Penn State is a +4.5 underdog but brings a 6-0 record into this matchup. Ohio State brings an identical 6-0 mark into this contest and has won eight of their previous nine encounters with the Nittany Lions.
Join me as I break this game down, including analyzing the betting odds and sharing my best bet for Penn State and Ohio State for Saturday, October 21.
Penn State Rolling
Penn State has won 11 consecutive games by at least 14 points, which is an amazing tribute to the Nittany Lions’ consistency. They are undefeated this season, are 6-0 ATS, and have 13 consecutive matchups scoring 30+, which is the nation’s longest.
The Nittany Lions defense has been incredible thus far, allowing 33 points over five games, including shutouts over UMASS and No. 24 ranked Iowa. Penn State is No. 2 in scoring defense while allowing the fewest yards per game among FBS schools.
Penn State allows the fewest passing yards and third-least rushing yards per game. The Nittany Lions average 4.5 sacks per game, 17 passes defended, seven interceptions, and one pick-six. They also boast 19 separate Nittany Lions with a tackle for a loss this season and a tenth-best 8.5 tackles for a loss per game.
The Penn State offense isn’t as strong as its defense. They rank 43rd in total yards but fifth in scoring, and quarterback Drew Allar has a dozen TDs without an interception. Six different receivers have 100+ receiving yards, with KeAndre Lambert-Smith leading with 409 yards and four TDs. Running backs Kayton Allen and Nicholas Singleton have combined for 737 rushing yards and nine TDs.
Ohio State Improving Offense
Ohio State is 6-0 this season but 3-3-0 ATS. The offense has recorded 870 net rushing yards, their lowest through six games since 2004. The Buckeyes defense has allowed just nine points over their three Big Ten contests this season but face their stiffest test at home Saturday.
A quarterback controversy was the likely culprit for their early season scoring struggles, but the Buckeyes have scored 35+ in four of their last five. Ohio State ranks 23rd nationally in scoring, with the nation’s 34th most total yards of offense per game.
The Buckeyes offense has injury concerns for Saturday. Wide receiver Emeka Egbuka sat out last week and is questionable. Running back Treyveyon Henderson missed the last two games, and running backs Chip Trayanum and Miyan Williams, listed as questionable could be problematic.
Buckeyes QB Kyle McCord has thrown 11 TD passes without an interception over his previous five games, and WR Marvin Harrison Jr has 604 receiving yards with five TDs. Still, the offense could be missing some serious firepower on Saturday.
Ohio State has surrendered the third-fewest points per game in FBS and seventh-fewest yards this season. The Buckeyes boast the fourth-best passing defense but are 23rd against the rush and held Notre Dame and quarterback Sam Hartman to 14 points.
This defensive group records 1.67 sacks per game but has defended 27 passes, with five interceptions and a pair of pick-sixes. However, it is No. 101 in tackles for a loss this season.
Penn State vs. Ohio State Prediction and Best Bet
This game begins the Week 8 Saturday schedule with a bang, and the Horseshoe will be shaking and quaking for what should be an exciting contest.
Iowa has the tenth-best scoring defense in the country, and Penn State scored 31 points on the Hawkeyes. The Buckeyes defense has been incredible thus far, but the Ohio State rushing defense hasn’t been that good, and that’s where the Nittany Lions will eat.
Allen and Singleton can smash, and I’m not so sure the Buckeyes will be able to stop them. Ohio State allows 108 rushing yards per game, but the Nittany Lions duo is very good and should be able to do enough, along with some timely passing from Allar, should score enough to cover the spread.
Penn State hasn’t been challenged defensively like they will by McCord and the Buckeyes. Ohio State has abundant depth, but the Nittany Lions defense is for real. Ohio State allows four tackles for a loss per game, but this Penn State defense is the best they’ve seen thus far. Missing or having fewer than 100% of star players will be a giant hurdle, and I’m not sure they can leap it.
My Best Bet: Penn State +4.5 (-110) DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio
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