Purdue vs. Minnesota Odds & Picks: Bet Gophers’ Ground Game on Friday Against Boilermakers
James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan.
- After a disappointing loss to Iowa last week, the Minnesota Golden Gophers host the Purdue Boilermakers for a second consecutive Friday night game.
- The Golden Gophers have fallen flat this season, while the Boilermakers have impressed outside of a loss to Northwestern.
- Collin Wilson breaks down how he's betting the game below.
Purdue vs. Minnesota Odds
|Purdue Odds||-2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Minnesota Odds||+2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-127/+100 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||60.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Friday, 7 p.m. ET|
|TV||Big Ten Network|
Jeff Brohm has the inevitable task of keeping his team focused after a loss to Northwestern may have ended Purdue’s hopes of winning the Big Ten West.
The Wildcats continue to field an excellent back seven against passing attacks, limiting the Boilermakers to a 35% Success Rate on passing plays for an average of 3.9 yards per play.
Purdue throws at a 64% clip, with the loss to Northwestern coming as a result of minimal explosiveness and just three drives with two-plus first downs. Given time in the pocket, quarterback Aidan O’Connell has room to cook.
Defensively, Purdue is tracking in the wrong direction, ranking 67th in Passing Success Rate and owning a Pro Football Focus coverage grade of 94. Getting to the quarterback has been the primary concern for the Boilermakers’ front seven, as Purdue has recorded a grand total of 22 hurries in 237 defensive snaps.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
These are tough times for the Gophers after a bludgeoned box score against Iowa.
The Hawkeyes dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, yet play calling from P.J. Fleck and Mike Sanford Jr. have plenty of fans scratching their heads.
The special teams rank 122nd, with the big area of concern coming in the form of a walk-on kicker. In rivalry games in which a trophy is involved, Minnesota is a combined 10-46 against Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan since 2000.
After Kirk Ferentz burned all three Iowa timeouts, Minnesota eventually got on the board late against the Hawkeyes. The Gophers have had success on offense, ranking top 20 in Success Rate and 34th in Finishing Drives. The offensive line has opened holes for running back Mohamed Ibrahim, who now has 24 avoided tackles on the season. The Gophers rush the ball at a 62% clip and can overcome defensive woes against an opponent that cannot dominate the trench.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Fleck needs to have a masterful motivational speech to keep a 1-3 Minnesota squad hungry this late in the season. The Gophers’ defense and special teams are some of the nation’s worst, but field one of the Big Ten’s youngest rosters.
The focus on the defense is the pass coverage, as Purdue is one of the most pass-heavy teams in the nation.
While Minnesota is outside the top 100 in pass coverage and Passing Success Rate, it does boast a top-25 mark against the explosive pass. Combined with a PFF tackling grade of 35, there is reason to think the Gophers defense won’t be barreled over in the trench similar to the Iowa game last week.
As for Purdue, this is a short-week road spot after a deflating conference loss. The pass explosiveness has spiraled as the weeks go by, with just three 20-plus yard passes versus Northwestern and only one the week before against Illinois. The numbers point Minnesota keeping the explosive pass rate down on Purdue’s offense.
The Gophers’ offensive line should create plenty of holes for Ibrahim to break some runs. Minnesota has higher rankings in Line Yards and Stuff Rate in the rush attack than the Purdue defense.
This isn’t an easy play, considering Iowa’s primetime domination last Friday, but Minnesota has more rest and an advantage in the trenches against Purdue.
Pick: Minnesota +3 or better