- Week 2 of Big Ten action has arrived, with Penn State and Ohio State facing off on Saturday night.
- While Ohio State is coming off a big win over Nebraska, Penn State came up short against Indiana in its inaugural matchup of the season.
- Here are the latest odds, spread, moneyline, and total for Penn State-Ohio State, along with a prediction.
Week 9 of the 2020 college football season (and Week 2 of the Big Ten) is here, and within the upcoming matchups comes one of the top rivalries in the Big Ten Conference. The (1-0) Ohio State Buckeyes take on the (0-1) Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium in State College, PA. While the Buckeyes ousted Nebraska by a score of 52-17, the Nittany Lions were upset by Indiana 36-35 in overtime. Ohio State thus jumped from No. 5 to No. 3 in the AP Top 25 with Penn State dropping from No. 8 to 18.
Although Ohio State is heavily favored in this game, Penn State will likely enter the matchup motivated to not start their shortened season 0-2, which should make for a tight-knit battle.
Penn State – Ohio State 2020 Betting Line
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Ohio State is favored in the matchup and will lay 12.5 points to Penn State. Ohio State was always going to be favored in this game, but the wide spread is likely due to Penn State’s loss this past Saturday. Oddsmakers probably believe that if Penn State couldn’t emerge victorious against a then-unranked program like Indiana, then the Nittany Lions certainly won’t be able to keep up with the Justin Fields-led Buckeyes. Both teams were favored last week, with Ohio State covering the spread against Nebraska.
I may take Penn State to cover though, given the fact that the Nittany Lions have come up close against their in-conference rivals in recent years.
DraftKings Sportsbook has set the total at over-under 64.5, and I think the over certainly has a chance to hit. Both teams put up a significant number of points in their respective first games, with Ohio State scoring 52 and Penn State notching 35. The Nittany Lions defense didn’t exactly show up much against Indiana either, allowing 36 points. Thus, expect this to be a high-scoring matchup that should ultimately hit at least 65 points.
While the over hit in the Penn State-Indiana matchup, it did not in the Ohio State-Nebraska game. Nonetheless, Penn State is certainly better than the Cornhuskers when it comes to the offensive side of the ball.
The moneyline is additionally set at Ohio State -500 and Penn State +335, and despite the risk ($500 bet to earn a $100 profit), I’d take Ohio State. The Buckeyes are simply more talented and consistent than Penn State on either side of the ball and should notch a big road victory.
Game Preview and Betting Angles
As was previously mentioned, Penn State is coming off a tough overtime loss to Indiana. In a back-and-forth game that had everyone’s eyes glued to the television, the Hoosiers crossed the plane on a one-yard touchdown run from quarterback Michael Penix Jr. to cut Penn State’s lead to 28-26 with 22 seconds remaining. Penix then found the end zone once again on the two-point conversion attempt to eventually send the game to overtime.
It was during the extra period when Penn State struck first on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Sean Clifford to Parker Washington, with the subsequent extra point making it 35-28 in favor of the Nittany Lions. That’s when Penix came through for the Hoosiers once again, hitting wideout Whop Philyor from nine yards out for the touchdown. An ensuing extra point never occurred though. Penix and the Hoosiers lined up to go for two, and after the young quarterback scrambled and dove for the left pylon, an official review was implemented before deciding whether he was out of bounds at about the half-yard line or in the end zone. Many believed he was out, but that group of individuals didn’t include the game’s officials, as Penix was ruled to have crossed the plane for the game-winning score. The Hoosiers thus emerged victorious 36-35.
Of course, the Ohio State game wasn’t as exciting, but I’m sure that didn’t matter for the Buckeyes. Nebraska kept Ohio State in check for a good portion of the first half, but this game ultimately belonged to the latter.
Heisman Trophy candidate Justin Fields threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 54 yards and one score on the ground as well. Wideout Garrett Wilson was the Buckeyes’ leading receiver, recording seven receptions for 129 yards and one touchdown. Linebacker Pete Werner led Ohio State with seven total tackles, including a tackle for loss.
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez threw for 105 yards on 12-of-15 passing and additionally rushed for 85 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.
Penn State – Ohio State Historical Matchup Stats
Over the last five seasons, Penn State is just 1-4 against Ohio State, with the lone win coming in a 24-21 finish in 2016. Nonetheless, Penn State has covered the spread each of the last four years.
Most recently in 2019, Penn State entered as a 20-point underdog but only lost by 11 in a game in which the under (58.0) hit. Penn State was then a 3.5-point underdog in 2018 before losing 27-26. The under (69.0) additionally hit in that game.
The last time Penn State didn’t actually cover was in 2015, when the Buckeyes were 18-point favorites and emerged victorious by a score of 38-10. The under (49.5) just barely hit that day.
How to watch Penn State – Ohio State
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 31
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Beaver Stadium (State College, PA)
- TV: ABC
Betting Picks and Score Prediction
Ohio State is certainly more talented on either side of the ball and there are question marks in regard to whether Penn State can keep up with some of the better Big Ten programs. But considering how the Nittany Lions usually seem to give the Buckeyes their all, I’m going to say they’ll ultimately cover the spread (which they’ve done each of the last four years) but not win outright. I’d also take the over in this game, given either team’s high-scoring offense along with Penn State’s inconsistent defensive unit.
Final Score Prediction: 38-28 Ohio State
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