Penn State @ Purdue
Penn State -3½ +101 over Purdue

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Posted at 12:30 PM EST and odds are subject to change.

Pinnacle has the best price here with Penn State -3½ +101

Penn State -3½ over Purdue

Ross-Ade Stadium - West Lafayette, Indiana

8:00 PM EST. Purdue returns sixth-year pivot Aidan O'Connell, who was second in B1G passing last season, so expectations are high in West Lafayette. Maybe a little too high. O'Connell lost much of the receiving core that led to his productive season, including the Boilermakers' best offensive player, Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year David Bell, who is now with the Browns in Cleveland. Purdue had planned to try and replace Bell with Milton Wright, but he is academically ineligible for the 2022 season. Bell wasn’t the only big-time player Purdue lost to the NFL, as its top pass rusher, George Karlaftis graduated to the NFL’s Chiefs.

Penn State has little fanfare in this market. A 2-6 run to end 2021, including a 24-10 loss to Arkansas in the Outback Bowl will do that. With an 11-11 record the last two seasons, the Nittany Lions are at their lowest since a two-year 7-16 and way back in 2003-04. The point is, the Nittany Lions’ stock is low.

PSU doesn’t have a high-profile quarterback, or a high-profile offensive player for that matter, which makes it hard to get excited about. That works to our benefit here. Super senior Sean Clifford is a steady hand, having started 33 games over his last three seasons. Clifford is one of only three players in Penn State history to post more than 8000 yards of offense, and with three freshmen behind him, this is his team, no doubt.

Penn State always recruits from a fruitful pipeline that provides it with a plethora of quality defensive players. Much of the Nittany Lions' trouble last season was on the back of significant injuries to defensive tackle PJ Mustipher and defensive end Adisa Isaac. Mustipher was lost in October in a game against Iowa and Isaac saw his shining star burnout before the season even began. Both are back and hungry, especially the 6'4", 329-pound Mustipher, one of the best run stoppers in the conference.

This play is strictly a numbers game, as we see the market eating up the chance to take back more than a field goal with the Boilermakers on their home turf. However, we don’t see it that way at all. When a number like 3½ is posted by the books, we take notice, as we call it a “favorite” number. That is to say, it is an indication that the favorite should be a strong play. Those uninclined are going to see the “hook” on a key number like three and eat it up, thinking they’ve got an edge, when in fact it’s quite the opposite. Look, we hate to spot -3½-points in a college opener between what is perceived as a "close match". We are acutely aware of the diadvantages of spotting points on the road but we're also aware that the number dictates the play and in this case, books are taking a pretty strong position that Penn State will come out a lot stronger tahn most believe and Purdue will come out weaker.



Our Pick

Penn State -3½ +101 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.02)

Texas A&M -2 -107 over Arkansas
Iowa State -2½ -110 over Baylor
Buffalo +195 over Eastern Michigan
Texas Tech +7 -110 over Texas
Louisiana Tech +13 -110 over South Alabama
Oregon State +185 over USC