This Saturday the No. 6 Penn State Nittany Lions will be traveling to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Wolverines. Kickoff is set for 3:30 EST at Spartan Stadium and will be televised nationally on ABC.
Oddsmakers opened this line at Penn State -6 and it’s been bet up slightly. Most have it at Nittany Lions -6.5, but I do see at least one book that has moved it to -7. The total opened at 43.5 and is up to 44.5 at most places.
Click here for a full look at the Week 9 college football odds and for more links to our game previews.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Penn State vs Michigan State
Penn State Nittany Lions (7-0 SU, 4-3 ATS)
The Nittany Lions passed another test with a 28-21 win at home over No. 16 Michigan. Though they did fail to cover as a 7.5-point favorite. It certainly looked like Penn State would cover early, as they had a 21-0 lead late in the 1st half.
They were fortunate to have it end 28-21, as Michigan’s reliable wide out Ronnie Bell dropped a TD pass in the final minutes that would have evened it up at 28-28. Nittany Lions were also outgained 417 to 283 and had just 14 first downs to Michigan’s 26.
With the win over the Wolverines, Penn State is in a great spot to have that showdown at Ohio State be for the Big Ten title. Both the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions are 4-0 in conference play. Every other team in the east has two losses. Even a loss here and they would likely still be the division winners if they beat the OSU (other 3 games are against Minnesota, Indiana and Rutgers).
Michigan State Spartans (4-3 SU, 2-5 ATS)
The Spartans will be returning from their bye week looking to snap a two-game losing streak. The two game skid isn’t a shocker, as they were road games at Ohio State and Wisconsin. The concern is how poor Michigan State played in those defeats.
They lost 34-10 to the Buckeyes and it was worse than that. Ohio State had a 529 to 285 edge in total yards. They followed that performance up with a 38-0 blowout loss to the Badgers, getting outgained 402 to 149. Absolutely no threat of the run in either of those losses. They had just 97 yards on 48 attempts in both games combined.
Spartans still have 2 games to go to get to bowl eligibility, but with games against Illinois, Rutgers and Maryland still on the schedule that’s not a concern. Unfortunately for them that leaves little else but pride to play for with the division out of reach.
Revenge will not be one of those things the Spartans can use for motivation. They have won the last two in the series. The most recent being a 21-17 win at Penn State as a 13.5-point dog last year. They won 27-24 as a 9.5-point home dog the last time they hosted the Nittany Lions.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: UNDER 44.5
I got a feeling the public will be all over the Nittany Lions and that has me thinking Michigan State is the smart side. However, I just can’t get there with the Spartans. At the same time, I don’t see enough value with Penn State at -6.5 to roll the dice on them either.
Click on the link for more free college football picks from our experts on staff.
If I was forced to play this game right now, I would have to take my chances with the UNDER 44.5. Penn State’s got some decent playmakers on offense, but they have really struggled to move the ball the past two weeks against Iowa and Michigan. They had just 294 total yards against Iowa and 283 against Michigan.
If the Nittany Lions weren’t ranked in the Top 10 and this game wasn’t in East Lansing, I would be a little more concerned with Michigan State not showing up, as they just don’t have a lot to play for at this point in the season. I would be shocked if we didn’t get a max effort here from the Spartans and that defense.
The big thing with backing Michigan State is they have shown absolutely no ability to move the ball against quality defenses this year and Penn State has some absolute studs on that defensive line and come in allowing just 10.0 ppg and 282 yards/game.
UNDER is also 14-2 in the Spartans last 16 home games after trailing by 17 or more at the half in their previous game and a perfect 7-0 in their last 7 when listed as an underdog. Give me the UNDER 44.5!