Michigan State vs. Purdue Prediction: How Will Kenneth Walker III Follow Up Last Week's Heisman Moment?

Michigan State vs. Purdue prediction and betting pick for Saturday's Big 10 matchup. Can MSU avoid a letdown after last week's huge win over Michigan?
Ian Cameron
Sat, November 6, 4:53 AM EDT

Michigan State vs. Purdue Prediction: How Will Kenneth Walker III Follow Up Last Week's Heisman Moment?

Spread: Michigan State -3

Total: 54

Game time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: ABC

Michigan State vs. Purdue odds

Michigan State vs. Purdue Prediction

The Michigan State Spartans will look to avoid suffering a letdown following a massive win against the Michigan Wolverines as they face the Purdue Boilermakers in a Big Ten clash. Michigan State remained unbeaten with last week’s thrilling 37-33 win. The Spartans have been getting Heisman-trophy caliber play from their outstanding RB Kenneth Walker III, who had an incredible showing in last week’s win, going for 197 yards on the ground and 5 rushing TDs. The Spartans' defense has been excellent against the run. allowing just 123 rushing yards per game and 3.4 yards per rush. But, against the pass they have been more vulnerable, surrendering 301 passing yards per game, 62.6% completions to opposing QBs and over 10 yards per completion.

The Michigan State defensive line has been good at getting pressure on the QB, averaging 3.1 sacks per game. And Purdue has been giving up an average of 2.9 sacks per game, so the ability of the Boilermakers to protect their QB Aidan O’Connell is a bit of a question mark going into this game.

If Purdue can keep their starting QB upright, they have the potential to make plays down the field in the passing game because most of the offense for the Boilermakers this season has been throwing the football. They average over 300 passing yards per game, compared to only 80.5 rushing yards per game. Michigan State’s strength offensively is the ground game, and Purdue is struggling more on defense against the run, especially in recent games.

Purdue has allowed 168 rushing yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry as the Boilermakers have not contained the ground attack well since we got into Big Ten conference play. That is obviously a gigantic concern as they prepare to face the best RB in the country right now and a dangerous ground game that keys the Michigan State attack on offense. It’s worth noting that Michigan State is likely to be without maybe their best WR Jalen Nailor who suffered a hand injury in last week’s game. Nailor is 2nd on the team in receptions and leads them in TD receptions, so if he doesn’t play on Saturday, it will be an impact injury absence for the Spartans offense.

This is a very tough game from a side perspective. I lean to Michigan State -3 because I’m not convinced that Purdue can shut down their ground attack. We just saw Michigan State and Kenneth Walker run all over one of the better run defenses in the Big Ten, and I don’t have Purdue’s defense against the run being as good as Michigan’s.

However, I am worried about the spot for the Spartans and the potential for a hangover and a letdown after one of the biggest wins for the program in years and now having to go on the road to face a very feisty Purdue squad that has covered two of their last three games in the underdog role.

The bet that I like more in this game is the over at 54. I think Purdue can do what they do best and that is throw the football against this Michigan State secondary, and I also think Michigan State can do what they do best offensively and that is run the football against Purdue’s defense. The strengths of these teams on offense should find favorable matchups in this game so I’ll recommend this game to go over the total on Saturday.

Michigan State vs. Purdue Pick

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