Penn State has struggled covering as 20-point favorites. Will trend continue against Ohio?
The Nittany Lions opened as 24.5-point favorites in home opener
Penn State captured a dramatic last-minute win against the Purdue Boilermakers in its season opener in West Lafayette.
The Nittany Lions were also profitable for bettors. BetMGM had 55% of the spread handle on PSU -3.5 and 64% of the moneyline handle on Penn State -175.
With Penn State picking up the win, and covering the 3.5-point spread, its attention now turns to MAC opponent Ohio, which stunned the Nittany Lions a decade ago in their first ever meeting as a six-point underdog.
This time around is different, with two programs that look a lot different than the 2012 matchup. At BetMGM, the Nittany Lions opened as a 24.5-point favorite over the Bobcats, who won their season opener against the Florida Atlantic in a close battle, 41-38.
As of Tuesday afternoon, that line remained unchanged.
Entering the game, Penn State has not been a bargain for bettors as 20-points or more favorites against FBS opponents. Four of their last five games against such teams has resulted in the Nittany Lions failing to cover, according to Andrew Doughty from BetMGM.
In 2021, the James Franklin led Nittany lions were favored by 20 or more points three times: as 24.5 point favorites against Illinois (lost in 9 OT’s), 29.5 point favorites vs Villanova (failed to cover in 38-17 win) and Ball State (won as 22.5-point favorite, 44-13), according to OddsShark.
This game will be one of two straight against MAC opponents, as Central Michigan also comes to town next weekend. Since 2017, Penn State has faced four MAC opponents (Akron, Kent State, Buffalo, and Ball State), and covered in all four matchups as double-digit 20-points or more favorites, again according to OddsShark.
The Nittany Lions were able to avoid a let-down last season against a tough Ball State team, following an emotional season-opening win against Wisconsin. If they are up to the task this weekend, lookout, because this game could get ugly in hurry. The betting history says that Franklin and Penn State should roll big on Saturday afternoon in Beaver Stadium.
Penn State vs Ohio Betting line (via BetMGM)
Ohio (+5000 ML) vs Penn State (-1400 ML)
Betting Line: PSU -24.5
Over/Under: 54.5 (-110/-110)
History: These two teams have only met once, back in 2012, when the Bobcats stunned Penn State, 24-14 in Beaver Stadium.
First Bet on BetMGM: Check out our expert picks
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