One of the biggest games of the year in the Big 10 kicks off on Saturday at noon Eastern at Beaver Stadium. No. 3 Michigan’s battle with No. 10 Penn State has massive implications in not only the conference title race, but also the national championship picture.
Penn State has been outstanding in eight of nine games this year, but could not move the ball — or cover Marvin Harrison Jr. — against Ohio State in its only loss. Michigan has been the most dominant team in the country (they’ve won every game by at least 24 points), but the Nittany Lions are much better than anyone else the Wolverines have faced through nine games.
Check out our Michigan vs Penn State prediction, odds, and best bets.
Michigan vs Penn State Spread, Moneyline, Total
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- Spread: Michigan , Penn State
- Moneyline: Michigan , Penn State
Michigan vs Penn State Betting Trends
- Michigan, Penn State ATS Records: Michigan 4-4-1, Penn State 7-2
- Michigan, Penn State Over/Under Records: Michigan Over 4-4-1, Penn State Over 6-3
- Michigan, Penn State best national championship odds: Michigan , Penn State
- Michigan, Penn State best Big 10 odds: Michigan , Penn State
Michigan vs Penn State Analysis and Prediction
We’ll mostly stick to what we expect to happen on the field on Saturday in this section.
But it’s impossible to talk about Michigan right now without mentioning the sign-stealing controversy involving Connor Stalions and what sanctions the Big 10 might issue. While it’s anyone’s guess what happens next on that front, it’s safe to say the uncertainty on this front will hover over Saturday’s game. That distraction is nothing new for Jim Harbaugh’s team, but this is the first legitimate opponent they’ve faced since the rumors about what happened — and will happen next — started swirling.
On paper, Michigan does not have any real weaknesses on the field. The Wolverines boast the No. 5 offense in the country and the No. 1 defense, according to ESPN’s SP+. QB JJ McCarthy leads an offense that has scored more than 40 points in each of its last five games, including a 45-7 win over a Nebraska team with a solid defense. McCarthy is currently a longshot to win the Heisman , but a big game on Saturday could massively improve his chances.
Penn State has been excellent defensively all season (the Nittany Lions have a top-5 D, according to SP+) and did a solid job containing Ohio State in a 20-12 loss to the Buckeyes in which they just couldn’t cover Marvin Harrison Jr. The problem for James Franklin‘s Nittany Lions is it’s unclear whether the offense can move the ball against an elite defense. PSU scored just 12 points against OSU as QB Drew Allar was held to less than 200 yards passing on 42 attempts.
Even if Penn State’s defense manages to keep this close and low-scoring, it’s hard to see Allar and the Nittany Lions’ talented running backs putting up enough points to pull off the upset. Given that the total in Penn State-Ohio State a few weeks ago was just 32 and that PSU scored just 17 against Michigan last year, taking the Under feels like the best play in this game.
Pick: Under (45 at time of publishing)
How to Watch Michigan vs Penn State
- Date: Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023
- Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Beaver Stadium — University Park, PA
- Network: FOX