Purdue opens their 2023 season against Fresno State. It is time to continue our College Football odds series with a Fresno State-Purdue prediction, pick, and how-to-watch.

Fresno State comes in off winning the Mountain West last year and losing in the LA Bowl to Washington State. Overall it was a 10-4 season in their fourth year under Jeff Tedford. Jake Haener is off to the NFL, so Logan Fife or Mikey Keene will step in. Fife has been in the system and should get a chance at the job. Still, it will most likely be transfer Mikey Keene who could get the start. The wide receivers are gone, as is their star running back, but new guys are ready to step in. The defense allowed just 19 points per game last year, and they return a lot of key pieces, ready to step up in this game.

Purdue comes in off a Big Ten Championship game loss, and then a blowout in the Citrus Bowl. It was an 8-6 season for them, and now they replace Jeff Brohm who left for Louisville. Graham Harrell joins as the offensive coordinator, which should reshape the offense a lot. The Boilermakers will replace their quarterback as well, but Hudson Card comes in ready to make plays. Purdue has had a recent history of stud wide receivers, so the hope will be another player can step up. Head Coach Ryan Walters is great with the defense. There are a lot of gaps to fill, but with transfers and experienced players, they should be able to do so this year.

Here are the college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Football Odds: Fresno State-Purdue Odds

Fresno State: +4.5 (-120)

Purdue: -4.5 (-102)

Over: 46.5 (-105)

Under: 46.5 (-115)

How to Watch Fresno State vs. Purdue

TV: Big Ten Network

Stream: fuboTV

Time: 12:00 PM ET/ 9:00 AM PT

*Watch college football LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*

Why Fresno State Will Cover The Spread

Fresno State will most likely start Mikey Keene. He has gotten a fair amount of time in the last two years at UCF. In 2021 he started multiple games and threw for 1.730 yards with a 63.6 percent passing completion rate. He also threw 17 touchdowns and six interceptions that year. Last year, he lost out to John Rhys Plumlee, but still passed 83 times for 647 yards and six scored. He has starting experience and is a good quarterback. He is not mobile but is careful with the ball and makes smart decisions.

Logan Fife could see some time as well. He has spent the last two years as a backup but got some good time last year. In that time he threw for 70 percent in completitions but only threw two touchdowns while getting intercepted six times. He showed poor decision-making at times which is why Keene will get the start in this one.

The good news for both quarterbacks is that they have a solid offensive line to work behind. They return four players on the line, who blocked well for Jake Haener last year. They are good at giving plenty of time and creating a solid pocket for the quarterback to step up into. Erik Brooks also returns to be a top target. He had 34 receptions last year for 351 yards. He will need to step into a leger role this year if Fresno State is going to compete in the Mountain West. As is tight end Tre Watson. He is a large and good target. He will be deadly near the end zone and in short-yardage situations. His hands have been a knock for him, but reports are he has improved there.

On defense, they will be looking to keep it going. They were 23rd in the nation last year against the pass while also being top 25 in terms of points allowed per game. They bring back seven starters on defense including Levell Bailey and Cam Lockridge. Bailey led the team in tackles last year and is a solid linebacker in both the run and the pass. Lockridge intercepted five balls last year while defending another nine. He also had a sack and took one pick back to the house for a touchdown.

Why Purdue Will Cover The Spread

For Purdue, the focal point will be defense. Ryan Walters led Illinois to one of the best defensive units in the nation. They allowed just 12.8 points per game and 273.5 yards per game last year. They will switch schemes this year, moving to a 3-4, but that may be a good season for Kydran Jenkins. Jenkins was a quality pass rusher with four sacks and seven hurries. He was sitting either inside on the nickel or in a normal 4-3 scheme. This new scheme will allow the best aspect of his game to shine. Even more, this scheme relies on safety help. That is good for Purdue, they bring back both of their starting safeties who are solid against the run and in pass support.

Aidan O'Connell is now a member of the New Orleans Saints. He was one of the best quarterbacks in Purdue history and led an offense that was top 20 in the past. Hudson Card now replaces him. He was at Texas last year, but with Quinn Ewers the starter and Arch Manning waiting in the wings, he decided to move on. In his time at Texas, he threw for over 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He will be paired with offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, who always runs a high-scoring offense. Even with a poor West Virginia group, he led them to 30.6 points per game.

Devin Mockobee is back as well. He will be behind a solid offensive line that returns four starters. They are a more typical offensive line for the Big Ten. They are large and can make some huge holes in the run game. Mockobee ran for 968 yards last year and nine touchdowns. With the offense moving to more of a vertical passing game, that will take defenders out of the box this year. that will lead to some large holes for Mockobee.

Final Fresno State-Purdue Prediction & Pick

These are two teams that both played for their conference titles last year. Purdue lost, running into Michigan in the conference title game. Still, Purdue has a major talent advantage. Fresno State should have a good squad this year, but with both quarterbacks being new to their systems, go with the one that has the better career and the better defense. That is Purdue, who will cover this one.

Final Fresno State-Purdue Prediction & Pick: Purdue -4.5 (-105)