Purdue vs. Northwestern Odds & Pick: Wildcats Posting Historic Lows on Offense

Purdue vs. Northwestern Odds & Pick: Wildcats Posting Historic Lows on Offense article feature image

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cory Trice

  • The latest betting odds list Purdue as a small underdog to Northwestern on Saturday (12 p.m. ET, BTN).
  • The Wildcats have posted some of the worst offensive numbers of any team in the last five years so far, but their strong defense could take advantage of Purdue's walk-on quarterback.
  • See our pick below by starting a free trial of Action EDGE.

Purdue vs. Northwestern

  • Spread: Northwestern -2
  • Over/Under: 38
  • Time: 12 p.m. ET
  • TV: Big Ten Network

Odds as of Friday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The 2019 season has not gone how either Purdue or Northwestern had hoped.

The 3-6 Boilermakers have been ravaged by injuries, but still pulled out a win against Nebraska to keep their slim bowl hopes alive.

Northwestern has quite possibly the worst offense in Power 5 (and that’s including Rutgers), averaging a national-low 3.65 yards per play. No one has averaged fewer since Wake Forest in 2014 (the same Wake team of the infamous 0-0 photo).

Who will survive this war of attrition on Saturday? Let’s dive in.

Model Prediction for Purdue-Northwestern

Using his power ratings, available to Action EDGE members, Collin Wilson projects the spread and total for every Week 11 game. Factors like weather, injury and specific mismatches can alter the market number.

  • Spread: Northwestern -3.1
  • Total: 42.1

Wilson: How I’m Betting This Game

This number initially caught my eye from our Action Network power ratings that made Northwestern a 3-point favorite. Purdue has lost quarterback Jack Plummer for the season, giving the Boilermakers an even tougher path to a bowl game with walk-on Adin O’Connell under center.

Wisconsin and Indiana remain on the schedule, but a date with the offensively inept Wildcats awaits first.

Northwestern, meanwhile, is having offensive issues of epic proportions.

The Wildcats rank 130th in yards per play, rush explosiveness and red zone touchdown percentage. Charlie Kuhbander may be the most valuable player to Northwestern as the kicker. The junior is 8 of 10 in field goals and has made all six extra points attempted.

Purdue may be on the downward trend and not for just losing their quarterback. The Boilermakers are outside the top 100 in rushing success rate, kickoff return yards and punting yards, so field position has been an issue for Purdue, starting at its own 22 on average against a Nebraska team that started at its own 41 last week.

No one will mistake this Northwestern offense for being decent, but Purdue has allowed more 20-yard plays from scrimmage than anyone in the Big Ten with 39 total.

Head coach Jeff Brohm made mention of “blocking the wrong guys, blocking in the wrong direction, punt unit taking too long.” There has been a downward spiral of issues for Purdue that Nebraska couldn’t capitalize on.

Expect special teams and field position to play a big part for the Wildcats, who still field a top-40 defense.

Pick: Northwestern -2 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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