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Northwestern vs Purdue Odds, Predictions: Wildcats Can’t Keep Up

Northwestern vs Purdue Odds, Predictions: Wildcats Can’t Keep Up article feature image

Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Purdue wide receiver Charlie Jones.

Northwestern vs Purdue Odds

Saturday, Nov. 19
12 p.m. ET
Northwestern Odds
-105o / -110u
Purdue Odds
-105o / -110u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Purdue is still alive in the Big Ten West race, which is one of the craziest we have seen in recent years. To make the Big Ten Championship, Purdue will just need to win out against Northwestern and Indiana while Iowa suffers one loss. 

On the other side, Northwestern’s season has been over for a while, and it's just trying to piece together what it can.

Pat Fitzgerald’s squad has been one of the worst in the conference this season, as it hasn't won a game in the United States this year with its only win coming over Nebraska in Dublin, Ireland in August.

The quarterback situation for Northwestern may dictate how this game goes, but there's no question that this game is much more important for Purdue.

Northwestern Wildcats

Wildcats Offense

The Wildcats are in the midst of another disappointing season as they sit at 1-9 right now. After beating Nebraska in Week 0, Northwestern has dropped every game since.

Neither side of the ball has been noteworthy, but the offense can take a large chunk of the blame. Northwestern ranks 106th in Offensive Success Rate and 122nd in points per opportunity. It's the 124th-most explosive offense in the country, ranking 119th and 118th in passing and rushing explosiveness, respectively.

The Cats offense ranks 112th nationally, according to SP+, and 114th, per PFF's offensive grades. 

The quarterback position has been an issue for Northwestern for the last handful of years, but it still hasn't been corrected. Ryan Hilinski and Brendan Sullivan have been the two main signal-callers this season, but NU could potentially be without both this weekend.

Hilinski was carted off the field last week against Minnesota with what appeared to be a serious leg injury. Sullivan was also injured earlier in the game but then returned before being taken out again after one drive.

This will definitely be something to keep an eye on, as a healthy Sullivan raises the ceiling for this offense. Without him, it’s unlikely that Northwestern cracks the 10-point barrier.

Wildcats Defense

Over the years, Fitzgerald's teams have for their hard-hitting, shutdown defense. That hasn’t been the case in 2022.

The Wildcats rank 107th in Defensive Success Rate, sitting 105th against the run and 88th against the pass. Northwestern also owns a coverage grade of 48.4, which ranks 126th in the nation, according to PFF.

Despite its overall struggles, the Wildcats have done a good job of keeping things in front of them and avoiding big plays. They rank 12th in passing explosiveness allowed and 40th in rushing explosiveness allowed.

This gives Northwestern the seventh-best defense in the country when it comes to preventing explosive plays.

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Purdue Boilermakers

Boilermakers Offense

Purdue has been successful as a methodical offense this season, but it's not one to break off big plays. The Boilermakers rank 121st in explosiveness overall, stemming from both facets of their offense facing these struggles.

This team has been successful at moving the ball though. Purdue ranks 46th in Offensive Success Rate overall and comes in as the 30th-best unit, according to SP+.

The Boilermakers pass at the 21st-highest rate in the nation, utilizing quarterback Aidan O’Connell heavily. Purdue ranks 52nd in Success Rate and 59th in PPA through the air.

When rushing the ball, the Boilers rank 29th in Success Rate but just 89th in PPA.

Boilermakers Defense

Purdue’s defense has been exceptional this year, especially on the ground. It ranks 20th in Success Rate, 18th in PPA and 27th in explosiveness against the run.

Because of this proficiency in the run game, the Boilermakers sit 22nd in Defensive Success Rate overall, but they're just the 73rd-best defense, per SP+.

If Sullivan plays and Northwestern can throw the ball effectively, that may be its only opportunity to win. Purdue ranks 46th in Defensive Passing Success Rate but can be exploited at times.

It also ranks 102nd in explosiveness allowed, which causes it to come in at 67th in Passing PPA Allowed.

Northwestern vs Purdue Matchup Analysis

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

Northwestern Offense vs. Purdue Defense
Rush Success10821
Line Yards11649
Pass Success8946
Pass Blocking**1650
Finishing Drives12288
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Purdue Offense vs. Northwestern Defense
Rush Success30105
Line Yards103118
Pass Success5489
Pass Blocking**5390
Finishing Drives8293
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling9786
PFF Coverage128100
SP+ Special Teams128118
Seconds per Play23.1 (12)25.8 (50)
Rush Rate50.6% (84)42.8% (120)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Northwestern vs Purdue Betting Pick

This is a tough game to handicap without knowing who will be under center for Northwestern. I think the Boilermakers will have a strong showing against this Wildcats defense, and for that reason, I’ll back the Purdue here.

If Sullivan is out, the line move likely won’t be large enough, as Northwestern’s offense may struggle to score at all.

Pick: Purdue -18.5 (Play to -20.5)

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