Purdue vs. Wisconsin Odds & Picks | Saturday College Football Betting Guide
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kydran Jenkins (Purdue)
Purdue vs. Wisconsin Odds
Going back to 2004, that's how many consecutive times Wisconsin has beaten Purdue on the gridiron. That has to be one of the more under-the-radar active winning streaks in the country between two teams from the same conference.
Can Purdue finally end its skid against the Badgers?
Well, if there was ever a year to do it, it would in 2022. Wisconsin is trending toward its worst season in years, and Jim Leonhard is currently acting as the interim head coach following the dismissal of Paul Chryst.
Meanwhile, in West Lafayette, the Boilermakers are one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten and are tied atop the West with Illinois. Purdue is 5-2, but could easily be 7-0, with both losses coming in the final possession against Penn State and Syracuse.
That said, it's never easy getting the monkey off the back, and Camp Randall is a very difficult place to play. Wisconsin currently checks in as a 2.5-point favorite, but let's discuss who holds the value in this one.
After a heartbreaking loss to Syracuse in Week 3, there was some real doubt as to how a once promising season would play out for Purdue.
Give Jeff Brohm's team credit for responding incredibly well to that 1-2 start.
The Boilermakers have won four in a row, a streak that includes gritty road wins over both Minnesota and Maryland.
Purdue has been effective on both sides of the ball over that four-game stretch, and it shows in the advanced metrics.
Offensively, the Boilermakers rank inside the top 30 nationally in both Rush and Pass Success, giving balance to an offense that was very pass heavy to begin the year.
Last week was a great example of this balance, as senior quarterback Aidan O'Connell threw for 391 yards and running back Devin Mockobee ran for 178 yards on the ground on 30 carries.
Wisconsin will be a much stiffer test defensively than what Nebraska was, but that type of production shows this offense is clicking as it enters the stretch run of the season.
On the other side of the ball, Purdue's defense has done a really nice job of getting timely stops in big moments.
The Boilermakers are stout against the run and rank 14th in the country in Defensive Rush Success. That comes against some legitimate rushing attacks, including Penn State and Minnesota.
If the Boilermakers' front can get some pressure on Graham Mertz without needing to send a lot of bodies, the defense could be in line for a big day. Mertz is not very mobile and has a well-documented history of turning the football over.
Badgers fans are not used to having to hope for bowl eligibility, but at 3-4, that is the new reality for this team. It was a poor enough start that the administration felt the need to send Chryst packing in the middle of the season.
Mertz hasn't really progressed at any point during his career, and the offense is very limited as a result.
Wisconsin look to rely on a heavy dosage of Braelon Allen, but Purdue has been impressive in stopping opposing rushing attacks all season.
If there is one positive thing to say about Wisconsin's offense, it would be that it's good in the red zone. Wisconsin ranks second nationally in Finishing Drives, which will be important once Saturday given it will likely have a limited number of chances inside the 20-yard line.
The Badgers' defense has been pretty solid all season, but it has taken a bit of a dip compared to what we've seen in recent years.
With the final 5-6 games of the schedule basically serving as a tryout for Leonhard's head-coaching candidacy, look for him to try to draw up an aggressive plan against this Purdue offense.
Wisconsin has gotten beat in the secondary more this year than in recent memory, and I think O'Connell will have a chance to connect with some open receivers down the field in this one.
Purdue vs. Wisconsin Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Purdue and Wisconsin match up statistically:
Purdue Offense vs. Wisconsin Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Wisconsin Offense vs. Purdue Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||104||70|
|Seconds per Play||25.5 (41)||30.0 (125)|
|Rush Rate||42.7% (123)||60.0% (20)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Purdue vs. Wisconsin Betting Pick
I think the Boilermakers finally get it done and end their losing streak to Wisconsin. The Badgers continue to struggle to move the ball, so it's difficult to envision any real success against a solid Purdue defense.
O'Connell will be able to have some success through the air, and as long as he takes care of the football, Wisconsin won't be able to put up many points.
While I think Purdue wins outright, I am going to play it safe and take the Boilermakers on the spread. This game could very well be close, so a couple of points could matter from a cover standpoint.
Purdue is simply the better side here and should also be the more motivated team — given both what it has to play for and the chance to end a historic losing streak.
Give me the Boilermakers as a short road underdog.