Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Odds & Free Pick ATS
Ohio State owns the recent rivalry with Penn State, winning seven of the last eight meetings outright. But the Nittany Lions are 4-0 against the spread over the last four match-ups, pulling one upset, keeping other games close as underdogs. Penn State is lined as a double-digit home dog for Saturday night's Big Ten East battle at what will be an empty Beaver Stadium. How are we playing this game with our free college football pick?
College Football Betting Odds
This week's college football betting odds opened the Buckeyes at around -10.5 over the Nittany Lions, with an over/under of 61.5. Early betting action then goosed that spread to -12 and the total to 63.5.
Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions Betting Preview
Ohio State opened its 2020 season, its second under Coach Day, with a 52-17 victory over Nebraska at the Horseshoe last week. The Buckeyes actually trailed the Cornhuskers 7-0 early, and the game was tied late into the second quarter. But OSU scored 10 quick points to take a 24-14 lead into halftime, then scored the first two touchdowns, one on defense, out of the locker room to take control. Near the end, much to the delight of Buckeyes financial backers, Ohio State tacked on an otherwise meaningless score with 18 seconds left to cover the spread as a 28-point favorite. On the day the Buckeyes out-gained Nebraska 491-370 and ran the ball for 215 yards. But they also allowed the 'Huskers to rush for 210 yards on 36 attempts, so there's room for improvement in that department. Ohio State returned only 10 starters this season from a team that played 13-1 SU, 9-5 last year. Six starters came back on offense, led by QB Justin Fields (41/3 touchdowns/interceptions last season) and three along the offensive line. But only four starters returned on defense. The Buckeyes are playing against a wins over/under for this season of 8.5, which is based on a nine-game Big Ten-only schedule. Penn State opened its season, its seventh under Coach Franklin, with a crazy 36-35 loss at Indiana last week. The Nittany Lions drove the opening possession of the game 64 yards to a touchdown but then turned the ball over three times and trailed 17-7 at the half. PSU then used a 21-3 run to lead 28-20 with just under two minutes to go, only to allow the Hoosiers to forge a 28-28 tie with 22 seconds left. Penn State then scored a touchdown in the top of the overtime inning but allowed Indiana to score a TD and a very iffy two-point conversion, hanging the Lions with a very tough loss. On the night Penn State out-gained the Hoosiers 488-211, out-rushed Indiana 250-41 and dominated time of possession by a 40:20 split. But the Lions also lost the turnover battle 3-2 and missed three field goals, including a chip-shot and a 57-yarder at the regulation buzzer that fell about one yard short. Basically Penn State out-played the Hoosiers rather significantly last week, but some sloppiness and a little bad luck cost them the game. PSU returned 12 starters this season from a team that played 11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS last season. Seven starters came back on offense, including QB Sean Clifford (23/7 TD/INT last year) and four along the offensive line. But only five starters returned on defense. The Lions are playing against a wins o/u of 7.5 this season. On the injury front Penn State is down its top two running backs.
Buckeyes-Nittany Lions Recent History
Ohio State is 7-1 SU over the last eight meetings in this series and gave away the only game it lost over that span. But Penn State is 4-0 ATS over the last four meetings, winning outright once, covering the other three as an underdog. Last year the Buckeyes rolled out to a 21-0 lead in Columbus, only to have the Nittany Lions rally to within 21-17 in the third quarter. OSU eventually won 28-17 but Penn State covered as a 20-point dog. Also, that game played under a total of 58 points.
College Football Betting Trends
- Ohio State is 11-0 SU, 8-3 ATS in Big Ten play under Coach Day.
- Penn State is 35-19 SU, 26-27-1 ATS in Big Ten play under Coach Franklin.
- Ohio State's game against Nebraska last week played under a total of 69.5 by half a point.
- Penn State's game against Indiana last week was under its total of 62 through regulation but played over in overtime.
- Unders are 4-1 over the last five Buckeyes-Lions games, in part because of some high numbers.
Ohio State at penn State Prediction 10/31/20
Three of the last four meetings between these teams have been decided by three points or less, and the other one was a four-point game into the fourth quarter. We expect more of the same Saturday. We like the Nittany Lions, plus the points.