James Franklin’s Nittany Lions have been underdogs in every meeting with Ohio State. And unless heavy money comes in on Penn State, that won’t change Saturday.
The No. 9 Nittany Lions are 3.5-point underdogs as of Monday afternoon, according to Vegas Insider. The line opened at 4.0 at most sportsbooks on Sunday before slightly coming down.
An over/under has not been released yet, but expect it to be big. Penn State (55.5 points per game) and Ohio State (54.5 ppg) own the top scoring offenses in the country.
And if anyone wanted to bet on the Nittany Lions to win straight up, BetDSI Sportsbook’s early moneyline is Penn State +150. In other words, a $100 wager would yield a $150 profit. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index rankings, the Nittany Lions have a 53.6 percent chance to win.
Penn State has not fared well straight up against Urban Meyer’s squad recently, losing five out of the last six meetings. However, Franklin’s Nittany Lions have played the Buckeyes tough, covering in three out of four matchups. Penn State took the eventual national champions to double overtime as 11.5-point underdogs in 2014, beat the Buckeyes as 17.5-point ‘dogs in 2016 and lost 39-38 last season when spotted a touchdown.
There’s something to be said for playing in Beaver Stadium, too. Since 2013, the Nittany Lions have been home underdogs six times. Penn State covered in four of those contests, winning three outright.
Ohio State enters a White Out atmosphere having covered in seven straight road games. But the Buckeyes — who own a 25-3 mark in Big Ten play since 2015 — have failed to cover in half of those games.
The primetime matchup between Penn State and Ohio State kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.