Penn State Nittany Lions at Auburn Tigers Betting Preview & Free Pick

September 17, 3:30 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Penn St -3/Aub +3
Penn St -150 / Auburn +130

It's a rematch of a great Big 10/SEC battle from last season when Auburn hosts No. 22 Penn State Saturday afternoon at Jordan-Hare. These teams played a dandy of a game early last season up at Happy Valley, a 28-20 Nittany Lions victory. Now, the Tigers would love to return the favor.

Penn State is lined as a field-goal favorite on the road for this contest. Which way are we going here with our free college football betting pick?

Penn State-Auburn Betting Odds

Week 3's college football betting lines opened the Nittany Lions as three-point road favorites for Saturday, with an over/under of around 48. Both figures were holding steady in the early betting action.

Anyone thinking Auburn might win this game outright could get around +125 on the college football money line.

Penn State-Auburn College Football Betting Preview

The Nittany Lions opened their 2022 season with a fun 35-31 victory at Purdue. Then last week, beat Ohio 46-10. Penn State squeaked out the cover against the Boilermakers as a favorite of 3.5 points, then covered at -27.5 against the Bobcats.

The Lions drove their first possession of the game last week 77 yards to a touchdown, then scored five minutes later on a 70-yard bolt by RB Singleton to go up 14-0. Penn State led 24-7 at the half, then scored the first 20 points of the second half to put the game away.

The Nittany Lions out-gained Ohio 572-259 and out-rushed the Bobcats 234-100.

Two weeks ago, Penn State led Purdue 21-10 at the half, fell down 31-28 midway through the fourth quarter but drove 80 yards to a game-winning touchdown with just under a minute to go.

The Lions actually got out-gained by the Boilers that night 426-406.

Penn State only returned 11 starters this season, seven on offense but only four on defense, from a team that played 7-6 last season.

The Tigers, meanwhile, opened their 2022 campaign with a 42-16 win over FCS Mercer, then struggled to beat San Jose State last week, 24-16. Auburn came up short ATS at -30 against the Bears and at -24 against the Spartans.

The Tigers actually trailed San Jose State last week 10-7 at the half, scored the first 10 points of the second half to take the lead for good but whiffed against that spread.

Auburn out-gained the Spartans 378-329, won the ground battle 210-54 but lost time of possession by a 33:27 split.

Two weeks ago, the Tigers led Mercer 28-0 in the second quarter and 42-7 in the third but took their foot off the gas and gave up a touchdown with 25 seconds left to miss out on the cash.

Auburn returned 13 this season, seven on offense and six on defense, from a team that played 6-7 last season.

Penn State-Auburn History

These programs split a pair of bowl games 20-25 years ago. Then last September, the Nittany Lions beat the Tigers at Beaver Stadium 28-20. Penn State led that game 21-10 in the third quarter, let Auburn get within 21-20 early in the fourth, but tacked seven points and hung on from there for the win and the cover at -4.

The Lions out-gained the Tigers that night 386-367 but Auburn out-rushed Penn State 182-84.

Also, that game played under a total of 53, thanks mainly to a Lions defensive stop deep in their red zone late in the game.

College Football Betting Trends

So far this college football season, teams ranked in the AP Top 25 are 33-5 SU, 19-18 ATS vs. unranked opponents.

Auburn is 1-3 both SU and ATS in its last four games vs. the Big 10.

Penn State is 1-2 both SU and ATS in its last three games vs. the SEC.

The SEC played 3-2 both SU and ATS against the Big 10 last season.

Totals Report

Penn State's wins over Purdue and Ohio played over on the totals.

Auburn's win over Mercer played over a total of 51, while last week's game against San Jose State played under a total of 49.

Penn State at Auburn Betting Predictions 9/17/22

We give Auburn the check-mark in the running game, and the Tigers might also own the better defense. And those two things mean a lot to us. Penn State ran the ball for over 200 yards last week, with Singleton going off for 179, but that's one game against a weak opponent. The Nittany Lions have struggled to run the ball for the last several seasons, and Auburn owns a legitimate SEC defense. Also, while we don't consider revenge a reliable handicapping factor, it might come into play here. We'll take the Tigers for the win on the money line.
Free Pick: 
Take Auburn +130