Penn State is having a terrible time on the road as of late, going just 3-10 straight up and 2-9-2 against the spread over its last 13 road trips. The Nittany Lions face a tough road task this week when they visit Michigan at the Big House on Saturday afternoon.
Point spread: The Wolverines opened as 15.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
Why the Penn State Nittany Lions can cover the spread
The Lions bounced back from a tough loss at Pittsburgh two weeks ago to beat Temple last week 34-27. Penn State took a 7-0 lead six minutes into the game, pushed that to 21-7 midway through the second quarter, allowed the Owls to get within 27-24 midway through the fourth but put the game away on Saquon Barkley's 55-yard scoring jaunt less than a minute later.
If not for a couple of Lions turnovers and a late Temple field goal, Penn State would have covered the spread as an eight-point favorite. The Lions outgained the Owls on the day 403-324, allowing just 38 yards on the ground.
Two weeks ago, the Lions fell to the Panthers at Heinz Field 28-7 but rallied to within 42-39 with five minutes to go and reached the outskirts of field-goal range late before an interception ended their comeback.
Why the Michigan Wolverines can cover the spread
The maize and blue are 3-0 on the season after coming from behind to beat Colorado last week 45-28. The Wolverines fell down to the Buffaloes 14-0 just four minutes into the game and trailed 21-7 well into the second quarter. But they battled back, took the lead for good on De'Veon Smith's 42-yard scoring run early in the third and then pulled away from there, tacking on the game's final score when Jabrill Peppers took a punt back 54 yards early in the fourth quarter.
On the day, Michigan outrushed Colorado 168-64, while the Wolverines defense held the Buffaloes to just 1-of-13 on third-down conversions.
Michigan opened this season with a 63-3 romp over Hawaii and then pounded Central Florida 51-14.
The Wolverines are probably going to win this game; the only thing that really matters is the final margin. But Michigan needed a pair of defensive/special teams scores just to push a 17-point spread last week against Colorado, and quarterback Wilton Speight is nursing a sore shoulder. Penn State, meanwhile, looks like it could put enough points on the board to keep this one close. The value here resides with the Lions, despite their recent road struggles.
Penn State is 1-6 SU in its last seven games on the road against Michigan.
Michigan is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games against teams with winning records.
Penn State is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games on the road.
All college football betting lines and point spreads data courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and Odds Shark YouTube for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.
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With their division hopes on the line in Week 13, both Wisconsin and Penn State have opened as roughly two-touchdown favorites according to CG Technology in Las Vegas, the first Vegas betting line posted for next week on Sunday. Meanwhile, in that other game people will be talking about, No. 2 Ohio State is a touchdown favorite at home against No. 3 Michigan.
The No. 8 Nittany Lions are 13.5-point favorites in their regular-season finale against Michigan State on Saturday, while the No. 7 Badgers are 14-point favorites against Minnesota. Both are at home. Penn State needs a win and an Ohio State win to clinch the Big Ten East, while Wisconsin wins the West if it beats the Gophers.
As for the biggest game of the weekend, the Buckeyes have dominated their annual meeting with the Wolverines over the last two decades, going 14-6 overall and 13-7 against the spread. In the last 10 years, the Buckeyes are 7-3 vs. the number in this game.
A day earlier, Iowa will host No. 18 Nebraska. The Hawkeyes are currently a 2.5-point favorite.
Wisconsin will look to keep its monster year going for bettors. The Badgers are 9-2 against the spread overall and 7-1 ATS in Big Ten play. Penn State has been on a strong run for its backers, covering six straight games after starting 0-4-1 ATS.
Here are all the available Big Ten lines for Week 13 games, from CG Technology:
Michigan heads to State College to take on Michigan. (Getty)Editor’s note: The odds below are courtesy of Heavy’s partners at OddsShark. Click here for more college football odds and betting info at OddsShark.com.
No. 12 Michigan heads to State College to take on Penn State in a Big Ten afternoon showdown. Michigan enters the contest at 8-2 while Penn State is 7-3.
Michigan is coming off a narrow victory over Indiana while Penn State had a bye week. The Nittany Lions lost to Northwestern the previous week.
Michigan is favored by 3.5 points and the over/under is set at 41.5. The total has gone over in the last five games Michigan has played.
Michigan is 5-5 against the spread this season. Penn State is 2-4 against the spread over its last six games.
The OddsShark computer is projecting a 32.3-25.3 Michigan victory. The computer is taking Michigan to cover the points and the point total to be over.
Heavy also sides with the computer. Michigan is ranked 6th in F+ Ratings, an analytical system that uses a variety of key factors to rank teams, while Penn State is 36th. Michigan is the better team and has faced a more difficult schedule. Expect the Wolverines to take out their frustrations of their narrow victory against Indiana out on Penn State.
Heavy’s Pick: Michigan 30, Penn State 24. Michigan -3.5. Over in the points total.No Comments Leave a Reply Cancel reply Discuss on Facebook Discover the Stories That Matter
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The No. 5 Michigan State Spartans host the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday, November 28 in the Big Ten finale for both teams. The Spartans have won each of their last two meetings with the Nittany Lions, including a 34-10 road victory last year as 13-point favorites.
Michigan State (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) pulled off the huge 17-14 upset at Ohio State last week to put itself in position to win the Big Ten East division. It even did so without starting quarterback Connor Cook. The offense managed 203 rushing yards, but it was the defense that won this game for them, limiting the Buckeyes to just 132 total yards.
Penn State (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten) is coming off a 16-28 home loss to the Michigan Wolverines. The Nittany Lions had their chances late but had to settle for a couple short field goals of 18 and 24 yards instead of punching it in for touchdowns. They only managed 207 total yards in the loss.
Kickoff inside Spartan Stadium is scheduled for 3:30 EST Saturday afternoon with ESPN providing the television coverage. If you are looking to wager on this game, you’ll find Michigan State as an 11-point favorite over Penn State with a total set of 46.5 points.My Early Lean: Penn State +11
The Spartans are way overvalued now after upsetting the Ohio State Buckeyes last week. Sure, they have a lot to play for as a win will get them into the Big Ten Championship Game, but that’s also a lot of pressure on them. I don’t believe they should be double-digit favorites over a Penn State squad that is more than capable of hanging with the Spartans for four quarters in this one.
This line indicates the Connor Cook is going to be playing Saturday even though he’s listed as questionable. He actually missed the Ohio State game with a shoulder injury, which makes the Spartans’ upset that much more impressive. But that game went exactly the way the Spartans needed it to for them to pull the upset.
Indeed, the Spartans made a conscious effort to control the football with their running game, and they did just that by holding onto the ball for a whopping 38 minutes, 10 seconds. They won in spite of awful QB play from backups O’Connor and Terry, who combined for 8 of 16 passing for 91 yards and a touchdown. Whether or not Cook plays, this offense is so limited that it’s going to be hard to put away the Nittany Lions by double-digits.
Penn State comes in undervalued due to failing to cover the spread in four of their last five games overall. They had their chances against Michigan last week, but had to settle for two short field goals of 18 and 24 yards in the 4th quarter, which was the difference in a 16-28 loss.
While the Nittany Lions haven’t been great offensively, they do have a defense that keeps them in ball games. In fact, they have the better defense in this one. They give up 18.6 points, 315.1 yards per game and 4.6 per play against opposing offenses that average 27.9 points, 379 yards per game and 5.5 per play.
Home-field advantage has meant very little in this series. Indeed, the road team is 3-0 straight up in the last three meetings. Also, the road team has only lost by more than 4 points once in the last seven meetings.
Home-field advantage has meant very little in this series. Indeed, the road team is 3-0 straight up in the last three meetings. Also, the road team has only lost by more than 4 points once in the last seven meetings. James Franklin is 7-0 ATS off two or more consecutive ATS losses in all games he has coached.
Plays against favorites of 10.5 to 21 points (MICHIGAN ST) – hot team, after having won 8 or more out of their last 10 games, a top-level team (winning at least 80%) playing a good team (60% to 80%) are 55-23 (70.5%) ATS since 1992. Penn State is 17-6 ATS in its last 23 games after failing to cover the spread in five or six of its last seven games coming in.
Michigan State Spartans (3-8 SU, 4-7 ATS) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2 SU, 7-3-1 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 3:30PM EST
Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pennsylvania
By Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MSU +12.5/PSU -12.5
Over/Under Total: 54.5
The Michigan State Spartans meet the Penn State Nittany Lions in Big Ten action on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. For Penn State, the stakes are big, as they are still in there with a chance to win the East division. If Ohio State beats Michigan and Penn State beats Michigan St. this week, the Nittany Lions would win the division. Standing in their way is a Spartans team that gave Ohio State all they could handle last week. Despite a 3-win season, they look to play the role of spoiler this week after losing to the Buckeyes by one last Saturday, 17-16. Penn State, meanwhile, scored a 39-0 shutout over Rutgers for their 7th win a row.
It has been a big season for Penn State, as they return to prominence. They are sitting in a good position as big favorites over a bad Spartans team, needing a favored Ohio State home team to beat Michigan on Saturday. There is a very realistic path to the Big Ten title game for this squad. Last season, they lost by 39 the Spartans, but this is a different team and you can’t underestimate the character of a team that is able to bounce back from being in the dumps, as the Nittany Lions have done this season. After losing badly to Michigan in week 4, they were 2-2 and it looked like another so-so season was in store for Penn St. Seven consecutive wins later, it’s a completely different story. As 17.5-point underdogs, they pinned the only loss on Ohio State on October 22. It’s been a banner season for the this bunch and they likely won’t be easily separated from this good feeling they worked so hard to get.
Penn State offers a lot of balance on both sides of the ball. With Trace McSorley behind center, the Nittany Lions have seen the offense develop into a capable and versatile unit. They’re not a high-flying group, but they are proficient in what they do. McSorley has 17 TD throws, having also run in six scores. He relies on one of the best backs in the conference in Saquon Barkley, who has run for over 1200 yards with 14 touchdowns, with over 300 yards and two scores aerially. In the passing-game, Barkley works with good players like Chris Godwin and Mike Gesicki. But the role players are deep, with a lot of different guys on this offense that can sneak up and get you.
The Nittany Lions’ defense is also a balanced group. In addition to being moderately-stout against both the pass and the rush, they are a group that can make plays and change a game with their firepower. They have also been very clutch and that has been instrumental in Penn State winning seven straight games. Their pass-rush has been crisp and the secondary makes plays. Defensive ends Garrett Sickels and Evan Schwan have gotten after quarterbacks. They are 22nd in the nation in terms of yardage and have been particularly stingy at home, where they return this week after two straight road games.
There’s not much sense in going over why Michigan State fell on their face this year with a 3-8 mark through 11 games. Huge personnel voids from last season, injuries, inconsistent play, and being put through the emotional ringer have all taken their toll. Still, being able to come within a converted two-point conversion from beating Ohio State last week shows they are at least capable of ruining things for other teams. In their last two meetings with Penn State, they won both games by a combined 63 points.
After starting the season 2-0, things were looking up for a Michigan State team that was revamped across many areas. A win over a really down Rutgers team is the only thing that has gone well since, with 8 losses in their last 9 games. Still, even within that morass of misery were some covers and cases of the Spartans making life hard for teams with big plans. They gave Michigan a run for their money, or at least they got a clear cover. Rutgers stinks, but beating them 49-0 a few weeks ago showed they might still have some life in their legs. And of course, there was the near-win over the Buckeyes last week. They’ve shown they are more than capable of being a thorn in the side of even the elite conference teams.
Michigan State operates with a pretty tepid offense. QB Tyler O’Connor is seeing his first extended time behind center this season as the Spartans’ starter and he hasn’t been all that compelling. LJ Scott and Gerald Holmes lead the rushing attack, but a lack of offensive variety and a heavily-depreciated offensive line has led to a fall-off in production from both players. Receiver RJ Shelton has been productive this season, with some other useful ball-catchers in the mix. But at 25 points a game, they rank 90th nationally with one of the worst offenses in the Big Ten.
As is usually the case, the defense is the strong suit of this Michigan State team. It’s been nowhere near good enough to mask the shortcomings on the other side of the ball. Still, they haven’t been embarrassed on too many occasions this season and enter this game having given up 17 combined points in their last two games. Even in the midst of this swoon, they’ve allowed more than 32 points just once. That’s notable for a team entering a game as such a big underdog. They’re a top-30 defense
The gap in motivation for these two teams is enormous, with Penn State looking to win their way into the Big Ten title game and the Spartans just looking to finish strong and maybe play the role of spoiler. It’s odd how little that seems to impact games and how having more to play for isn’t always a reliable compass on how a team will perform. Michigan State looks like they still have some life left in their legs and things might not be as easy this week for the Nittany Lions as some suspect. I’m taking the points.
Scott's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Michigan State Spartans plus 12.5 points.
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Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
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Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.
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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.
Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!
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