Battle of the Big Ten East Giants: Penn State at Ohio State Odds
[table id=851 /]
A couple of weeks ago, fans in Happy Valley were—well, happy that their Penn State Nittany Lions (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten East) had made it into the top four of the first College Football Playoffs rankings. But then they did the one thing they couldn’t do. They lost to Minnesota.
Now, they are on the outside looking in, but with an opportunity on deck to earn their way back in. They just have to do one thing—beat the Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten East).
Yeah, that’s all.
Should they pull off the upset there is a good chance they could get bumped up as high as No. 4. But they could just go as high as No. 6. Alabama has a soft opponent this week, so there is no way they move up while Utah and Oregon don’t play anyone impressive either.
Even if Georgia wins, a victory over Ohio State is going to be a lot more impressive than a Bulldogs win over Texas A&M. It is possible Ohio State falls out of the top four with a loss. But it is more likely they slide down to No. 3, Penn State becomes the new No. 4, and Georgia goes back to No. 5 even if they win.
However, first, the Nittany Lions have to beat the Buckeyes.
College Football Week 13 Odds Article—> Read More
Penn State at Ohio State Over/Under: This May Be A One-Sided Affair
The last two games in this rivalry featured two top-ten teams, much like this one, and ended up being decided by just a single point. Both times, it was Ohio State coming out on top after a well-
played game by two opponents that matched up fairly well.
But that is not the case this year. This year, Ohio State is a heavy favorite (-18.5 points) over the underdog Nittany Lions. It is not that Penn State is not a very good team; they are. The Buckeyes are just much, much better which is why the Ohio State odds are so good.
They don’t just have the No. 1 scoring offense (51.5 points a game) in college football, they also have the No. 1 scoring defense (9.8 points a game allowed) in the country. Their defense is also the best against the pass (126.0 yards a game allowed). They aren’t too bad at stopping the run, either (No. 6; 90.4 yards a game allowed).
Offensively, the Buckeyes are not a great passing team (No. 45; 254.3 yards a game). But what they lack in aerial firepower, they make up for it in the run game (No. 4; 287.4 yards a game).
It will absolutely be hard for Penn State to hang with the Buckeyes. But if things fall the right way for them, it is possible. Ohio State’s offense features the run; they happen to have the No. 4 rushing defense in the country (75.9 yards a game allowed).
However, even though Ohio State does not feature the passing game, that may be how they attack the Nittany Lions defense. Penn State is much weaker against the pass (No. 84; 240.3) than they are the run.
Penn State Odds to Move the Ball Against the Stout Ohio State Defense
Of course, no matter how well Penn State’s defense plays, it is going to be all for nothing if the offense can’t move the ball. Sean Clifford has done a good job with the offense this year, but not a great one. He will be facing the toughest defense of his young career.
With both teams having strong defenses, it may seem like an over/under of 56.5 points is too high. But you have to reminder the caliber of offenses on the field. Ohio State nearly averages that number; Penn State could easily make up the difference.
Of course, the argument against over-analyzing statistics could apply here. Ohio State is undefeated and has played good football this year. But their marquee wins for the moment are against No. 25 Michigan State and No. 13 Wisconsin. Penn State’s big wins came against No. 17 Iowa and No. 16 Michigan. But they also have a loss to No. 16 Minnesota on their record.
Both teams are very good, and typically play each other pretty close. Four of the last five games were decided by a touchdown or less.
So, when you place your bet you will have to ask yourself a couple of very important question:
Do you run with the statistical analysis and take the favorites, Ohio State to win?
Or do you go with the eye test? Do you trust that Penn State is as good as they appear to be and capable of the upset?