Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST.
8:00 PM EST. The Boilermakers have been the Big-10’s version of the Cleveland Browns for years and opened as a 26-point underdog last week at home to the Louisville Cardinals. That game was available nationwide to see on TV and the country watched in shock as the Boilermakers traded punches with Louisville and nearly pulled off the miraculous upset in a 35-28 loss. Purdue wasn’t getting lucky either. They came in with intensity and moved the ball with relative ease throughout. Those familiar with Purdue football also had to be in shock, as this edition looked nothing like editions of the recent past. Purdue looked very good and now they go from a 26-point dog to a 3-point favorite against a MAC team that is favored to win that conference. Even though the Boilermakers lost, they gave it absolutely everything they had in the opener and then some. We’re suggesting that they blew their load last week and will have little left or a lot less left than last week. This line is a big-time overreaction to what the Boilermakers did last week while the market pays no attention to Ohio’s 59-0 opening week win over Hampton.
The Bobcats were a 36-point favorite over Hampton last week and barely broke a sweat in covering easy. Ohio had the top ranked defense in the conference last season, allowed just 339 total yards and 22.6 points a game and they’ll get six returners back, including redshirt senior linebackers Quentin Poling and Chad Moore. QB Quinton Maxwell, who was forced into duty last year after the Bobcats first and second stringers were injured, is clearly the man in charge this year. There are no questions behind him, there's no other starter to split reps with, there's no side-discussions anymore. Maxwell finished the year with 1,252 yards passing, eight touchdowns and four interceptions but he lacked confidence. That’s no longer the case with Coach Frank Solich giving him all the confidence he needs. Maxwell looks confident and poised. Solich is now in his 12th year as Ohio’s coach. This is a well-coached team that excels at situational football and doesn't beat itself, but what we most love about taking points (or money) with Frank Solich’s charges is the way they keep coming for four quarters regardless of the score. The Boilermakers may have been a live dog last week but they are now giving away something to a proven underdog performer that plays efficiently in all three phases and typically avoids the game-changing mistake. We’re going to have to see a lot more from Purdue than one good game because there is a great chance that Louisville came unprepared for a fight last week. Ohio won’t make that same mistake.
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Ohio +3 -102 (Risking 2.04 units - To Win: 2.00)