Michigan vs. Penn State Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Penn State is favored in this game, as the Nittany Lions are getting odds of -9.5 points against Michigan. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 43 points. Michigan has won the last three meetings with Penn State, covering the spread in all three games as well. The public is currently putting 55 percent of the wagers on Penn State at home. Tonight’s game takes place from Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. The game will air live on ABC.
Penn State is coming off a 31-7 win at Northwestern two weeks ago to improve to 6-0 on the season. The Nittany Lions are 3-0 in the Big Ten and 4-1-1 against the spread. Their lone loss ATS was on the road. Penn State has a great defense, allowing just nine points and 285.2 yards per game. Offensively, PSU is averaging 39.7 points and 456.2 yards per game. Saquon Barkley is a Heisman contender right now, as he has run for 649 yards and six touchdowns while catching 29 passes for 395 yards and two scores. Quarterback Trace McSorley has 1,597 yards passing with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Michigan is coming off a 27-20 OT win at Indiana last week to improve to 5-1 on the season and 2-1 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are 2-3-1 against the spread this season and 1-01 ATS on the road. The Wolverines are being led by their defense, which is allowing only 14.7 points and 223.8 yards per game. However, their offense is a bit of a mess. U-M is averaging just 27.2 points and 376.3 yards per game. With Wilton Speight injured, John O’Korn is taking over under center and has thrown for 563 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. Karan Higdon had a big game last week and has 401 rushing yards with five touchdowns this season while Ty Isaac is adding 403 rushing yards.
The trends tell you Michigan is the play based on the history, but I think Penn State is looking to make a statement in this game. The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten last year, but a 49-10 loss to the Wolverines in Ann Arbor is something the team hasn’t forgotten. Penn State is going to be eager to attack this Michigan team, which has looked quite vulnerable the last two weeks. The Michigan offense is a mess and if the Wolverines can’t run, which I don’t think they will be able to do tonight, they can’t move the ball. While the Michigan defense is tough, I think the Nittany Lions will be tougher up front. Look for a big game from Barkley to really enhance his Heisman campaign.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: PENN STATE -9.5