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Purdue/Notre Dame & Georgia Southern/Arkansas Parlay Preview Article


CTG Junior Moderator
Saturday's Best Bets: Add This College Football Week 3 Parlay

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC) at Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana

The Odds

So far this season, Notre Dame edged out a seven-point underdog (Florida State) in the season opener.

In Week 2, the Irish edged out a 16.5-point underdog in Toledo.

The fact that they are eking out victories against heavy underdogs helps indicate that they are being overvalued by oddsmakers.

Offensive Line Issues

One major area of concern for Notre Dame is its offensive line.

In the season opener against Florida State, the Irish failed to reach two YPC and quarterback Jack Coan was pressured on over a quarter of his throws.

Instead of proving that one should not pay too much attention to season-opening performances, the Irish offensive line regressed in Week 2 against Toledo.

Toledo's MAC defense amassed six sacks and six quarterback hurries.

For comparison's sake, Toledo managed one sack and zero hurries in its season opener against FCS Norfolk State.

As if things couldn't get any worse, Blake Fisher, whom Notre Dame has had to rely on to start even though he is a freshman, suffered an injury that will keep him out of Saturday's contest. His sophomore replacement against Toledo was part of the problem.

Jack Coan/Tyler Buchner vs. Purdue Defense

Against Toledo, the Irish improved from their season opener to rush for a still paltry 3.4 YPC.

The reason why their YPC almost doubled was the surprise that they sprung in the form of quarterback Tyler Buchner.

Buchner's combination of passing and running helped lead the Irish to victory. Buchner's legs, in particular, helped offset a bit the Irish disadvantage in its offensive line.

For a few years now, Purdue has weaponized Jalen Graham against such dangerous quarterbacks.

Graham is a versatile linebacker who will move around, read the opposing offense, and use his physical skill set to cover pass-catching backs or disrupt the most mobile of quarterbacks in or out of the pocket.

Jack Coan, though, is still the quarterback for Notre Dame. The former Badger benefited from having a superstar running back in Jonathan Taylor constitute the centerpiece of the offense.

Without a guy like Taylor helping him out, Coan doesn't have support that he needs, leaving Coach Kelly to explore other options.

Buchner was a surprise, a first-time player against Toledo, though, that Purdue now has film on.

Notre Dame's Defensive Issues

Notre Dame is still adjusting to first-year defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman.

Philosophically, Freeman brings a different look to previous Irish defenses that were known for their bend-but-don't break mentality.

Conversely, Freeman is very aggressive. His gambles apparently require a learning curve because the high number of points surrendered and the massive number of big plays allowed are not exactly part of the plan.

His blitzes, besides creating holes in the Irish defense, are leaving a beleaguered linebacking corps and a rather young and inexperienced Irish secondary, led by former wide receiver Cam Hart, exposed. This unit misses departed lockdown cornerbacks from previous years.

Purdue Pass Attack vs. Irish Secondary

Purdue has the offensive weapons to challenge the Irish back seven.

In particular, Jack Plummer looks strong so far with his 183.1 passer rating, his completion percentage over 70, and his six touchdowns to zero interceptions.

Plummer benefits from having the likes of 2020 All-Big Ten first-teamer David Bell to throw to.

With his unique prowess in contested catch situations and his burst and speed, he's already averaging 18.2 YPC while flexing the very big-play ability that has plagued Notre Dame's defense so far.

While the Boilermakers would like to rely on running back Zander Horvath giving their offense balance via a strong run game, he is injured. Horvath's backups, though, have been more efficient and won't permit a drop-off.

Georgia Southern vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 4 p.m. ET (SEC Network) at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas

The Spot

This is a play on Georgia Southern purely because of the awful betting spot that Arkansas finds itself in.

Last week, the Razorbacks upended hated Texas in a primetime game at the end of which their fans stormed the field.

On the one hand, therefore, this presents a let-down situation. It will be hard for Arkansas to get up for the 20-point underdog since this contest is not nearly as exciting or meaningful as the big game against Texas.

To make matters worse. Arkansas has seventh-ranked Texas A&M on deck.

Given the fact that they are playing measly Georgia Southern this week, it will be hard for the Razorbacks not to look ahead to another big game.

The thing is, it's really necessary to prepare especially for the Eagle offense. Georgia Southern runs an option offense, including a gun option, that always takes a devoted effort from defenses.

Arkansas, though, is in just the spot to lack the required devotion this week.

Parlay Verdict

Notre Dame lacks the offensive firepower to score enough and the defensive competence to limit especially Purdue's pass attack.

In addition to betting on Purdue, I recommend fading Arkansas given its classic 'sandwich' spot.

Best Bet: Parlay Boilermakers +7 at +100 & Eagles +23.5 at -110 at +282 odds with BetOnline

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