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Maybe this will start a betting bromance between me and the OutKick vet. But, I’m following Dan Dakich’s lead and BETTING the PURDUE BOILERMAKERS +3 (+100) vs. the Penn State Nittany Lions at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Dakich is onto something here by taking the points with Purdue and hitting the moneyline (ML) when the Boilermakers host the Penn State Nittany Lions Thursday at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Boilermakers QB Aidan O’Connell Is A Beast
It’s no secret why Purdue had its best season in head coach Jeff Brohm’s tenure (est. 2017) … QB Aidan O’Connell had a breakout season. He never looked back once replacing now-California Bears QB Jack Plummer in Purdue’s Week 3 loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish last season.
O’Connell is a stud and could be drafted in the 1st round if he builds on 2021-22’s performance. He was 2nd in the Big Ten for passer efficiency rating (158.5), completion rate (71.6%) and pass TDs (28). O’Connell ranked behind future top-5 pick, Ohio State Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud in all these metrics.
Also, the football nerds love O’Connell as well. O’Connell was 2nd in the Big Ten in QB non-garbage time predicted points added (PPA). He had the best big-time throw rate out of 67 Power Five QBs according to Pro Football Focus.
Conversely, Penn State QB Sean Clifford is entering his 4th season as the starter and has never lived up to expectations. He is solid but consistently inconsistent, if that makes sense. Clifford ranked 7th in passer efficiency in the Big Ten out of 11 qualified QBs and had the 3rd-worst PPA.
The Nittany Lions need Clifford to step up if they have any hope of contending in the Big Ten East. Penn State lost three starting offensive linemen and former WR Jahan Dotson to the NFL Draft this offseason. Dotson ranked 3rd or better in the Big Ten for catches, receiving yards and receiving TDs.
Don’t get me wrong, Purdue’s 2021 All-Big Ten 1st-team WR David Bell going to the NFL is a major loss for the offense. However, O’Connell’s improvement would mitigate that. He’s at least in good shape for Thursday’s matchup vs. the Nittany Lions.
Penn State’s defense ranks 103rd in returning production according to ESPN’s Bill Connelly. The Nittany Lions lost their leader in sacks from last season (DE Arnold Ebiketie). That doesn’t bode well for a Penn State defense ranked 85th in sack rate last season per Football Outsiders.
Even if Purdue’s offense is less dynamic without Bell, O’Connell should have all day to carve up Penn State’s new defense.
It’s A ‘Good Spot’ For Purdue
The betting splits and situational trends give me the warm fuzzies about backing Purdue Thursday.
Yet Penn State -3 (-120) is the line, which is suspicious, to say the least. Oddsmakers are trying to entice more pro-Penn State action and this line movement feels like a trap.
Additionally, the Boilermakers are 7-3 against the spread (ATS) as home underdogs of 3 or more in the Brohm-era. There’s value in PURDUE (+145) winning this game outright since it’s 5-5 straight up in these spots with an average final margin of 29.5-26.3.
In fact, not only am I BETTING PURDUE BOILERMAKERS +3 (+100). But, I’m also SPRINKLING on PURDUE’s (+145) ML.
- A $100 bet on Purdue +3 (+100) returns a $100 profit if the Boilermakers win or lose by 1 or 2 points.
- A $25 “sprinkle” on Purdue (+145) nets a $36.25 profit if the Boilermakers upset Penn State (-170) at home.
Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.