The Purdue Boilermakers (5-4) travel to Minneapolis this weekend for a Big 10 battle with the Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-5). Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST at TCF Bank Stadium and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Taking a look at the Week 11 college football odds, Purdue opened as a 12.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has shifted by a full point after early betting, as the Boilermakers are currently listed at -11.5. The total for the game is sitting at 61 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Minnesota vs Purdue
Purdue got back above .500 on the season last weekend after an impressive 38-36 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Boilermakers also moved to 4-2 overall in conference play and now are just one game out of first place in the Big 10 West. They are definitely one of the most surprising teams in all of college football this year, as their huge home win over Ohio State several weeks ago gave them well-deserved national exposure. QB David Blough had another good game in Week 10, throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Blough has completed 65.9% of his passes for 2,683 yards and 17 touchdowns in just nine games. He has also thrown at least three touchdowns in five out of his last seven starts. He has had a ton of help from the dynamic receiving duo of Rondale Moore and Isaac Zico, who have combined for 1,412 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a whole, Purdue is currently averaging 33.4 points per game (35th overall).
The Boilermakers have had some problems on defense so far this season, allowing opponents to score an average of 24.2 points per game (48th overall) on 427.9 yards of total offense. They have had a really tough time against the pass, giving up an average of 296.4 yards per game through the air (127th overall).
Minnesota dropped back below .500 last weekend after a tough 55-31 road loss to Illinois. The Golden Gophers got off to a hot 3-0 start at the beginning of the season but haven’t had much go right since then, losing five out of their next six games. QB Zack Annexstad has had his share of struggles this year, throwing for 1,277 yards and nine touchdowns while also getting picked off seven times in nine games. He is also completing just 52.2 percent of his passes heading into this matchup with Purdue. Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman have certainly done their part, combining for 1,453 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. RB Mohamed Ibrahim leads the way on the ground for a Minnesota rushing attack that is averaging 154.0 yards per game, racking up 562 yards and five touchdowns. Overall, the offense is currently averaging 27.8 points per game (77th overall). However, they have been on a bit of a roll lately, averaging 32.3 points per game on 464.7 yards of total offense over their last three games.
On the other side of the ball, the Golden Gophers are currently giving up an average of 31.8 points per game on 423.9 yards of total offense. They have really had a hard time against the run, allowing opponents to average 188.3 yards per game on the ground (94th overall).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Minnesota +11.5
While I certainly expect Purdue to win this game straight up, I think that the Golden Gophers may be able to keep things close against a defense that has really struggled to shut down the pass. The Boilermakers schedule over the past several weeks has included games against Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa. They also have to play Wisconsin in Week 12, which makes this matchup against the Golden Gophers a potential “let down” spot. I still think they are talented enough to win, but don’t feel comfortable leaving double-digit points on the table. Minnesota is at home and they haven’t been half-bad against the spread so far this season, going 4-1 ATS over their last five games at TCF Bank Stadium.
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The home team is also 9-4-1 ATS over the last fourteen meetings between these two Big 10 rivals. Minnesota is also 12-3-3 ATS in their last 18 games following an against the spread loss and 23-9-2 ATS over their last 34 games in the month of November. Purdue has also looked good against the spread lately, going 6-1 ATS over their last seven games overall.
The Golden Gophers are 7-2-1 ATS over their last ten games as a double-digit underdog, and I think that trend will continue on Saturday afternoon. All four of the Golden Gophers win have come at home – they have also outscored their opponents by an average of 11.6 points per game at TCF Bank Stadium. I’m sure they will pull out all the stops to try and keep their slim chances at a bowl appearance alive, so I’m taking the points in this spot. Purdue should win, but I’ll roll with the home underdog against the spread- give me Minnesota.