College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Purdue vs. Ohio State: Another Upset Possible for Boilers?

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Purdue vs. Ohio State: Another Upset Possible for Boilers? article feature image

Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: David Bell.

  • Purdue travels to Ohio State after knocking off Michigan State at home.
  • In addition to Sparty, the Boilermakers also defeated Iowa when it was No. 2.
  • Brad Cunningham breaks down the matchup and offers up a best bet.

Purdue vs. Ohio State Odds

Saturday, Nov. 13
3:30 p.m. ET
Purdue Odds
-105o / -115u
Ohio State Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Purdue goes upset hunting again on Saturday when they travel to Columbus to take on the fourth-ranked Buckeyes.

The Boilermakers for the second time this season have knocked off a top-three opponent after beating Michigan State, 40-29, last weekend.

Club Ross-Ade was LIT tonight. 🔥🔥

— Purdue Athletics (@PurdueSports) November 7, 2021

Jeff Brohm's team now sits in second place in the Big Ten West behind Wisconsin but needs another miracle to have any hope at playing for a Big Ten Championship.

However, Brohm has delivered a top-ranked Ohio State team an upset loss before. The question is, can his team do it on the road this time?

Ohio State wasn't that impressive for a second straight week, barely beating Nebraska, 26-17, in Lincoln last Saturday. The Buckeyes are now entering the most difficult part of their schedule as they finish out with Purdue, Michigan State, and Michigan.

It's very simple for Ryan Day's team: win out, and play in the Big Ten Championship. Or lose to Purdue, Michigan or Michigan State, and not only are its College Football Playoff hopes done, but it could miss out on winning the Big Ten East for the first time since Urban Meyer left.

Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue Needs to WIn Through the Air

Jeff Brohm's offense will be able to attack Ohio State's main weakness on defense.

The Boilermakers are 12th in the country in Passing Success Rate, and it seems they've settled on Aiden O'Connell as their quarterback, considering he attempted 54 passes last weekend against Michigan State.

With O'Connell at quarterback, Purdue has been airing it out a ton, and O'Connell has had his best two games of the season against Iowa and Michigan State, putting up a passing grade of 84 or higher (per PFF) with nine big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays combined in those two games.

It also helps when you have one of the best receivers in college football in David Bell.


11 catches

217 yards

1 TD

Another MONSTER performance. 🔥

— 247Sports (@247Sports) November 6, 2021

Bell has been Purdue's best offensive player, with 64 receptions for 1,003 yards and five touchdowns this season. Bell also has an 88.8 receiving grade this season, which is the sixth-best receiving grade for wide receivers who have over 50 targets this season, per PFF.

The biggest problem for Purdue is it can't run the ball to save its life. The Boilermakers are gaining only 2.5 yards per carry and are dead last in EPA/Rush, which is why O'Connell attempted 54 passes last weekend and why Purdue is only running the ball 41.74% of the time.

With that being said, the Ohio State secondary is really struggling this season, so Purdue will be able to move the ball through the air.

Boilermakers Defense Needs to Step Up Again

The real reason Purdue is 6-3 and has upset two top three teams is because of their defense.

The Purdue pass rush is one of the best in the Big Ten, and the Boilermakers rank 23rd in pass-rushing grade and 13th in Havoc created nationally.

So, for the first time this season, CJ Stroud is going to be under a lot of pressure, considering Ohio State has not faced front seven with a pass-rushing grade better than Purdue's.

A lot of that has to do with the fact that Purdue also has one of the best edge rushers in all of college football in George Karlaftis, who has an incredible 90.8 pass-rushing grade, per PFF.

Studying Purdue edge rusher George Karlaftis. Easy to make Ryan Kerrigan comparison. Natural feel as a rusher, excellent hands & effort.

— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) November 8, 2021

Purdue's front seven is doing a fantastic job in run defense as well, ranking 18th in Rushing Success Rate allowed, 34th in Defensive Line yards, and 26th in EPA/Rush allowed.

The Boilermakers will be able to slow down TreVeyon Henderson, much like Nebraska did last weekend.

The secondary has also been really good this season, allowing 7.0 yards per pass attempt, ranking 17th in Passing Success Rate allowed, and 20th in EPA/Pass allowed.

However, this is the best passing offense Purdue has seen this season, so we'll see if it's up for the challenge.

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Ohio State Buckeyes

Buckeyes Need Balanced Attack

The Buckeyes offense looked like maybe the best in the country before going to Lincoln last weekend.

Ohio State, which is usually very balanced between the run and the pass, threw the ball 54 times — and not for a crazy amount of success. CJ Stroud averaged only 7.5 yards per attempt and had a 66.3 passing grade, per PFF, which was his lowest so far this season.

🎙 "Nebraska is in business!"

Myles Farmer picks off C.J. Stroud, and the Huskers look to take the lead vs. No. 5 Ohio State.

— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 6, 2021

The issue in this game is it's going to have to have a similar game plan, considering Purdue's run defense is one of the best in the Big Ten.

Henderson, has been very efficient this season, gaining a crazy 7.3 yards per rush. The Buckeyes rank eighth in EPA/Rush, 24th in Rushing Success Rate and have the third-best run-blocking grade in the country, per PFF.

However, Henderson was held to only 4.4 yards per carry last weekend against Nebraska, so it seems a lot of his success has come against poor run defenses.

One of the Buckeyes' best receivers, Garrett Wilson, missed the last game against Nebraska, which allowed Jaxon Smith-Njigba to go for 240 yards on 15 catches against the Cornhusker secondary.

However, if Wilson is out again, that will hurt the Buckeyes considering he has the second-best receiving grade on the team, per PFF.

Ohio State Needs Better Secondary Play

Ohio State is having big problems in its secondary this season, but this hasn't quite gotten the headlines it deserves because of how dominant its offense has been.

Ohio State is 39th in EPA/Pass, 69th in Passing Success Rate and 73rd in coverage, per PFF.

So, facing a Purdue offense that is throwing the ball at the sixth-highest rate in college football with one of the best receivers in the Big Ten is a nightmare matchup for the Buckeyes.

For Ohio State to be successful in this game, the pass rush is going to have to get home. Sure, it put a lot of pressure on Adrian Martinez and had an 84.0 pass-rushing grade last weekend, but Nebraska's offensive line is one of the worst pass-blocking units in the entire country.

Purdue is middle of the road in terms of pass blocking, but if it can keep a clean pocket for O'Connell, he will be able to shred the Ohio State secondary. O'Connell has a 90.8 passing grade with 16 big-time throws when he's not under pressure, per PFF.

Purdue vs. Ohio State Matchup Analysis

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

Purdue Offense vs. Ohio State Defense
Rush Success12914
Line Yards1213
Pass Success1269
Pass Blocking**5411
Big Play10849
Finishing Drives7814
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Ohio State Offense vs. Purdue Defense
Rush Success3718
Line Yards2734
Pass Success617
Pass Blocking**2523
Big Play114
Finishing Drives1117
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling6372
Middle 86910
SP+ Special Teams1161
Plays per Minute6040
Rush Rate41.7% (124)48.5% (107)

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

Purdue vs. Ohio State Betting Pick

I think Purdue is undervalued on the road in Columbus. The Boilermakers throwing the ball almost 60% of the time with one of the best receivers in college football is a horrible matchup for Ohio State's pedestrian secondary.

On the flip side, Purdue's front seven will be able to put pressure on Stroud and slow down Henderson, considering this is the best run defense and pass rush the Buckeyes have seen this season.

I only have Ohio State projected as -12.03 favorites and The Action Network's PRO Projections have Ohio State as only a -17.7 favorite, so I think there's plenty of value on the Boilermakers at +20.5.

Pick: Purdue +20.5

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