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Penn State Nittany Lions vs.†Michigan Wolverines†Odds - Pick ATS

Penn State Nittany Lions†(2-1†SU,†1-2†ATS) vs.†Michigan Wolverines†(3-0†SU,†2-1†ATS)
College Football Week†4
Date/Time:†Saturday, September 24 at 3:30pm ET†
Where:†Michigan Stadium
TV:†BTN
by†Evergreen,†NCAA†Football†Handicapper,†Predictem.com

Point Spread:†PSU +18.5/MICH -18.5
Over/Under Total:†58.5

The non-conference season can be fun but I like the in-your-face style of game that comes when conference foes go after each other. The Big Ten season opens this week and one high profile tilt comes in Ann Arbor as Michigan hosts Penn State. The Wolverines are riding high as the 5th ranked team in the land and while the Nittany Lions are looking to pull the upset and move past their early season inconsistencies. It has been a long, strange ride for Penn State in recent years but this matchup calls to memory so many big and meaningful games from years past. A win for the Lions puts a major damper on the Michigan playoff hopes and blows the Big Ten East division wide open.

It has been pretty smooth sailing for Michigan thus far and the online betting sites have installed them as 18.5-point favorites. Penn State has not been kind to its betting fans with a 1-6 against the spread record in their last seven overall and just three ATS wins in their last eighteen games on the road. Michigan failed to cover for the first time last week but is 6-1 against the spread in the last seven games following an ATS loss. The home team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between the schools.

Penn State survived a 34-27 nail-biter to get the win against Temple last week but they allowed 286 passing yards. That wouldnít be so troubling had they not given up 341 rushing yards the previous week en route to a 42-39 loss at Pitt. They allowed 150 rushing yards to Kent State in the opener so you have to wonder if Penn State has the ability to stop anyone on defense in either facet. Michigan has averaged 53 points in three wins this season and it could be a long day for the Lions if they canít find a way to slow the Wolverines.

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Michigan survived a scare with Colorado in town, eventually picking up a 45-28 win after trailing 21-7. Quarterback Wilton Speight was banged up during the game but came through with some big time plays and cemented his spot as a leader of this team. Speight is listed as questionable with a shoulder ding but it appears he will be ok for Saturday. Speight has been key in giving the Wolverines the balance they need to be successful on offense. He has completed nearly 65% of his passes and thrown for eight touchdowns against one pick. The Michigan ground game has been consistent if not flashy on the way to 197 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry. Penn State enters the week just inside the top-100 in rush defense so another good performance from guys like DeíVeon Smith and Chris Evans is likely.

Michigan got the better of this game last year, entering Happy Valley as 3.5 points favs and leaving with a 28-16 win. Amara Darboh and Jake Butt both caught a touchdown from then-QB Jake Rudock but the defense was the overall star, allowing just 207 total yards and holding Penn State to 3-of-14 on third down. The Wolverines held Christian Hackenberg to 13-of-32 passing and they will look to give the same treatment to Trace McSorley. McSorely has thrown the ball well in the early going, completing 65% of his passes and averaging 276 yards per contest. He has good legs as well and could make the Michigan defense work a little harder than they have had to in the first few games.

Penn State does not appear like they can simply line up and win a trench battle this week. The Lions average just 3.6 yards per rush through three weeks and that is not going to get it done against a Michigan defense that is stout across the line. Jabrill Peppers is inserting himself in the Heisman talk by adding some offensive and special teams impact to go along with his defensive prowess. Peppers racked up 180 return yards and a touchdown last week, ran the ball twice for 24 yards and added nine tackles for a tremendous all-around stat line. He might not have to do all of that every week but he is a big reason why teams have struggled to move the ball or score on Michigans defense. The big-boy matchup this week is Penn State through the air against Michiganís pass defense. McSorley has spread it around so that four different receivers have at least 140 yards but Michigan is 16th in the nation against the pass. I think there will be some give and take here as the Penn State offense has talent but scoring is going to be tough on a defense that is giving up just 296 total yards per game.

This game opened with Penn State as 16.5 point dogs but that line moved to 18.5 in short order, popping up to 19 at many outlets. Michigan took an early shot against a fast-moving Colorado team last week but I think that helps them out ultimately. The Wolverines are oozing with talent all over the field and the production from Speight has made them dangerous. Jim Harbaugh has a tendency to wear out his welcome but he is just entering the sweet spot of his effectiveness and Michigan is looking better than nearly everyone predicted. I donít think 18.5 is too much to lay with a team that is playing confidently and efficiently on both sides of the ball. McSorley doesnít have a run game that is going to take the pressure off of him and eventually that Michigan D is going to be in his face. Penn State still has a long way to go and it shows this weekend. Michigan 44 Penn State 20

Evergreenís†Pick to Cover the Point Spread:†Michigan

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NCAA Football Week 12 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews with against the spread predictions.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

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.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

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.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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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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