Ohio State vs. Penn State Odds & Total Pick

October 31, 7:30 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
OSU -12./PSU +12
OSU -415/ PSU +335

The Penn State Nittany Lions suffered a devastating and controversial overtime defeat in last week's opener at the hands of Indiana. After a long wait to start the season, it was not the type of heartbreak Penn State needed to start the season. Now the Nittany Lions have their biggest challenge of the season when they host the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley. Though it's just the 2nd game of the season for both teams, this match-up has Big Ten implications from two teams that were expected to be elite frontrunners in the conference.

Unlike the Nittany Lions, Ohio State did not disappoint in their opener. The Buckeyes derailed Nebraska in a 52-17 shellacking that stirred the debate on college football's best team. Ohio State QB Justin Fields posted a brilliant performance hitting 20 of 21 passing for 276 yards with two touchdowns. The junior quarterback also rushed for another 54 yards and a touchdown on the ground, which helped prove the Buckeyes offense will be a force to be reckoned with in 2020 even after the departure of J.K. Dobbins. With that said, Nebraska does not present the type of national championship gauging challenge, and perhaps we will have a better idea of Ohio State's status as a threat to the nation's elite after their showdown with the Nittany Lions.

More Picks: Get Zank's Ohio State at Penn State Pick Against the Spread

Penn State 8-2 ATS as an underdog since 2016

Obviously, the betting public will be hesitant to back Penn State after a loss to Indiana against the Big Ten's emerging championship contender in Ohio State. However, I think it's important to note that in many ways, Penn State did not play bad last week. The Nittany Lions held Indiana to just 211 total yards and racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense. Ultimately we don't see the results on the scoreboard because of the turnovers. Penn State gave up three turnovers, which proved to be costly but do not be fooled by the outcome; this is a still a solid football team.

The Nittany Lions defense will be game for this big match-up with Ohio State, and though I respect the Buckeyes offensive efficiency, Penn State can stand strong in this match-up. Furthermore, if you look through James Franklin's history at Penn State, the Nittany Lions have excelled in the underdog role. In fact, Penn State is 8-2 ATS since the beginning of 2016 as a betting underdog. I believe Penn State's defense will present the opportunity for another cover in this week's match-up, but it is imperative the offense helps their cause. Like Penn State's defensive match-up, Ohio State's defense has an upside match-up, as well as they, look to shut down QB Sean Clifford who the Penn State offense revolves around.

Ohio State vs. Penn State Betting Trends

  • Penn State is 2-4 ATS in the last six games.
  • Penn State is 0-5 ATS in their last five games at home.
  • Penn State has hit the "over" in four of the last six games.
  • Penn State is 1-5 SU in their last six games against Ohio State at home.
  • Ohio State is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games.
  • Ohio State is 1-4 ATS in its last five games against Penn State.
  • Ohio State has hit the "under" in four of the last five games
  • Ohio State is 7-1 SU in their last eight meetings against Penn State.

Ohio State at Penn State Prediction 10/31/20

While I believe Penn State is a rightful play in the underdog role due to my belief in their defense, I am by no means claiming that is a safe play. Ohio State still has an explosive offense, and I'm not ruling out the idea of the Buckeyes shutting down Penn State's offense. When I break down this game in terms of match-up and projected game script, I believe the best play will be the "under" on the 64.5 total. Both teams put a heavy focus on running the football, as I have alluded to several times; both defenses have the better match-up in this game. Additionally, if you look at the history of Ohio State vs. Penn State, these games have traditionally been low scoring contests. Since James Franklin's arrival in Happy Valley, only once has the total for Ohio State vs. Penn State eclipsed the 60 point mark, and that includes the double-overtime thriller in 2014 that produced just 55 points. Trust me, the most probabilistic route to victory in this betting scenario lies with the under!

Free Pick: 
Take the UNDER 64