The Purdue Boilermakers (1-2) will hope to rebound from a tough 20-35 loss to the Syracuse Orange on Friday night when they play host to Big Ten foes the Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The Badgers come into the tie in high spirits as they found a way to overcome a slow start to the season by covering the spread in a commanding victory over Georgia Southern last time out.
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Mellusi and Allen Look Unstoppable on the Ground
Wisconsin returned to its winning ways after a disappointing defeat to Washington State. They soared past Georgia Southern last weekend on the back of strong performances from quarterback Tanner Mordecai and running back Braelon Allen.
The former completed 19-of-30 passes for 236 yards, adding two touchdowns on the ground. Allen offered his best performance of the season, running for 94 yards and two touchdowns.
Running game is Wisconsin’s biggest strength at the start of the season. Chez Mellusi and Braelon Allen are both well above 80 yards per game this year.
The defensive unit has been solid, allowing fewer than 23 points in all three games so far in the campaign. They limited Georgia Southern to 14 points last weekend and are 55th in the nation in points allowed per game this term.
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Purdue is Struggling Defensively
Purdue enjoyed a couple of staggering campaigns under Jeff Brohm in the last two years. They made it to the Big Ten Championship in 2022. The blowout loss to Michigan has by no means ruined their season, knowing the extent to which they’ve confounded the expectations even to reach the title affair.
Unfortunately for their fans, Brohm is gone to Louisville, and things do not look promising at all for Purdue at the start of the 2023 campaign. The Boilermakers lost two of the inaugural three affairs. The run includes the last weekend’s dismal showing in a 35-20 defeat to Syracuse.
The Orange’s quarterback, Garrett Schrader, had a feast with four rushing scores on the occasion. We have already mentioned that Wisconsin’s quarterback ran for two touchdowns last weekend against Georgia Southern.
Purdue is generally struggling defensively. They allow just over 30 points per game this year (98th in the nation). Knowing the Badgers rank inside the top 25 in the league in turnovers forced, we are by no means optimistic regarding Purdue’s chances on Friday.
Best Pick — Wisconsin Badgers -6 (-110) with BetMGM
There is a lot to like about this line for the Badgers. They are unbeaten in this matchup since 2003 and have defeated Purdue by a margin of 22 points on average in the previous ten meetings.
Wisconsin will also enter the tie encouraged after a strong performance on both ends of the ball against Georgia Southern. Knowing how vulnerable Purdue’s defensive unit is, we would not be surprised to witness a blowout in West Lafayette.
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Longshot — Tanner Mordecai to score a touchdown anytime (+250) with DraftKings
We were poised to go for the Over 53.5 points pick as an alternative betting option here due to the lack of meticulousness in Purdue’s defensive unit. Nevertheless, the attractive odds made us lean the other way.
We very much like the sky-high +250 odds for Wisconsin’s quarterback Tanner Mordecai to score a touchdown on Friday. Mordecai gained confidence by running for two touchdowns in the win over Georgia Southern, while Purdue conceded four rushing scores to the opposing quarterback in a tough loss to Syracuse on Saturday.
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