Odds & Pick Louisville Vs Purdue Week 1Noah Williams
Jackson and Louisville Shooting for the Stars in 2017 Opener at Purdue
2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals will be shooting for the moon in 2017, starting with their Week 1 opener against a Purdue Boilermakers team that is looking to rebound after finishing in last place in the Big Ten West division a year ago.
The Boilermakers will host the Cardinals on Saturday, September 2, 7:30 PM ET, live from Lucas Oil Stadium with this matchup airing on FOX. The college football betting odds favor Louisville by 24.5-points. The game total for over/under bets is 68.
Louisville Cardinals Vs Purdue Boilermakers College Football Week 1 Odds & Pick
Louisville Cardinals (0-0) at Purdue Boilermakers (0-0)
When: Saturday, September 2, 7:30 PM ET
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Stream: Fox Sports
Odds: Louisville -24.5
Why Bet the Louisville Cardinals Odds at -24.5
The Cardinals look good in this contest because they have an unstoppable quarterback and an explosive offense.
I don’t know how else to say it, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like what I witnessed out of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson last season. The fleet-footed dual-threat superstar quarterback put up some crazy ass video game-like numbers for head coach Bobby Petrino to the tune of 3,543 passing yards and 30 TD passes while rushing for a mind-boggling 1,571 yards and 21 additional touchdowns.
Thanks mostly to Jackson’s contributions, Louisville averaged a stellar 42.5 points per game to rank sixth in the nation. The bad news for Louisville is that three offensive linemen are gone as well as its leading rusher and top-three receivers. Now, Petrino is looking for running backs Jeremy Smith and Colin Wilson and young wide receivers Devante Peete, Jaylen Smith and Traveon Samuel to give Jackson the help he needs to become more balanced offensively.
Defensively, Louisville limited the opposition to a modest 23.8 points per game to rank 31st in points allowed nationally. Linebacker Stacy Thomas returns after recording 85 tackles last season and hybrid end/linebacker James Hearns is back after racking up eight sacks. The secondary is also a strength with four returning starters, including gifted cornerback Jaire Alexander who had five interceptions while guarding the opponent’s top wideout each weekend.
Why Bet the Purdue Boilermakers Odds at +24.5
The Boilermakers are a good bet simply because they’re getting a ton of points and are playing at home.
Purdue was less than mediocre on both sides of the ball in 2016 as they averaged a modest 24.6 points per game (101st) while allowing a whopping 38.2 points per contest to rank a mostly pitiful 117th in points allowed. Still, with nowhere to go but up, there’s hope for the Boilermakers after they hired former Western Kentucky head coach Jeff Brohm who went 30-10 in three years leading the Hilltoppers and routinely lit up the scoreboard during his time there.
Purdue returns starting quarterback David Blough, passed for over 3,300 yards in 2016, but he’ll need to cut down on the turnovers after throwing 21 interceptions to virtually cancel out the 25 TD passes he tossed a year ago. Running backs Markell Jones and Brian Lankford-Johnson will likely play a significant role in the offense while Brohm finds some quality receiving options. Defensively, Purdue returns six of its top seven tacklers from last season, including linebacker Markus Bailey (97 tackles) and defensive lineman Gelen Robinson (five sacks)
Louisville Vs Purdue Week 1 Expert Analysis and Prediction
While I have no doubt that Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals are going to win this regular season opener, the more I think about it, the more I like Purdue to cover the big point spread as three-touchdown-plus home underdogs.
Louisville may be 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September, but the Cardinals are also just 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall. While the Boilermakers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games, they’re also 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on fieldturf. More importantly, I think the hiring of Jeff Brohm is going to transform the Boilermakers into an aggressive offensive team that looks nothing like it did under his predecessor. Purdue finds a way to narrowly cover the spread!
Pick: Louisville 42 Purdue 21