Ohio State Buckeyes at Penn State Nittany Lions Odds & Free Pick
Penn State gets its annual chance to make some noise on the national stage when it hosts Ohio State for a big Big 10 East battle Saturday afternoon up at Happy Valley. The No. 13 Nittany Lions bounced back nicely last week following a poor performance against Michigan, while the No. 2 Buckeyes appear headed for another big showdown with the Wolverines in a few weeks.
Ohio State's favored by two touchdowns-plus on the road for this one. Who do we like for our free Ohio St./ Penn St. pick?
Ohio State-Penn State Betting Odds
This week's college football betting lines opened the Buckeyes at -15.5 for Saturday, with an over/under of right around 61. Both figures were holding steady in the early betting action.
Ohio State Betting Preview
The Buckeyes are 7-0 on the season after disposing of Iowa last Saturday 54-10. Ohio State only led the Hawkeyes 16-10 well into the second quarter, but a field goal and a pick-six gave them a 26-10 lead at the half. OSU then won the second half 28-0 and covered at -29.
Ohio State only produced 360 yards of total offense Saturday, just 66 on the ground. But the Buckeyes' defense limited Iowa to just 158 total yards, came up with six takeaways, and held the Hawkeyes out of the end zone all day. OSU has now out-gained each of its seven opponents this season and out-rushed six of its seven foes, almost all by huge margins.
Two games ago, the Buckeyes won at Michigan State 49-20, covering at -28, and three games ago, they beat Rutgers 49-10, pushing the spread to -39. Going back a bit further, Ohio State is 4-0-1 ATS its last five times out, playing against an average spread of -29.
Penn State Betting Preview
The Nittany Lions are 6-1 on the season after beating Minnesota unexpectedly easily last week 45-17. Penn State spotted the Gophers the first three points of the game, then used a 17-0 run to lead 17-10 at the half. The Lions then drove their first three possessions of the second half to touchdowns to secure the win and the cover at -6.
Penn State out-gained Minnesota 479-340, although we should point out the Gophers started a freshman backup at QB in place of their injured starter.
The Nittany Lions have now out-gained five of their last six opponents and out-rushed six of their seven opponents on the season. Two weeks ago, Penn State looked terrible in a 41-17 loss at Michigan. Three games ago, the Lions beat Northwestern 17-7 but couldn't cover at -25. And four games ago, they beat Central Michigan 33-14 but couldn't cover at -28.
Big 10 Action
The Buckeyes are 4-0 SU, 3-0-1 ATS against Big 10 opponents this season, playing those foes to +271 yards per game. Penn State is 3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS in Big 10 play but -14 YPG.
Ohio State-Penn State Recent History
The Buckeyes own a five-game winning streak against the Nittany Lions, but the average score is only 33-26. In fact, Penn State is 5-1 ATS over the last six meetings, with that crazy upset back in 2016, keeping other games close while catching points on the betting lines.
Last year's game at Columbus was tied at 17-17 in the third quarter, and while Ohio State won 33-24, the Lions covered at +19.
College Football Betting Trends
In games involving two teams ranked in the AP Top 25 this season, the higher-ranked outfits are 17-13 SU but only 13-16-1 ATS. Top 10 teams are 15-10 SU and 13-12 ATS on the road this season.
- The Overs are 5-2 in Buckeyes games this season which are averaging 65 total points.
- The Overs are 5-2 in Nittany Lions games this season, averaging 52 points.
- The Unders are 5-1-1 over the last seven meetings between these teams, mainly because the average O/U was 59.
Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) at Penn State Nittany Lions
The Ohio State offense gets most of the ink, but its defense ranks No. 2 in the country, holding foes to 240 YPG. And while Stroud and the passing attack also get most of the attention, the Buckeyes are averaging 205 YPG on the ground. Also, Ohio State owns the better performance against Big 10 opponents. And playing on the road means the spread is a little more amenable. We're betting on the Buckeyes, minus the points.