Purdue vs Iowa Odds, Prediction | Saturday Big Ten Betting Preview
Matthew Holst/Getty Images. Pictured: Iowa wide receiver Arland Bruce IV.
Purdue vs Iowa Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Iowa hits the road to West Lafayette to take on Purdue in a crucial Big Ten West clash on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes got back to their winning ways last weekend, blowing out Northwestern in Iowa City. It's been a difficult year for Kirk Ferentz's team, which sits at 4-4. However, three of its four losses have come against teams currently in the top 20.
The Iowa defense continues to look good, but the question marks surrounding the Brian Ferentz-led offense remain.
Purdue comes in off of a bye, but the last time it was in action, it lost to Wisconsin, 35-24, in Madison.
The Boilermakers are currently 5-3 on the season and 3-2 in the Big Ten. They're also only one game behind Illinois in the very congested Big Ten West, so this game is incredibly important for them if they want any chance to make it to Indianapolis.
Purdue's offense had been on a roll until heading into Madison before turning the ball over three times. It ended up with 5.5 yards per play, but a lot of that came in garbage time.
Quarterback Aidan O'Connell has been very inconsistent this season. Sure, he put up incredible numbers against Indiana State and Nebraska, but he's been pretty poor against everyone else.
Image via PFF.
He's averaging only 7.2 yards per attempt this season to go along with a 71.7 PFF passing grade. He's also recorded 11 big-time throws compared to 15 turnover-worthy plays.
So, going up against the top secondary in college football isn't a good recipe for success, especially when Purdue is throwing the ball 57.4% of the time.
Purdue has found some success on the ground. Running back Devin Mockobee is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and has gone for over 100 yards in his last two games against Wisconsin and Nebraska.
However, his offensive line hasn't contributed much to his success. That unit ranks 105th in Offensive Line Yards and 64th in terms of a run-blocking grade.
Purdue's defense has been incredibly solid this season, ranking 23rd in Success Rate Allowed and 18th in EPA/Play Allowed.
However, while the Boilermakers have been good from a Success Rate standpoint, they're not doing a great job keeping teams out of the end zone when they cross the 40-yard line. Purdue ranks 73rd in Finishing Drives, which is the reason they're allowing 29.1 points per game (78th in FBS).
The front seven has been the strength of the defense, especially against the run. Purdue sits 17th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 22nd in rushing explosiveness allowed and 14th in EPA/Rush Allowed. So, it's going to be very difficult for an average Iowa rushing attack to run the ball consistently against the Boilermakers.
The secondary is a completely different story.
Purdue has been torched repeatedly this season and has a really big problem giving up big plays in the passing game. The Boilermakers are allowing 8.3 yards per attempt (114th in FBS) while ranking 111th in passing explosiveness allowed and 99th in PFF coverage grade.
So, Spencer Petras may be able to find some success through the air on Saturday.
Overall, Iowa's offense is one of the worst in the Power Five, but it did put up an improved performance against Northwestern last Saturday. It put 33 points on the scoreboard and averaged 6.0 yards per carry on the ground.
Petras has been bad this season, and the Ohio State game was the worst game of his career. However, he has had three very solid performances against Rutgers, Michigan and Northwestern, putting up a PFF passing grade over 84 in all three contests.
Petras isn't the reason Iowa's offense is as bad as it is. Iowa's biggest Achilles' heel has been the offensive line.
The unit ranks 130th in pass blocking, 78th in run blocking and 125th in Offensive Line Yards. Petras has been under pressure on 36.6% of dropbacks — one of the highest marks in college football — and has a 45.4 PFF passing grade with a crowded pocket.
Purdue has a very poor secondary, so Petras will need to be on his game Saturday.
Iowa's run game has struggled behind the offensive line. The Hawkeyes' running backs haven't found much room to run and are averaging only 4.0 yards per carry.
Iowa has the best defensive grade in college football at 93.9, per PFF. The Hawkeyes are allowing only 4.0 yards per play while ranking second in EPA/Play and first in explosiveness allowed.
The 54 points allowed to Ohio State were incredibly deceiving and not a testament to how the Iowa defense held up under impossible circumstances.
Iowa's offense put its defense on a short field seven times against one of the best offenses in football. In fact, Ohio State had recorded just 184 yards of offense late in the third quarter.
Iowa has shut down opposing running backs this season, allowing only 3.4 yards per carry while ranking first in rushing explosiveness allowed. The best rushing attack Iowa has faced was Michigan, and it put up just 4.1 yards per carry.
It helps when a team has one of the best linebacking duos in the country in Jack Campbell and Seth Benson, who are both in the top 10 for defensive grades among linebackers, per PFF.
The Iowa secondary is once again one of the top units in the country. The Hawkeyes allow only 5.6 yards per attempt to opposing quarterbacks and own the No. 1 coverage grade in the nation, per PFF.
Along with reigning Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year Riley Moss, Cooper DeJean and Terry Roberts have been tremendous. They've combined to allow a 46.7% reception rate on 5.2 yards per target to go along with eight pass breakups and four interceptions on the season.
Terrific read and reaction in coverage from Iowa CB Terry Roberts pic.twitter.com/37DLhmNM4n
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) September 3, 2022
Iowa also has one of the best punters in the country in Tory Taylor. He's already downed 22 punts inside the 20-yard line (second most in FBS), and opposing returners are averaging just 3.5 yards per punt return.
Purdue vs Iowa Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Purdue and Iowa match up statistically:
Iowa Offense vs Purdue Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)
Purdue Offense vs Iowa Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams
|Seconds per Play
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Purdue vs Iowa Betting Pick
With how inconsistent O'Connell has been, plus the fact he's going up against the best secondary in college football, it's hard to see Purdue's offense lighting up the scoreboard — especially when it's throwing the ball over 57% of the time.
Petras has been bad overall this season, but he has put up three impressive performances and is going up against a below-average secondary. The Hawkeyes should be able to move the ball similarly to how they did against Northwestern last week.
So, I like the value on Iowa at +4.