College Football Week 1 Best Bets: Fresno State vs Purdue

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Vaughn Dalazell breaks down why the underdog is alive in a matchup between the Fresno State Bulldogs and Purdue Boilermakers.

FRESNO STATE AT PURDUE (-4.5): O/U 50.5

Purdue kicks off their season with Fresno State coming to town and this spread has continued to drop from -5.5 down to -4.5.

The Boilermakers are going to be a different team for the first time in a long time. Purdue hired Ryan Walters as the head coach from Illinois where he was a Defensive Coordinator for the past two years. The Boilermakers’ hire is significant because the last time a Defensive Coordinator was hired as Purdue’s HC was in 1982.

As Purdue shifts from a run-and-gun identity to defense-first, they will also deal with the loss of QB Aidan O’Connell (NFL). Hudson Card replaces O’Connell, coming over from Texas where he played four games and started three (899 passing yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT) versus West Virginia, Texas Tech, UTSA, and Alabama (non-start).

For Fresno State, the Bulldogs reload with talent on both sides of the ball and plenty of transfers coming to a team that won the Mountain West Conference in 2022 after starting 1-4 and rattling off nine straight wins.

The Bulldogs have talked about getting off to a quick start and I expect Fresno State to challenge a Purdue team that may need some time adjusting to this new scheme versus a top-tier opponent from the Mountain West Conference.

Give me Fresno State +4.5 at -115 odds down to +3. I sprinkled the ML at +160 odds as that is too good to pass up. Purdue was 2-6 ATS as a favorite last season.

Pick: Fresno State +4.5 (1u), Fresno State ML (0.25u)

Join in the college football conversation Saturdays at 11A ET. From sides to totals to props, get ready for the weekend of college football with the NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A.

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