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NCAAF Week 12: Purdue vs. Minnesota odds, preview, and pick

Profile Picture: Dan Halverson

November 19th, 2020

After a breakout season in 2019, Minnesota starting quarterback Tanner Morgan has been hit with the regression bug in his junior year. Combined with porous defense from a roster that lost a lot of talent on that side of the ball, the Minnesota Gophers are just 1-3 (1-3 ATS) and now must face a 2-1 Purdue team (1-2 ATS) whose only loss was a narrow 7-point defeat against undefeated Northwestern. 

We have betting odds and a pick for Friday night's Big Ten clash between Purdue and Minnesota below.

Sat, November 21 2020, 12:30 AM

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Spread

+2.5

Moneyline

+120

Total

O 62

Purdue Boilermakers

Spread

-2.5

Moneyline

-145

Total

U 62

Morgan has fallen on hard times in 2020

The Gophers began the year ranked 21st in the country, but have accumulated just one win, and now sit an equally demoralizing 1-3 ATS. After an above-average 2019 season for Morgan that saw him throw for 30 touchdowns, 3,253 yards, and average 10.2 yards per attempt, his numbers are down across the board in 2020.

Morgan is completing just 57.5% of his passes, and has only four touchdowns to go along with his four interceptions. While he lost talented wide receiver, Tyler Johnson, to the NFL, he still has playmaker Rashod Bateman and tough running back Mohamed Ibrahim, as well as a deep and talented offensive line.

Minnesota's defense is hemorrhaging points

The issue that might be more pressing for Minnesota than Morgan's play, however, is its defense. After having four players drafted by the NFL, including star cornerback Antoine Winfield Jr., the Gophers are really struggling to stop opposing offenses. Minnesota surrendered 49 points to Michigan, 45 points to Maryland, and 35 points to Iowa.

Can Purdue capitalize?

For the Boilermakers, late failings against Northwestern kept them from coming into this game 3-0, but they have looked much better on defense than Minnesota has at any point in 2020. Purdue is struggling to run the ball, averaging just 63.7 yards per game against 305.3 yards per game through the air, but against a bad defense it should find easier sledding.

Quarterback Aidan O’Connell would love to have Rondale Moore back from lower-body injury, and if he gets his wish, this Purdue lineup will be noticeably more dangerous.

Will Purdue cover the spread against Minnesota in Week 12?

Jeff Brohm is a big-time difference maker

In a game with a short spread, I prefer the team that has the defense capable of getting a stop in a big moment. Purdue is 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. I like Boilermakers head coach Jeff Brohm as a play-caller, and think Purdue will come away with the outright win needing only a field goal to cover.

Score prediction: Purdue 33, Minnesota 30.

Pick: Purdue -2.5


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