Even after nearly losing to Appalachian State in the season opener, Penn State is favored by more than a touchdown against Pitt.
The Nittany Lions are 8.5-point favorites, according to VegasInsider.com, for their 8 p.m. Saturday tilt at Heinz Field. The way-too-early line for the game back in May pegged Pitt as 14-point underdogs, but after Week 1, that line has moved.
The over / under for now is 56.5.
Of course, Penn State — as 24-point favorites — looked less than convincing in a 45-38 win over upset-minded Appalachian State. The Nittany Lions needed overtime to fend off the Mountaineers after its defense allowed 28 points and 266 yards in the fourth quarter. James Franklin said in his postgame press conference that the unit’s “inexperience showed up a few times,” and that will need to be corrected before Saturday.
Pitt, meanwhile, drubbed an FCS opponent in its opener. The Panthers — as 25.5-point favorites — handled Albany 33-7, scoring all of their points in the first half. Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 16 of 22 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns while the rushing attack accounted for 238 yards.
This is the Penn State and Pitt’s third meeting in a four-game home-and-home series. In 2016, the Nittany Lions lost 42-39 as 7-point underdogs at Heinz Field. Last year, Penn State won 33-14 as early 14-point favorites.
Saturday’s game will be broadcasted on ABC. It will be the 99th meeting between Penn State and Pitt, a series in which the Nittany Lions hold a 51-43-4 edge.