Ohio State is still undefeated, but things haven’t been as easy as hoped and that’s seen in a 1-4 ATS mark in the last five Games. A trip to Purdue presents another tough spot against a team that can put points on the board and put up a fight. The Buckeyes were early -13.5 point road favorites as of Monday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
These teams last played in 2013 so there’s not much to take away from previous results, as the Boilermakers have been a somewhat relevant team under head coach Jeff Brohm. They’re on the heels of three impressive wins, making the early loss to Eastern Michigan look even more troubling. They disposed of a solid Boston College squad a few weeks ago and most recently won back-to-back Games against Nebraska and Illinois. Those teams aren’t good, but winning on the road is always impressive and that’s something Ohio State has done only once this year, barely getting past Penn State. Even then, the Bucks haven’t looked dominant in recent wins against Indiana and Minnesota, as the defense has had some issues without playmaker Nick Bosa on the line.
And that’s where the Purdue offense comes in having scored at least 30 points in its last Four Games. Brohm’s offense has what looks to be a consistent quarterback in David Blough with 10 touchdowns and 9.06 yards per attempt, much better than where he’s been at any other time in his career. The Schedule has helped as has a rushing attack between D.J. Knox and Markell Jones, which is averaging 5.2 yards per carry. The matchup with Ohio State will be difficult, but again, the Buckeyes are struggling and are actually giving up as many yards per Game (370) as Boston College.
This OSU defense has had its issues, whether giving up 26 points to Indiana or 28 points to a TCU offense that now appears to be bad. If Purdue can score, it could at least stay competitive, especially with this being at home and under the lights. Of course, the Boilers still aren’t going to win straight up as their defense is a work in progress and hasn’t really shown much. The reason to back OSU is that there’s a chance Dwayne Haskins puts up 50 points on the scoreboard.
There aren’t many quarterbacks that have better numbers than Haskins, who is already at 28 touchdowns and a 72.3% completion rate on 9.63 yards per attempt. He’s thrown for 400-plus yards the last two Games and should do that again facing a Purdue defense allowing 414 total yards per Game. The Boilers struggled against Drew Lock a month ago and will have similar issues against Haskins. The problem for the Buckeyes and one of the reasons they aren’t covering more is the ground Game hasn’t been as good averaging 4.5 yards per carry as a team. The line has had issues and while J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber are elite tailbacks, a weaker line has led to mediocre rushing numbers. The inability to rush has let teams stick around longer than expected and that’s what Purdue could do in this Game.
The Buckeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last five road Games and 2-5 ATS in their last seven in Conference play. The Boilermakers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven at home and 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The under has hit in eight of the last 10 meetings, but these teams don’t have recent history against each other.
Our Pick – Note, there was +14 earlier in the week. Wouldn’t be surprised to see late Ohio State money push this back up to +14 or better on Saturday. We’ll wait. Purdue +14 or better.