Fresno State vs Purdue Odds, Prediction: Can Bulldogs Keep It Close?

Fresno State vs Purdue Odds, Prediction: Can Bulldogs Keep It Close? article feature image

Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Jeff Tedford (Fresno State)

  • The Fresno State Bulldogs take on the Purdue Boilermakers in Week 1 college football action on Saturday.
  • The Boilermakers enter as -3.5 favorites, but Cody Goggin sees betting value on the underdog Bulldogs in West Lafayette.
  • Read on for Goggin's full betting preview and pick for Fresno State vs Purdue.

Fresno State vs Purdue Odds

Saturday, Sept. 2
12 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Fresno State Odds
-105o / -115u
Purdue Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

This weekend, we'll see an unlikely non-conference matchup, as the Purdue Boilermakers and Fresno State Bulldogs will meet up in Week 1.

With all of the changes between these two teams, this may be one of the most unpredictable games of the week. Fresno State is replacing nearly all of its offensive production, while Purdue has turnover both in its passing game and its coaching ranks.

There may be a large amount of variance in this game, but it'll be an interesting matchup nonetheless.

Here’s a look at my pick and prediction for the Fresno State Bulldogs vs. the Purdue Boilermakers.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Fresno State Bulldogs

As mentioned above, Fresno State is losing just about its entire offense. The Bulldogs return four starters on this side of the ball, with all four being offensive linemen.

They'll have to deal with the loss of long-time quarterback Jake Haener, as well as their top three receivers from 2022 and 1,400-yard rusher Jordan Mims.

It’s quite unknown what we'll see from Fresno State offensively. With these aforementioned players, the Bulldogs ranked 17th in Offensive Success Rate, 22nd in Rushing Success Rate and 15th in Passing Success Rate. Jeff Tedford has a history of putting together good offenses, but he has his work cut out for him this year.

Overall, Fresno State ranks 116th this year in net returning production. This is brought down heavily by the offense because the defense returns seven starters.

This defense did rank 31st in Success Rate a season ago and was one of the better units in the Mountain West. The biggest departure is pass rusher David Perales, who racked up 11.5 sacks a year ago. Fresno State will still have one of the best cornerback combos in the conference and a strong unit overall.

Purdue Boilermakers

In a similar vein to Fresno, Purdue is also dealing with a lot of turnover. While six starters return overall on offense, the Boilermakers will be replacing Aidan O’Connell at quarterback and their top two receivers.

Purdue will still have four of its starting offensive linemen back, as well as its top two rushers from last year.

The largest difference for this team will be the departure of Jeff Brohm. The head coach left for Louisville after leading Purdue to the Big Ten West Championship a season ago.

Stepping into his place is first-year head coach Ryan Walters. Walters spent the last two years as the defensive coordinator for Illinois, which had one of the best defensive units in college football in 2023.

The new quarterback for the Boilermakers will be Texas transfer Hudson Card. Card looked strong last season, as he kept the ship afloat amid Quinn Ewers’ injury absence.

Joining Card in West Lafayette will be new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. While Harrell has been well-regarded in the past and keeps getting new coordinator jobs, he's also been a bit of a disappointment. Last year at West Virginia, his offense ranked just 52nd in Success Rate and 86th in Explosiveness.

Purdue will also be losing a lot defensively. It has just five returning starters on this side of the ball, including just four of its top 13 tacklers from last year.

With Walters having a defensive background, the Boilermakers may be able to improve in time, but the lack of continuity will be concerning for the start of the year.

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Fresno State vs Purdue

Betting Pick & Prediction

The complete revamp of the Fresno State offense will be key in this game. I have faith that an experienced offensive line and Tedford’s acumen will be able to keep this as a strength of the team.

Mikey Keene, a UCF transfer, is the starting quarterback and looked good in limited action for the Knights.

Purdue’s lack of defensive continuity leads me to believe that Fresno State can have a productive day on offense.

On the other side, while I think Card is a solid option at quarterback, I don’t have a ton of faith in this brand new unit. The Fresno State defense is strong and experienced. In my opinion, Fresno’s defense will be too good for Purdue to figure its new offense out on the fly.

I like taking the Bulldogs in this matchup to cover as an underdog and potentially win the game.

Pick: Fresno State +4.5 (Play to +3)

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