Nebraska at Penn State Expert Prediction & Analysis

by | Jan 21, 2023 | cbb

Nebraska (10-9 SU 5-14 ATS) vs. Penn State (12-6 SU 12-6 ATS)
When: Saturday, January 21st: 2:15 ET
Where: Bryce Jordan Center University Park, PA
Point Spread: NEBR +8.5/PENNST -8.5
Total: 133.5
Money Line: Nebraska Cornhuskers +320/Penn State Nittany Lions -421

The Nebraska Cornhuskers will look to build on their win over Ohio State when they visit the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday afternoon. The odds makers apparently don’t think that will be the case making the host a large -8.5 home favorite. The tip-off for today’s game at the Bryce Jordan Center is scheduled for 2:15 PM ET

Line Movement

Penn State opened as low as -7.5 and has now moved to -8.5. The total has been on the rise, climbing two points from a 132 opener to 134 on most boards.

Last Game Info

Nebraska will be looking for another win, as they most recently defeated Ohio State by a score of 63-60. The Cornhuskers also picked up an ATS victory as they were +6 point underdogs. The combined 123 points did not surpass the 137.5 total line.

Penn State lost to Wisconsin in their last game by a score of 63-60. But because the Nittany Lions were +3.5 point underdogs, they finished with an ATS win. The combined 123 points did not surpass the 129.5 total line.

Current Form

Over their last five games, Nebraska has a straight-up record of 2-3 while going 1-4 vs. the spread. Over this stretch, the Cornhuskers offense averages 61.0 points per game while hitting 42.8% of their shots from the field. On the defensive end of the floor, they have allowed opponents to shoot 44.4% from the field while allowing 72.4 points per contest.

Penn State
In their previous five contests, Penn State is 2-3 straight-up and 3-2 vs. the spread. In these five games, they have a scoring average of 72.0 points per game on a shooting percentage of 48.1%. Defensively, they allow teams to hit 46.6% of their shots while giving up 72.6 points per game.

Average Power Rating Of Opponents Played

This season, the combined power rating of Nebraska’s opponents comes in at 81.2. On the other side, Penn State’s combined opponent power rating sits at 79.4.

How Does Nebraska Fare On The Road?

For the season, the Cornhuskers have played nine road games and have a record of 2-7. In these contests, Nebraska is 1-8 vs. the spread. Offensively, they have averaged 60.3 points per game on a shooting percentage of 41.5%. On defense, the Cornhuskers allow 71.4 points per contest when playing away from home. So far, opposing teams have a field goal percentage of 44.9% in these games.

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How Does Penn State Fare At Home?

In their 12 games at home, Penn State has an 8-4 record vs. the spread while going 10-2 straight-up. On offense, the Nittany Lions are shooting 47.9% on their home floor, leading to 76.4 points per game. Defensively, opponents are shooting 40.4% in these contests. The Penn State defense is allowing 65.8 points per game at home.

Offense vs. Defense

For the season, Nebraska is averaging 73.3 points per game (136th) while posting an overall field goal percentage of 44.4%. In today’s game, they will be matched up against a Penn State defense that has allowed an average of 67.1 points per contest. This year, opponents have hit 41.4% of their shots vs. Penn State. On the other side, the Penn State Nittany Lions are coming into the game averaging 64.6 points per game on a shooting percentage of 43.2%. The Nittany Lions will be facing a defensive unit allowing an average of 66.8 points per contest. So far, teams have hit 42.0% of their shots vs. the Cornhuskers.

Three-Point Shooting

From beyond the arc, Nebraska has a shooting percentage of 32.0% while ranking 366th in attempts per game. The Cornhuskers will be facing a Penn State defense that has a 3-point field goal shooting percentage allowed of 33.7%. Penn State enters the game having hit 34.2% of their looks from deep while averaging 8.03 made 3’s per game. On the other end, Nebraska has allowed opponents to hit 32.6% of their shots from beyond the arc.

Injuries Of Note


  • Juwan Gary (Out) Shoulder
  • Quaran McPherson (Out) Knee
  • Ramel Lloyd Jr. (Out) Redshirt
  • Blaise Keita (Questionable) Ankle

Penn State

  • Caleb Dorsey (Out) Shoulder

Pick Against The Line

The Cornhuskers certainly aren’t elite at defending the three (32.4%), but it’s not a liability. The Nittany Lions live and die by the three and are third in the nation with 32.8 points from 3-pt land scored per game. Nebraska has allowed 69.5 points per game in Big Ten play, and admittedly, that’s skewed by two low-scoring games. However, in the five games that their opponent scored 73 points or greater most of the points were scored in the paint. That’s a weakness for Penn State and an area that I don’t think they will capitalize on. Offensively the Cornhuskers have averaged just 66.2 points per game this season overall and just 62.2 in conference games. The Nittany Lions have allowed 69.9 PPG in Big Ten games and at home overall 64.5 points. I’m betting the Under 133.