Penn State, fresh off its bye week, is expected to roll over Michigan State this weekend. At least, according to the bookmakers.
The No. 8 Nittany Lions are 13.5-point favorites, according to Vegas Insider, as of Monday afternoon. The line opened at 14.5 on Sunday afternoon before slightly coming down.
An over/under has not been set yet, but don’t expect to be as big as Penn State and Ohio State’s 72 from two weeks ago. Michigan State ranks 84th in scoring offense (27.2 ppg), managed only 19 points in its loss to Northwestern over the weekend and scored 12 points in its last trip to Beaver Stadium.
And if anyone was interested in betting Penn State to win straight up, the early moneyline is Nittany Lions -525. In other words, a $100 wager would yield a $19 profit. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index rankings, Penn State has an 88.5 percent chance to win.
Recent history says James Franklin’s Nittany Lions are a good bet coming off a bye week, too. Last year, Penn State whooped Michigan 42-13 as 7.5-point favorites following its off week, and in 2016, the Nittany Lions beat Ohio State 24-21 as 17.5-point underdogs. Both those wins came at home, where Penn State is 10-3-1 against the spread since Oct. 8, 2016.
Meanwhile, the Spartans are having a rough year. Michigan State — ranked No. 11 right behind Penn State in the AP’s preseason poll — owns a 3-2 overall record and 1-4 mark against the spread. Mark Dantonio’s squad lost to the Wildcats on Saturday as 10.5-point favorites, barely beat Central Michigan as 27.5-point favorites, and did the same in the opener as 23.5-point favorites against Utah State.
However, the Spartans are 3-1 against the spread following losses since the start of 2017, which includes last season’s win over Penn State as 9.5-point underdogs.
Saturday’s matchup between Penn State and Michigan State kicks at 3:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network.