Louisville vs. Purdue NCAA Football Preview
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
When: Saturday, September 2, 2017, 7:30 PM ET
Line: Louisville Cardinals (-24.5) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (+24.5), total 69.0 – view all 2017 NCAA Football lines
TV Broadcast: FOX
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Betting on the Louisville Cardinals (-24.5)
Louisville looked like they were destined for big things last season. The Cardinals were 9-1 at one point, with their lone loss coming in a very competitive game against eventual national champions Clemson on the road.
However, they lost steam over the last few games of the year, losing their last two regular season games to Houston and Kentucky, and were a no-show in their bowl game loss to LSU.
But despite that disappointing end to their year, it shouldn’t take away from the outstanding year quarterback Lamar Jackson had. Jackson was absolutely electric as he accounted for over 5,000 yards from scrimmage and 51 touchdowns (30 passing, 21 rushing) and won the Heisman Trophy.
It’s fair to wonder whether Jackson can reach that level of play again, especially with a still-questionable line and the loss of his top three receivers from last season.
But if Jackson can provide enough offense, the Cards defense that returns eight starters should be able to make enough stops against a Purdue attack that still has some question marks.
Betting on the Purdue Boilermakers (+24.5)
Purdue had another disastrous year last season as they went 3-9 and 1-8 in Big Ten play. Head coach Darrell Hazell was dismissed six games into the season, and the Boilermakers went winless in the six games after his departure.
Western Kentucky’s Jeff Brohm has been brought in to resuscitate the floundering Purdue program, and he plans to install his high-powered offense that saw WKU top the nation in scoring last season.
Brohm will have the perfect quarterback in place with junior David Blough, who was the Big Ten’s top passer last season (3,352 yards and 25 touchdowns). However, there are some question marks in terms of the line and at receiver.
Purdue’s defense was also a major weakness last season, as they finished 117th out of 128 teams in scoring defense. But the Boilermakers could make a big jump on that side of the ball as they return six starters, including top tackler Markus Bailey. Bailey leads a strong linebacking corps that might just have enough range to keep Jackson from completely torching Purdue on the ground.
Purdue (+24.5) doesn’t quite have the horses to hang with Louisville for the full four quarters, but the Boilermakers do just enough to cover the spread in a high-scoring 42-24 loss.
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