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Michigan State Spartans vs. Purdue Boilermakers Free Pick 10/19/13

Purdue Boilermakers (1-5) at Michigan State Spartans (5-1)

College Football: Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Spartan Stadium)

The Line: Michigan State Spartans -26.5 -- Over/Under: 42.5 See the Latest Odds


The Purdue Boilermakers hope to right the ship in a big way on Saturday as the Boilermakers head to Spartan Stadium to face the Michigan State Spartans.

The Michigan State Spartans are playing excellent ball right now, and a big reason for that is their strong defense.  That defense was on display once again this past weekend as the Spartans took care of business against the Indiana Hoosiers.  The Spartans held the high scoring offense of the Hoosiers to 28 points on the day, and it looks worse than it was as the Hoosiers scored a garbage time touchdown with just over two minutes remaining.  The Spartans defense is playing outstanding ball this season, holding opponents to just 15.6 points per game on average, ranking the Spartans fifth in the nation in scoring defense.  Offensively the Spartans have struggled early on, but it looks like Sparty has their signal caller in Connor Cook, which should provide a consistent boost to the offense.  Cook was very good against the Hoosiers, completing 22/31 for 235 yards and two scores.  The ground game isn’t what it once was in East Lansing, but the Spartans will be going against the Boilermaker front this week, which should boost their stats a bit (sorry Purdue fans).  Look for Sparty to control things early on, and try and ground and pound the Boilermakers in the second half.

Michigan State Spartans vs. Purdue Boilermakers Free Pick 10/19/13

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Purdue Boilermakers are playing the worst ball in the Big Ten this season by far.  Purdue is just 1-5 on the season, with their one win coming against Indiana State in week two.  The Boilermakers showed us some glimmer of hope against the Irish in week three, falling to Notre Dame 31-24, but we are seeing that this year’s Notre Dame Team isn’t what it was a season ago, and since that game, the Boilermakers have looked horrible.  Last weekend Purdue got blown out at home by the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  Purdue fell to Nebraska 44-7, with Purdue’s only score coming on a 50+ yard bomb with less than a minute remaining.  The Boilermaker offense managed just 216 yards on the day against the Blackshirts, and defensively, Purdue gave up 435 to Nebraska…who started a freshman Tommy Armstrong at quarterback.  Defensively the Boilermakers are likely to see as steady dose of Michigan State’s ground attack on Saturday, and that is a problem as the Boilermakers are currently ranked 101st in the nation in yards per attempt, allowing 5.0 yards per carry.  For Purdue to have any shot in this one, the Boilermakers will have to hope the Spartans are overlooking them somehow, and can force some key turnovers against a young MSU quarterback.

Purdue is just 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games, and the Boilermakers are just 1-5 against the spread in their last six road games.  Michigan State is 7-1 overall in their last eight games, but just 3-9 against the spread in their last 12 home games.

My play here is going to be on the total.  I do see some value here with the Boilermakers, but honestly I cannot suggest putting any kind of financial backing behind this team directly.  This total has dropped big time since the opening, and because of that I think we are getting a bit of value on the over.  There won’t be a ton of scoring in East Lansing on Saturday, but with a number this low, the Spartans very well could hit this total on their own.

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