowa, which was ranked No. 2 at the time. All-in-all, however, the Boilermakers are just 5-3 and 4-4 against the spread (ATS).

Despite their unbelievable success this season, Michigan State is just a three-point road favorite.

But is the line low enough to back the Spartans?

Michigan State Spartans Odds 

As mentioned, the Spartans are 8-0. But it’s felt a bit fluky at times.

You may not believe this, but the Spartans have been outgained in four of their eight wins — against Michigan, Indiana, Western Kentucky, and Nebraska. The Spartans rank just 40th in Offensive Success Rate and 62nd in Defensive Success Rate, led by a quarterback who grades out as PFF’s 43rd best quarterback.

Payton Thorne certainly hasn’t been bad, but I’m not sure he’s as good as any other quarterback among the top-10 AP teams. But that doesn’t necessarily matter, because Walker is the engine of the Spartan offense.

PFF grades Walker as the third-best halfback in the nation and the best in the Power 5. He’s currently second in the nation in rush yards (1,192), is averaging 6.9 yards per carry, and has rushed for 14 touchdowns without fumbling once.

He’s the best running back in the nation, and he proved it last week against Michigan.

The Spartan defense is good but nothing special. They’re vulnerable in the secondary, where they’ve allowed over 300 yards per game at a 62.7% completion to opposing quarterbacks. They rank just 66th in Defensive Passing Downs Success Rate.

Purdue Boilermakers Odds

Just like the Drew Brees days, Purdue loves to throw the football.

They drop back on over 59% of their play calls, good for eighth in the nation. However, they started the year with Jack Plummer but made the switch to Aidan O’Connell for the Illinois game, and Purdue hasn’t looked back since.

Over his past three games, O’Connell has completed over 75% of his passes and even put up 375 against the Iowa secondary. He faltered in the game against Wisconsin but has been excellent otherwise.

However, it’s nice when you have one of the most electric receiving corps in the nation headed by David Bell, who’s caught 53 passes for 786 yards (14.8 yards per reception) and four touchdowns.

It’s good they have those skill players, as the offensive line ranks just 113th in Line Yards and the offense is averaging 2.5 yards per carry behind them. No wonder the Boilermakers go to the air so often.

But the Boilermakers can be boom-or-bust, as they rank just 93rd in Standard Downs Success Rate and O’Connell must bail them out in Passing Downs. Plus, the defense is questionable at best.

Prediction and Pick:

My pick: Purdue +3 (-110 at BetMGM)

I can never avoid betting a home underdog, and this one has value.

The Spartans are due for regression, considering their resume is filled with fraudulent box scores. With Michigan State coming off a huge, emotional top-10 win and now going on the road, this is the perfect spot to come back to earth.

Purdue likely should’ve lost their game last week against Nebraska, after the Cornhuskers committed four fumbles. But I believe that means we can buy low on the Boilermakers in this spot.

This should be a close game, and I’ll happily take the points in that spot.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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