Syracuse Football: Purdue vs. Syracuse prediction, odds, spread and over/under for college football week 3

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse football hits the road for the first time in the young 2023 season, when the Orange travels to Big Ten Conference member Purdue this Saturday night in a primetime battle on NBC.

The Orange has absolutely smashed its opponents so far, although I think we all can agree that it hasn’t played a tough schedule to date by any means. The ‘Cuse followed up a week-one domination of Central New York neighbor Colgate, 65-0, on the Hill by crushing Western Michigan this past Saturday at the JMA Wireless Dome, 48-7.

Now the Orange (2-0) is set to square off with the Boilermakers (1-1) on the road. Purdue picked up its first victory of the 2023 campaign when it knocked off fellow Atlantic Coast Conference squad Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va., by a final count of 24-17 over the weekend.

Last year, Purdue went 8-6 overall, and that included a thrilling affair versus the ‘Cuse in Central New York. Syracuse football, in September of 2022, squeaked out a 32-29 triumph over the Boilermakers.

This season, Purdue is led by first-year head coach Ryan Walters, who most recently served as the defensive coordinator for another Big Ten team, Illinois. In that league’s preseason media poll, the Boilermakers were projected to finish at No. 6 in the Big Ten’s west division.

Purdue vs. Syracuse odds, spread and total

When I wrote this article, FanDuel had the Orange as a 2.5-point betting favorite on the road against the Boilermakers, with the over/under set at 58.5 points.

Purdue vs. Syracuse how to watch

Date: Saturday, Sept. 16
Game Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind.
TV/Streaming: NBC and fuboTV
Purdue’s record: 1-1
Syracuse’s record: 2-0
Syracuse’s full 2023 schedule: Click here

Purdue vs. Syracuse key players to watch

Here is the week-three depth chart for the Orange against the Boilermakers, courtesy of SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister. Against Western Michigan, ‘Cuse receiver Oronde Gadsden II and offensive lineman David Wohlabaugh Jr. suffered unfortunate injuries.

At this weekly press conference this past Monday, head coach Dino Babers said that he wouldn’t have updates on them until later on in the week. Babers did say he’s hopeful that offensive linemen Kalan Ellis and Joe More will be back to play at Purdue. I didn’t see wide receiver/return specialist Trebor Pena listed on the week-three depth chart.


Junior quarterback Hudson Card
Card has taken over at QB for the Boilermakers, after prolific signal-caller Aidan O’Connell headed to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. Last weekend, as Purdue defeated Virginia Tech, Card completed 23-of-34 attempts for 248 yards. Through two games in the 2023 stanza, Card is completing 62.5 percent of his passes, with 502 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Sophomore running back Devin Mockobee
In the win over the Hokies, Mockobee was solid, rushing 21 times for 95 yards and one score on the ground.


Senior quarterback Garrett Shrader
Since the Orange easily handled Western Michigan, Shrader didn’t play in the second half against the Broncos. Still, he managed to complete 19-of-30 attempts for 286 passing yards and one score through the air. He added a rushing TD.

Sophomore running back LeQuint Allen Jr.
Allen didn’t pile up a ton of yards versus Western Michigan, but he did get into the end zone on three occasions. Redshirt junior running back Juwaun Price also tallied 68 yards on the ground.

Junior receiver Oronde Gadsden II and the rest of the WR room
I’m praying that Gadsden is okay for the long term, but if he can’t go against Purdue (or isn’t at 100 percent), other wide receivers will have to step up. Some receivers to keep an eye on include redshirt freshman Donovan Brown, redshirt sophomore Umari Hatcher and redshirt junior Isaiah Jones, among others.

Senior defensive back Jason Simmons Jr.
Simmons, at the end of the first half in the Western Michigan game, had an impressive pick-six that totaled 84 yards.

Purdue vs. Syracuse prediction and pick

In their short series together, the Orange and the Boilermakers are tied up 1-1. Syracuse football took care of business a season ago, while in 2004, Purdue absolutely smoked the ‘Cuse at home, 51-0.

National and Big Ten pundits don’t appear to be super high on the Boilermakers in 2023. Purdue lost its first game, at home on Saturday, Sept. 2, to Fresno State by a final score of 39-35. But the Boilermakers were able to grab a road win over an ACC team this past weekend.

I acknowledge that I’m a homer, but I think that on paper, Syracuse football is the “better” squad. But Purdue will be on its own turf this coming Saturday evening, which is why the odds-makers view this non-conference game as likely to be a tight contest.

Even though its opponents have been sub-par, I’m encouraged by what the Orange has done so far in this young 2023 term. I’ll go with the ‘Cuse to best the Boilermakers away from the Hill, 30-23.

After this game, Syracuse football returns to the Dome, when the Orange hosts fellow Empire State group Army beginning at noon on Saturday, Sept. 23. The ACC Network will air this encounter.

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