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We have an excellent Big Ten showdown here between a Penn State team who underachieved last season and a Purdue squad who in a sense overachieved with a 9-4 record. Where is the edge for tonight's game? Let's break it down.

Purdue vs Penn State Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Purdue Boilermakers vs Penn State Nittany Lions - Week 1

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Purdue Boilermakers vs Penn State Nittany Lions Prediction

Penn State is a team that comes into this season with a lot of hype surrounding them. They return their starting QB in Sean Clifford who has a ton of experience as this will be his fifth year in a Penn State uniform. In addition to the experience and continuity he brings to this offense, he has also been very successful as well as he has thrown for nearly 8000 yards in his career and 62 touchdowns compared to just 24 INTs.

Another dynamic that Clifford brings to this offense is his athleticism and elusiveness. Clifford has rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in his career and has the speed and toughness to escape the pocket when it breaks down to create plays on the run. This ability to get first downs with his legs and to create plays on the outside will be huge against a Purdue defense that has a lot of holes.

Purdue lost one of their best edge rushers last season as George Karlaftis was selected in the first round of this year's NFL Draft. Purdue also lost their leading tackler on defense last season as Jaylan Alexander is no longer with the team. This lack of continuity and lack of impact players on defense may be an issue for the boilermakers against a Penn State squad that returns a lot of offensive production from last season.

On the offensive side of the ball, Purdue returns their starting QB, Aidan O' Connell who put up some video game numbers last season. He threw for just under 4,000 yards and 28 total touchdowns. O' Connell is a very formidable starting QB but there are a lot of question marks on who he will be throwing to.

Purdue lost David Bell who was sensational during his time at Purdue and their second leading receiver from last season, Milton Wright, is academically ineligible at the moment so Purdue will be without their two best receivers/playmakers on the outside from last season. There are also multiple question marks about Purdue's running game as they averaged less than three yards per carry last season which put a lot of added pressure onto O'Connell to produce for them.

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Overall, Penn State has the better and more experienced roster and appears to be the more balanced team on both sides of the ball. Purdue has performed well as double-digit underdogs against the likes of Ohio State in the past but has struggled as short dogs evidenced by their 3-13 home loss to Wisconsin last season as 3.5-point underdogs and by their 14-point loss to Notre Dame as seven-point dogs.

I think Penn State is going to outclass them on both sides of the ball and expect them to start the season with a win here on the road. With that being said, I am rolling with Penn State ML at -160 for 2U as my most confident college football Play of the Day.

Purdue vs Penn State Pick

PLAY OF THE DAY: Penn State ML -160 (Risk 2U) (Bet $160 to win $100)

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Article Author


Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.


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