Purdue Boilermakers (8–4) vs #2 Michigan Wolverines (12-0)
Michigan is coming off a huge win in The Game facing Ohio State and they can make sure they book a spot in the CFP with a win in the Big 10 title game facing Purdue, who they did not face this season. Michigan is a big 16.5-point favorite in this game with the total sitting at 51.5.
The public has slightly backed the Wolverines in this Big 12 title game, as they opened as a 16-point favorite and as of Thursday are a 16.5-point favorite.
On the season Purdue is 5-7 ATS with an O/U record of 7-5 and Michigan is 7-4-1 ATS with an O/U record of 4-8.
These teams have not met since the 2017 season and Michigan has won the last four meetings and nine of the last 11.
Purdue is pretty hot coming in into this Big 10 Championship Game winning their last three games where they only allowed an average of 16.3 ppg. They rank in the middle of the pack averaging 67th in the nation averaging 28.6 ppg and they rank 21st in the nation in passing yards per game and only 97th in rushing yards per game.
Aidan O’Connell (3,124 yards 22 TD 11 INT) leads the Boilermakers and in the last two games he has two TD in each with no picks. His main target, by far, is WR Charlie Jones (1,199 yards 12 TD), who has more than double the next leading target’s receiving yards and had 143 yards in the last game of the season, which was a 30-16 win over Indiana.
While Purdie does not have a great rushing offense, they have to run the ball well in this game. Devin Mockobee (849 yards 8 TD) is the lead RB and he rushed for 99 yards in the last game and has at least that many rushing yards in two of the last three games.
The Boilermakers have a tall task scoring in this game facing a Michigan defense that ranks third in the nation giving up an average of 12.7 ppg. They have the nation’s top-ranked rushing defense and rank 11thnationally in passing defense.
Don’t Slip Up
Michigan cannot suffer a letdown facing Purdue after their huge win against Ohio State. Even with a loss they may get a spot in the CFP but a win would assure it.
Michigan is the seventh highest scoring team in the nation (39.8 ppg) and are led by a ground game that ranks fifth in the nation averaging 244.5 rushing yards per game.
Star RB and Heisman candidate RB Blake Corum (1,463 yards 18 TD) only had two rushes in the win over Ohio State because of injury and while listed as probable he will likely get a heavier workload in this game. Even without him last week the Wolverines still rushed for 252 yards with Donovan Edwards (687 yards 6 TD) going for 216 yards with two TD.
J.J.McCarthy has passed for 2,215 yards with 17 TD and only two INT on the season, passed for 263 yards with three TD and no INT in the win over Ohio State, and he has not thrown a pick in the last five games. It helps that he is playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the nation that has only given up nine sacks in 12 games.
While Michigan is run first team, they have three players with at least 330 receiving yards and the WR duo of Ronnie Bell and Cornelius Johnson have combined for 1,147 yards and 8 TD.
Michigan’s high-powered offense will be facing a Purdue defense that ranks 70th in the nation against the pass and 38th against the run.
Purdue is 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
While Michigan is 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall they have failed to cover the spread in four of their last five neutral site games.
The favorite has covered in five of the last seven games between these Big 10 rivals.
Games like this are always dangerous for the team that needs to win. Sure, both teams want to win, it’s the Big 10 Title on the line. But one team, Michigan, has it’s sights set on much higher goals.
There is zero pressure on Purdue. They can open the playbook. Trick plays, go for it on 4th down, whatever they want. All of the pressure is squarely on the backs of the Wolverines. They’ll also have to avoid a letdown after being sky high for Ohio State.
Pressure aside, Michigan is obviously the superior team. Our model has them by 17 to 21 points. With -16 currently available we’ll make a small play on Michigan -16 but the better play may be on the total. There’s 52.5 available as of this writing and our numbers have this total around 45.
Purdue/Michigan UNDER 52.5
Michigan -16 (small play)