One of the most anticipated games on the schedule here in Week 5 features the Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0) battling the Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0). Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM PM EST at Beaver Stadium and the game will be available on ABC.
Taking a look at the Week 5 college football odds, Ohio State opened as a 4-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has shifted slightly after early betting, as the Buckeyes are currently listed at -3.5. The total for the game is sitting at 70 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Penn State vs Ohio State
Ohio State stayed unbeaten last weekend after a dominate performance in their game against the Tulane Green Wave. The Buckeyes put the game out of reach by the end of the second quarter, eventually winning by a score of 49-6. It was the first game back after a three game suspension for head coach Urban Meyer, who had been forced to miss the first several weeks of the season after an unfortunate situation involving former assistant coach Zach Smith. QB Dwayne Haskins continued to show why he is in the discussion for the Heisman Trophy, passing for 304 yards and five touchdowns in Week 4. Haskins already has 16 touchdown passes on the season while also completing 75.7 percent of his throws for over 1,100 yards. Ohio State has also had a lot of success on the ground, as J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber have combined for 621 yards rushing through the Buckeyes first four games. As a whole, this offense is averaging a whopping 54.5 points per game – which is 2nd overall in the nation.
The Buckeyes have been great defensively, allowing an average of just 17 points per game to opponents (23rd). However, they are going to miss DE Nick Bosa, who had to have surgery last week to repair an abdominal injury suffered against TCU. Bosa had already racked up 14 tackles and four sacks before being sidelined.
Penn State is also off to a 4-0 start to their season after an impressive 63-24 road victory over Illinois last weekend. Although the game stayed close for the first two quarters, the Nittany Lions pulled away in the second half thanks to another phenomenal game by Junior RB Miles Sanders. Sanders rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns against the Fighting Illini. QB Trace McSorley has been fantastic as well, contributing 998 yards of total offense and 14 touchdowns. Penn State is currently averaging 55 points per game, which makes them the top overall scoring offense in the entire country.
On the other side of the ball, the Nittany Lions have limited opponents to an average of just 19.5 points per game (35th overall). They are also much improved against the pass after a shaky start to the season against Appalachian State, as they have moved up to 29th overall after allowing an average of 173.3 yards through the air per game.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Ohio State -3.5
This should be a highly entertaining game between two of the Top 10 teams in college football. It also features the first overall offense going up against the second overall offense, which means there should be lots of scoring and lead changes. Although Penn State has played well at home and the Buckeyes will be without the services of Nick Bosa, I still think Ohio State offers decent value in this spot. The Nittany Lions needed overtime to beat Appalachian State, who are hardly a national powerhouse. The Buckeyes simply have two much firepower on offense, especially against a Penn State secondary that got torched in Week 1. Although it has improved over the last several weeks, Penn State still hasn’t been tested against such a dynamic offense.
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Both of these teams have performed extremely well against the spread lately. The Nittany Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall while also going 12-3-1 ATS over their 16 games at home. Ohio State is an impressive 5-1 ATS over their past six games as a favorite and 36-16-1 ATS over their past 53 road games against teams with winning record. The Buckeyes have dominated against Penn State recently, going 5-1 overall in their past six meetings and 4-1 in over their past five visits to Beaver Stadium.
The result of this game will have a huge impact on the AP Top 25 standings, as Penn State would inch closer to the Top 5 with a victory while Ohio State would likely move into the Top 3 if they find a way to come out on top. Both of these teams are averaging the same amount of points per game on offense, while Ohio State has looked slightly better defensively (17 points per game vs 19.5 points per game). I expect this one to stay close before Haskins and Co. find a way to grind out a statement victory on the road. I’ll lay the points and roll with the Buckeyes.