Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III celebrates his touchdown run during an NCAA college football game against Western Kentucky, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Michigan State and Purdue face off in a Big Ten Clash on Saturday afternoon
The Spartans will be looking to stay undefeated against a pesky Purdue side that’s made a habit of winning these games
Read below for odds and a full breakdown of the game
#3 Michigan State (8-0), fresh off it’s biggest win of the season against arch-rival Michigan, will look to continue its momentum when it travels to Purdue (5-3). The game will be televised on ABC at 3:30PM EST.
Purdue finds itself in the familiar and successful role of Dragonslayer. Head Coach Jeff Brohm has made a habit of defeating ranked teams and putting a big dent in their season. The Boilermakers are fresh off a 28-23 win against Nebraska. They’ve experienced an up-and-down season. They’ve had high points like defeats of then undefeated Iowa. They’ve also low points like getting blitzed on the ground in a 30-13 loss against Wisconsin. The Boilermakers have now won two of it’s last three games outright as touchdown dog or more.
The method of madness for Michigan State has been to simply “find a way”. They are coming off a significant comeback win against rival Michigan. Sparty overcame a 30-14 third quarter deficit to win last weekend by a score of 37-33. Aside from a road trip to Ohio State, this would appear to be the most significant hurdle in its way of making the College Football Playoff. Will Michigan State handle business and its storybook season continue?
Purdue vs Michigan State Odds
O 54 (-105)
U 54 (-115)
Odds as of November 4th on DraftKings
In my opinion, there aren’t many trends to note in the Purdue vs Michigan State odds. Because of that, we’ll get straight to the analysis.
Purdue Defense is Good Enough
The Boilermakers defense are a bit of an oddity. There aren’t many people out there that’s going to look at them and immediately be struck with that unit of the field. They’ll instead talk about how Quarterback Aidan O’Connell has had impressive games like his 375 passing yard effort against Iowa. And for good reason, he’s been great. But I wanted to note the defense here.
Week 9’s Defensive Player of the Week: Jalen Graham of @BoilerFootball
◽ Registered the first 2 INTs of his career in 28-23 win at Nebraska
◽ Added 6 tackles and a PBU
◽ Returned an INT for a TD, marking Purdue’s first pick-6 since 2019 vs. MD
🗞️ https://t.co/dHM5laKgB4 pic.twitter.com/4ZDoA0f0k4
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) November 1, 2021
Purdue ranks as a middle of the road rushing defense. They are 55th in the country in total running yards given up and 60th in yards per carry given up. On the surface, they don’t seem very special. That is until you look a bit deeper. When you take out the Wisconsin game where they got unexpectedly blitzed on the ground for 290 yards, things change. It’s yards per carry goes to a little less than 3.4, which suddenly puts them in the Top 25 of rushing defenses.
Of course, it’s not exactly fair to take a team’s worst game and simply ignore it. It happened so it’s a part of the data. But in this case, I do feel it’s an overall more accurate reflection of Purdue. The Boilermakers have held in check impressive running backs such as Iowa’s Tyler Goodson and Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams. I think that’s more of who they are. I believe it’s rushing defense is better than advertised which is pretty important heading into this one.
2021 College Football Conference Championship Odds Tracker
Kenneth Walker and Everyone Else
Kenneth Walker officially staked his Heisman claim last week.
The Spartan running back had previously entered the conversation. Walker shredded Michigan for 264 yards and four touchdowns. Even more impressive was his 11.5 yards per carry. Walker’s 149 yards per game he’s averaging on the ground is the best in the country. It’s also better than where 48 teams as a whole.
Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 … but FIVE touchdowns for Kenneth Walker today.
Heisman watch? 👀 pic.twitter.com/DDBulMGsGp
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) October 30, 2021
Walker has been remarkable, but what’s been the most astonishing to me is how much Michigan State offense he’s accounted for. Is this sustainable? You have to wonder. Walker may continue to destroy defenses and it may never matter but what if he doesn’t? What if a team just slows him down a bit?
Is Quarterback Payton Throne, who threw for two interceptions last week, good enough to pick up the slack?
Prediction and Best Bet
I haven’t been high on Purdue most of the year but I can’t turn this spot down.
🎟️: https://t.co/K7OqlO49pX pic.twitter.com/6kVHR4lmwz
— Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) November 3, 2021
The Boilermakers are just so accustomed to winning in these spots. This one fits the bill like no other. This is a quintessential let-down spot for a one-dimensional Michigan State team. The Spartans have a similar DNA to Iowa in my view. We saw what Purdue did to them.
I will gladly take the 3 points at home with Jeff Brohm and company. I will also look to grab some moneyline too, live during the game, if Michigan State take an early lead.
Best Bet: Purdue +3 (-110)