The No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) will host the No. 2 Penn State Nittany Lions (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) in the most anticipated game of Week 9. Kickoff is set for 3:30 EST at Ohio Stadium in Columbus and will be televised nationally on CBS.
Oddsmakers currently have the Buckeyes listed as a 6.5-point home favorite with the total set at 56.5 points. Click on the link for our Week 9 betting odds page for a full schedule and links to our game previews.
Penn State vs Ohio State Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds
The Nittany Lions enter off an impressive 42-13 win at home over Michigan, easily covering as a 9.5-point favorite. Penn State took an early 14-0 lead, but the Wolverines responded with two scores to make it 13-14. From there on it was all Nittany Lions, who finished with a massive 506 to 269 edge in total yards.
The Buckeyes got to sit back and watch that game, as Ohio State was on their bye week. It’s been complete domination for the Buckeyes since that loss to Oklahoma. Last time out they cruised to a 56-14 win at Nebraska, covering for the third straight game as a favorite of -24 or more.
Many of you probably remember the game between these two teams last year. Trailing 7-21 going into the 4th quarter, the Nittany Lions outscored the Buckeyes 17-0 in the final period to take home a 24-21 win. That win propelled Penn State into the top spot in the Big Ten East. They would go on to beat Wisconsin in the conference title game, but it was Ohio State that got invited to the playoffs.
College Football Free Pick & Betting Predictions: Ohio State -6.5
I’m going to lay the points with the Buckeyes in this one. Ohio State hasn’t suffered too many losses since Urban Meyer took over back in 2012. In fact, they have been beat just 7 times and that includes the earlier loss to Oklahoma. They only time they have suffered multiple losses in the same season is when they have lost their bowl game.
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When you rarely lose, you don’t forget about the times you do and that loss to the Nittany Lions is fresh in the minds of these Ohio State players. I think the Buckeyes are coming into this contest to make a statement, much like Penn State did this past week against the Wolverines.
You also can’t discount the edge Ohio State has coming off a bye. Meyer is one of the elite coaches in the country and great coaches know how to use that extra time to prepare to their advantage. In his career as a head coach, Meyer’s teams are 24-8 ATS after a bye week.
That just really puts Penn State behind the 8-ball, as they got to somehow find a way to match the intensity they had last week at home against Michigan. Something that’s not easy to do away from home and it’s a spot where James Franklin coached teams have struggled. In his time here with Penn State and with Vanderbilt, teams coached by Franklin are just 2-10 ATS in road games when playing against a top level team that’s won more than 75% of their games.
I just think the home crowd combined with the extra time to prepare is going to make it hard for Penn State to keep this game close. Ohio State has looked like a completely different team since losing to Oklahoma and they have the talent up front to quiet Heisman hopeful Saquon Barkley. The Buckeyes are allowing 2.9 yards/carry on the season and that’s against teams that are averaging 5.0 yards/carry. They are also rushing for 1.4 yards/carry more than what their opponent is allowing on average. If the Nittany Lions aren’t careful, this could get ugly.