Penn State Vs. Ohio State Odds And Betting Preview: Buckeyes Lay Big Points At Home

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In recent years, Ohio State (6-1 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) has dominated Penn State (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS), having won the last four meetings and eight of the last 10. Since the two started playing on an annual basis in 1993, the Nittany Lions have beaten the Buckeyes just eight times, the last in 2016. After watching their team lose in nine OTs to Illinois last weekend, Penn State fans cannot feel too confident with their team traveling to the Horseshoe this weekend.

Ohio State is a massive favorite on oddsboards throughout the betting market.

PSU Penn State vs OSU Ohio State Odds NCAAF Odds

NCAAF · Sat (10/30) @ 7:42pm ET

PSU Penn State at OSU Ohio State
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

Our Pick: PSU Penn State at 600.0 (0). Enjoy a $250 first deposit match when you sign up with BetRivers today!

Penn State Nittany Lions

The Nittany Lions have something against the Buckeyes they did not have against Illinois — a healthy Sean Clifford. According to Penn State head coach James Franklin, Clifford will be back to 100 percent this weekend after the quarterback was injured in a loss against Iowa three weeks ago.

Clifford did play in the Illinois game, but his mobility was lacking. He could be the additional running threat the Nittany Lions need to get an edge on the Buckeyes. But Penn State will need more than just a mobile quarterback to beat Ohio State.

Penn State was rolling through the 2021 college football season heading into the Iowa game. They were 5-0 with wins over Wisconsin, Auburn, and Indiana, and playing well on both sides of the ball. At first, it looked like they were going to dominate the Hawkeyes — but then Clifford got hurt, and the offense fell apart. Without Clifford, the offense had one drive where it did not go three-and-out or turn the ball over.

You cannot win games like that. So, when Clifford was deemed healthy enough to play against Illinois, fans probably felt relieved. But Clifford was not his usual mobile self and was a mediocre 19-for-34 passing for 165 yards a touchdown. With the defense struggling to stop the Illinois running game, the Nittany Lions ended up losing their second game of the season.

If he is indeed back to 100 percent, Clifford’s mobility could prove to be the X-factor Penn State needs against Ohio State. Penn State averages just 118.9 yards a game (11th in the Big Ten), but the threat of mobile quarterback could loosen up coverage and make things a little easier in the passing game.

However, how well the defense plays will be a more significant factor. Penn State needs its pass defense that ranks T-15 in the country in yards allowed (178.0 per game) and third in pass defense efficiency at its best to slow down the Buckeyes.

Ohio State Buckeyes

It is not just the seventh-ranked Ohio State pass attack (351.2 yards/game) that Penn State needs to worry about. The run game averages a shade over 207 yards a contest. The Buckeyes generate the most total offense per game in the country and are also the No. 1 scoring offense (49.3 points/game).

While the Ohio State offense will do its part, the defense will not make it easy for Clifford to get the Penn State offense on track. After giving up 200+ yards on the ground against Minnesota and Oregon, the Buckeyes run defense has stiffened up, holding four of its last five opponents to fewer than 100 yards on the ground.

The pass defense has held teams to right around 230 yards a game on average. It did give up 400+ to Tulsa but has since held three of four opponents to well under 200 yards.

However, while the stats are there and the Buckeyes appear to be outstanding on both sides of the ball, it is fair to question whether they truly are. Their competition has not been stellar overall. Against the two best teams Ohio State has faced, Minnesota and Oregon, the defense allowed well over 400 yards a game and 31-plus points. Of the five other teams they have played, three are among the worst offenses in the country, and the other two are not powerhouses, either.

So are the Buckeyes paper tigers built up off stats recorded against weak opponents? Or are they the real deal?

Penn State vs. Ohio State Full Sportsbook Odds

Bet TypeSpreads
Open

Betting Analysis

With how dominant its offense has looked, it is not hard to imagine Ohio State rolling over Penn State, and the Buckeyes are priced accordingly, around -1000 on the moneyline.

But the Nittany Lions are not pushovers like Akron, Rutgers, Maryland, or Indiana. While Tulsa had a high-powered offense, their defense is among the worst.

Do not be shocked if the Nittany Lions keep this one close enough to cover the spread — and maybe even win outright, an outcome that can be had for moneyline odds of +650.

 

About the Author
Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver

Writer and Contributor
Travis Pulver is a Senior Writer for Gaming Today and a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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