Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Citrus Bowl - LSU vs. Purdue (1/2/2023) - Taking Vegas

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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Citrus Bowl – LSU vs. Purdue (1/2/2023)

By Ace Margolis
December 31, 2022

The Citrus Bowl: LSU vs Purdue (1/2/2023 1:00 pm EDT)

Line: LSU -14.5
O/U: 56

The Citrus Bowl: LSU vs Purdue

One of the better bowl games of the second day of 2023 will be the Citrus Bowl, a bowl that’s long been known as a good one, this time featuring the 17th-ranked LSU Tigers facing the Purdue Boilermakers. The Tigers ended the regular season with a disappointing 50-30 loss against Georgia while the Boilermakers also lost their final game of the season, a 43-22 defeat at the hands of Michigan.

LSU Analysis

LSU comes into this game with a 9-4 overall record, impressive due to being a member of the big, bad SEC where they went 6-2. For a season that began with a heartbreaking loss to Florida State, the Tigers rebounded well to put themselves in a position to earth a trip to a good bowl game. On the year, LSU went 6-1 a home and 3-1 on the road with two of their losses on neutral fields including a 7-6 record both against the spread (ATS) and the over/under.

Of course, no one wants to lose games but in LSU’s defense, three of their four losses came against ranked opponents in the aforementioned FSU (currently ranked 13th), sixth-ranked Tennessee, and the best team in the country, number-one ranked Georgia. The only inexcusable loss came just before the SEC Championship games when they lost 38-23 to an unranked Texas A&M, a game LSU had no business losing.

The Tigers aren’t exactly dominant on either side of the ball but they have their bright spots such as an offense putting up a 31st-best 442.3 yards of total offense a game along with 261.1 passing yards per contest, good for 37th overall. On defense, LSU excels best at defending the pass where they’re 40th in the country in passing yards allowed, only yielding 208.8 yards a game and they allow 23.7 points per contest, good for 46th overall.

Purdue Analysis

Purdue started the season in a similar fashion to LSU as they opened up the 2022 campaign with a disappointing loss that was followed by an all-around poor start but managed to finish the season 8-5. The Boilermakers went 4-2 at home as well as on the road and went 5-8 ATS and 8-5 versus the over/under.

If the Boilermakers hadn’t figured it out early on, they wouldn’t be here nor would they have had a chance to play Michigan in the Big 10 Championship. While they lost that game, Purdue at least proved they could weather the storm by making it in the first place by winning the Big 10 West with a 6-3 record. After losing to Syracuse to start the season 1-2, the Boilermakers reeled off four straight, including wins over Minnesota, Maryland, and Wisconsin, all teams that made bowl games.

Purdue didn’t light up scoreboards with its running game but their balanced game plan on offense and defense won them games. On the defensive side of the ball, their 14 takeaways are 17th in the country and they’re holding teams to 350.1 yards of total offense, 37th overall. The Boilermakers’ offense relied on a passing attack that was 17th in college football with 286.5 yards through the air per game and they did a great job holding on to the ball as they only had six turnovers in 13 games.

Free Pick Over 56

LSU is the better team here from top to bottom but this is a bowl game and with many players opting for the NFL draft and not being eligible to play, these games can be far closer than the lines suggest. On that note, the Tigers are laying a ton of points here and, while they may very well cover, it’s hard to suggest taking it. Both of these teams have proven they can put up points with Purdue averaging 28.1 a game and LSU at 32.3 per contest. Neither defense is stingy, which means both offenses shouldn’t have a problem scoring. This could be a shootout or a blowout, but either way, there will be a lot of scoring. We like over 56.

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