College Football Odds & Picks for Illinois vs. Purdue: Boilermakers’ Train To Keep Chugging

College Football Odds & Picks for Illinois vs. Purdue: Boilermakers’ Train To Keep Chugging article feature image
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Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Jack Plummer.

  • Purdue hosts Illinois at 3:30 p.m. ET in its first Big Ten battle of the season.
  • The Boilermakers are coming off a loss on the road at Notre Dame, while Illinois has dropped three straight games.
  • Doug Ziefel previews the matchup and provides his best wager.

Illinois vs. Purdue Odds

Illinois Odds +11 (-110)
Purdue Odds -11 (-110)
Moneyline +340 / -450
Over/Under 53 (-110 / -110)
Time 3:30 p.m. ET
TV Big Ten Network
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Purdue Boilermakers get their first taste of conference play Saturday when they welcome the Fighting Illini to Ross-Ade Stadium.

This matchup is knotted up all-time at 45-45-6, with Purdue winning three of the last four meetings between these Big Ten foes.

Bret Bielema’s tenure at Illinois has come crashing down after opening the season with a victory. After playing very well through the first three quarters of last week’s game against Maryland, the Illini allowed 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter that led to their third loss of the season.

On the other side, the Boilermakers gave a valiant effort against Notre Dame. They hung around the entire game, even having a chance to get a backdoor cover, but had a pass go through the hands of the receiver in the end zone for an interception.

Purdue is certainly trending in a better direction than Illinois heading into this showdown.


Illinois vs. Purdue Betting Preview

Saturday, Sept. 25
3:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network

Illinois Fighting Illini

Fighting Illini Offense

Senior quarterback Brandon Peters returned from a shoulder injury last week and had little success. He completed 39 percent of his passes, with one of those completions going to a Terrapin. It also didn’t help he was sacked six times.

The lone bright spot of this passing attack has been receiver Isaiah Williams. He has 12 more receptions and 113 more yards than the next closest receiver. Williams was quiet against Maryland and without him playing a factor, this offense lacks explosiveness.

Where Illinois has found some success is on the ground. They have four different backs with more than 100 yards rushing on the season. The backfield has combined to carry the ball at 4.7 yards per clip.

This offense will be up against its toughest test, as the Boilermakers present challenges that slowed down Notre Dame and the Illinois offense is far from that of the Fighting Irish.


Fighting Illini Defense

Illinois’ defensive unit hasn’t given anyone much to talk about unless you’re discussing how bad it has been. Illinois ranks 96th in rushing success and 121st in passing success.

The secondary play is even more egregious, ranking 96th in coverage and that’s led to the Illini allowing more than 321 yards through the air per contest.

Purdue only has a rush rate of 43%. That said, it might have a field day against the Illinois secondary.

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Purdue Boilermakers

Boilermakers Offense

The Purdue offense is based around the intermediate passing attack.

Jack Plummer has executed it flawlessly so far. He’s completed 72% of his passes and has yet to throw an interception, though he only averages 7.8 yards per attempt. The offense is designed to be efficient, but its passing game isn’t the definition of explosive.

Entering the matchup, Purdue might be without its best player as receiver David Bell is in concussion protocol. In his absence, Jackson Anthrop stepped up against Notre Dame and will be asked to again with Bell potentially out.


Boilermakers Defense

The Purdue defense has been very solid and performed admirably in its first real test against Notre Dame. The Boilermakers have excelled against the pass, ranking sixth in pass success while helping Jack Coan to only a 50 percent completion percentage.

The unit has faired just as well on the ground, ranking 22nd in rushing success. Opponents have only run for 3.5 yards per carry, and that held true against the Fighting Irish. This defense returning home could feast against the Illini line.


Illinois vs. Purdue Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Illinois and Purdue match up statistically:

Illinois Offense vs. Purdue Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 62 22
Line Yards 62 51
Pass Success 96 6
Pass Blocking** 82 57
Big Play 74 40
Havoc 85 47
Finishing Drives 103 51
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Purdue Offense vs. Illinois Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 88 96
Line Yards 85 111
Pass Success 35 121
Pass Blocking** 27 45
Big Play 113 109
Havoc 66 74
Finishing Drives 49 98
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 77 14
PFF Coverage 96 78
Middle 8 49 17
SP+ Special Teams 20 81
Plays per Minute 60 76
Rush Rate 53.8% (70) 43.1% (120)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Statistical/Matchup Analysis

The Boilermakers hold the upper hand in nearly every facet of this matchup. The most prominent mismatch is Purdue’s defense against Illinois’ passing game. Peters struggled mightily in his return last week and now faces a better defense.

On the other side of the ball, Purdue’s offensive scheme plays to the biggest weakness of the Illinois defense. If the Boilermakers have Bell, they should have a ton of success through the air, but without him, they’re more than capable of putting up points against Illinois.


Illinois vs. Purdue Betting Pick

Purdue is in a position to dominate this game. If the Boilermakers can string together stops, this game could get out of hand.

Our Action Network Pro Projections make this spread -12, but I can easily see Purdue winning by at least two touchdowns.

Expect the Boilermakers’ train to keep on chugging in a conference triumph.

Pick: Purdue -11 or better

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