As we enter conference play, we get a clash of Big Ten West foes as Purdue travels to Minnesota to take on the Gophers in week five of the college football season. Both of these teams had great seasons last year in the Big Ten as they both got nine wins. Minnesota has stayed on that path of success as they have started a 4-0 season and just cracked into the AP Top 25 at No. 21. Purdue has had a rocky start to the season after losing to Penn State in their first game, they have dropped a game to Syracuse as well and narrowly lost another to FAU. They are in need of some major big games out of their star players to get back on track. Let’s break into this game’s matchup picks and predictions.
Purdue vs. Minnesota Betting Odds
Book makers are rolling with the hot team in this one and riding with the Minnesota Golden Gophers at home. They are currently favored -480 moneyline with a spread line of -12 points. Purdue had a lot of hype going into the season, but due to their shaky start there is a lot of question of how many wins this Purdue team can get. The narrow Syracuse loss was a crushing blow as they lost late due to decision making issues. Penalties have been a major issue for the Boilers as well. Another thing that could factor into this line is the question mark hovering over the head of starting QB Aidan O’Connell. O’Connell was out against FAU last week and it is still uncertain whether or not he will be playing Saturday. Austin Burton started in his stead and played pretty well with 3 TDs and 166 yds. He also did throw an interception and going up against a stout Big Ten defense in Minnesota could certainly not allow for the same positive stats for a new starting QB.
The over/under line is currently placed at 52 points. Both of these teams have put up 25 or more points in each of their contests and have shown they could put up 25 or more against fellow Big Ten teams.
Purdue vs. Minnesota Picks & Predictions
My pick: Minnesota -12 (-112)
I’m sticking with the book makers in this one and riding with the hot streak that Minnesota has been on but I think it’ll be close along that line. Purdue has the talent to keep this game close and the need for a big win to get their first in the Big Ten season. What’s keeping me from going with them is the question mark over the starting QB as well as the fuel that Minnesota has been rolling with. Minnesota won huge on the road against a very talented Michigan State team that many thought were going to have a huge season. I have yet to see Minnesota trip up so far and this could possibly be the game, but I think they’ll find a way to keep the pedal to the metal offensively. Both passing and rushing has been huge so far this year and Purdue’s defense has not been fantastic at keeping points off the board other than their matchup against Indiana State. I also believe their No. 21 ranking is a little unranked for them and they may come out big in spite of that to put the Big Ten on notice. Tanner Morgan has had 7 passing TDs and Muhamid Ibrahim has had 8 rushing TDs and have really been a good combo to keep this Gopher offense flying.
I kind of like the over in this game as well at 52 points and think it might be a little low. Both of these teams have not shown really any major offensive struggles and it’ll just come down to if the Purdue QB that is out there is able to produce.
Purdue vs Minnesota Key Matchups
How will Aidan O’Connell hold up against this Minnesota defense? Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Purdue vs Minnesota below.
Aidan O’Connell vs. Minnesota Defense
The matchup I’m looking at most is the Purdue defense against the Minnesota defense. It could be a whole other ball game if sixth-year QB Aidan O’Connell is out there with his veteran leadership. He’s gotten 8 TDs in the three games he’s played in. The Minnesota defense has been stout though and they proved it last week against a high-powered Michigan State offense. They held the Spartans to only seven points making big stops all day. If they can do the same Saturday it could be a long day for Purdue.