David Caraviello for Bookies.com

By David Caraviello | | 6 mins

Tennessee vs Purdue Music City Bowl Picks & Betting Predictions

Tennessee vs Purdue Music City Bowl Picks & Betting Predictions
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Expect lots of orange in Nissan Stadium on Dec. 30 for the Music City Bowl, with the Tennessee Volunteers playing in their home state. Purdue will be the underdog in more ways than one in Nashville, even if the Boilermakers have played a little better down the stretch.

Tennessee at 7-5 won three of its final four games, with the lone loss in that stretch coming to Georgia - no crime there. Purdue at 8-4 won four of its last five, the lone loss to Ohio State (again, understandable) but with a victory over then-No. 5 Michigan State thrown in. The Boilers also upset Iowa earlier in the season when the Hawkeyes were ranked No. 2.

So don’t dismiss Purdue just because its fans will be vastly outnumbered on Lower Broadway. This Music City matchup shapes up as a competitive one for both spectators and those making college football picks.

Odds subject to change.

Tennessee vs Purdue Key Matchups

Tennessee’s defense vs. Aidan O’Connell: O’Connell doesn’t get the praise of some Big 10 QBs, but he certainly puts up the numbers. A Vols pass defense that ranks 13th in the SEC will have its hands full with a slinger who’s completed 72% of attempts for 3,066 yards.

David Bell vs. Jaylen McCullough: O’Connell’s favorite target is Bell, who averages 117 receiving yards per game. He’ll be up against McCullough, Tennessee’s best DB, with three picks on the year.

Hendon Hooker vs. Cam Allen: Tennessee’s quarterback averages 260 yards of offense per game, 216 of it through the air. He’ll try to avoid Allen, a standout Purdue safety who leads the team with four interceptions.


5 Key Tennessee vs Purdue Stats

18-8: Purdue’s record against the spread as an underdog under coach Jeff Brohm, hired prior to the 2017 season.

4-2: Tennessee’s record against the spread as a favorite under coach Josh Heupel, hired prior to this season.

3-6: Purdue’s all-time record against the SEC, which includes 1-3 in bowl games, and a 1-0 mark against the Vols from the 1979 Bluebonnet Bowl.

12-4: Tennessee’s all-time record against the Big Ten, which includes an 11-4 mark in bowl games and a current streak of five straight wins.

406.75: O’Connell’s average number of passing yards over his last four games, which includes a career-high 536 against Michigan State.


Tennessee vs Purdue Weather Forecast

December highs in Nashville are typically in the low-50s, although cooler temperatures are likely in store for the second half of a bowl game that kicks off at 3 p.m. ET. Those considering college football betting for this matchup should check out the precipitation forecast for game day, given that rain is not uncommon in the Tennessee capital in December.


RELATED: Ultimate Betting Guide To College Football Bowl Season


Tennessee vs Purdue Moneyline

Tennessee is a -255 moneyline favorite, according to sportsbooks, while Purdue is a +205 underdog. Huepel has done a masterful job of transforming Tennessee in his first year, using a fun, up-tempo offense that made the Vols competitive in the SEC. Now, just imagine what they’d be capable of if they had O’Connell and Bell, easily the two best offensive players in this game.

The Boilermakers get lost in the Big Ten, but that offense is for real, and the defense is good enough - a stark contrast to Tennessee, who’s awful pass defense faces a very bad matchup. That why we love these college football odds, taking that +205 and Purdue to win outright.

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Tennessee vs Purdue Point Spread

Tennessee is a 7.5-point favorite, according to betting sites. Purdue has covered in four of five, while Tennessee has covered just twice in its last six. The Vols earned a statement victory Nov. 6 by beating SEC East runner-up Kentucky, but beyond that their best wins are over 6-6 teams.

Purdue not only knocked off Michigan State and Iowa, the Boilermakers also opened with a victory over an Oregon State team that would go 7-5. Purdue has more experienced and more dynamic offensive skill position players, it earned bigger wins during the regular season, and it’s very capable of covering the spread in this game.

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Tennessee vs Purdue Totals

The total is 66, according to betting apps. Tennessee has gone over the total in five straight, while Purdue has gone over in four out of its last six. And yet, those totals have all been consistently lower than what these two teams face in Nashville.

There’s also another factor to consider: Purdue’s very capable pass defense, which ranks third in the Big Ten allowing 194 yards per game, and has picked off 13 passes. That plus the high total coaxes us into taking the under, foreseeing a scenario where the Boiler D does just enough to allow O’Connell and Bell to pull away. You can get Under 66 (-110) at BetMGM.

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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.