Notre Dame Vs. Purdue: Betting Odds, Preview and Prediction

Apr. 21, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Andrew Hendrix (12) prepares to hand off the ball in the first quarter of the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Purdue has never enjoyed much success at Notre Dame and the oddsmakers gave them a 2-touchdown head start for their Big Ten opener against the Irish Saturday.

Notre Dame's Fighting Irish, back from winning their season opener overseas, begin the Big Ten portion of their schedule when they entertain the Purdue Boilermakers Saturday in South Bend (3:30 pm ET, NBC).

Notre Dame opened at -14.5 for this game at many online sportsbooks, but as of Thursday afternoon most CFB betting outlets had dropped the hook and were listing the Irish at -14.

Also, the total on this game opened at 51.5 or 52, and had held steady in early betting action.

Purdue is just 1-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in six recent meetings with the Irish. Their victory here in 2004 was the only one in eight trips since 1996, according to the NFL database.

Notre Dame, with 14 starters back from its 8-5 team of a season ago, began this season last Saturday with a 50-10 bashing of Navy in Dublin, Ireland. The Irish used big plays to jump out to a 27-0 lead and coasted from there.

Sophomore QB Everett Golson completed 12 of 18 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown, RB Theo Riddick ran for 107 and two scores and Notre Dame forced four Middies turnovers, on its way to covering the spread as 14-point favorites.

The Irish piled up big numbers Saturday without RB Cierre Wood, who missed that game and will miss Saturday's game serving a two-game suspension.

On the other side of this match-up Purdue, with 15 starters back after going 7-6 last year, opened its season last week with a 48-6 victory over Eastern Kentucky.

Back-up QB Robert Marve, playing in place of a suspended Caleb TerBush, hit on 30 of 38 throws for 295 yards and three scores, and the Boilers outgained the Colonels 547-190 on their way to covering the spread as 20-point favorites.

TerBush is expected to start Saturday, but Marve may also see field time, too.

Notre Dame has won the last four games in this series. Last year the Irish pounded Purdue 38-10, outgaining the Boilers 551-276 and covering the spread as 12-point favorites.

Free Irish vs Purdue Pick: The Irish looked pretty good last week, but 14 points here seems like a lot. We'll take Purdue and the points.

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