By Sam Panayotovich
FOX Sports activities Betting Analyst
The Large Ten’s faculty soccer social gathering resumes Thursday evening on FOX!
James Franklin’s Penn State Nittany Lions (-3.5 at FOX Guess, O/U 52) roll into West Lafayette, Ind., to face the Purdue Boilermakers, a workforce that completed 9-4 final season after an enthralling victory over Tennessee within the Music Metropolis Bowl.
My query this season is straightforward: Can Purdue do it once more?
The Boilermakers haven’t pieced collectively back-to-back successful seasons since 2006 and 2007, so it’s honest to be skeptical a few program that hasn’t skilled sustained success in a while.
“Super senior” quarterback Aidan O’Connell returns for Purdue, however a lot of his weaponry is lengthy gone. The Boilermakers needed to substitute their prime three receivers, together with first-team All-American David Bell, who caught 93 balls for nearly 1,300 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Inheritor obvious wideout Broc Thompson went off for 217 yards within the Music Metropolis Bowl, however protection was non-obligatory in what shortly changed into a monitor meet with 93 factors and 1,297 whole yards of offense.
That’s not going to occur towards Penn State.
The Nittany Lions are perennially powerful within the secondary. Additionally they deliver again future NFL’er PJ Mustipher [6’4″, 325] in the trenches after he elected to use his extra year of eligibility to return for the upcoming season.
Let’s not forget that Penn State started 5-0 last year and led 17-3 at No. 3 Iowa, but Mustipher blew out his knee, and quarterback Sean Clifford exited the game with a rib injury that he battled through for the rest of the campaign.
Iowa escaped with a victory, and Penn State never recovered.
Both players are back, which will help set the tone for a Nittany Lions squad that’s clearly trying to shake the notion that they’ve underachieved over the last two years in the Big Ten.
I also spoke to a couple of professional bettors down on Purdue and will be looking to short the team quite a bit. It’s tough to disagree with those sentiments, given how much the Boilermakers exceeded expectations and how much offensive firepower they must replace.
Let’s buy low on Franklin’s bunch and lay the points.
PICK: Penn State (-3.5, +100 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 3.5 points
YTD: 2-0 (NU 1H, NU)
Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
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