Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Odds, Trends, Predictions 10/29/22

by | Last updated Oct 26, 2022 | cfb

Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS)
When: Saturday, October 29, at Noon
Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pa.
TV: Fox

Point Spread: OHST -15.5/PSU +15.5
Total: O/U 60.5


If there’s a game that could derail Ohio State’s national championship aspirations, this could be the one. The Buckeyes have looked darn near invincible for the first seven weeks of the season, but the trip to University Park is never an easy one for Ohio State. In fact, facing Penn State at all is seldom an easy experience for the Buckeyes.

Over the past ten meetings, Ohio State has won nine of them, but only two were decided by more than the listed spread for this game. In the past six matchups, the average margin of victory either way was a mere eight points, with Ohio State getting out with a one-point win in 2018. This has always been a strong rivalry, but with Penn State really the last hurdle left before Michigan that’s separating Ohio State from the Big Ten championship game, the rivalry now really gets magnified. The Nittany Lions have come close several times before in this matchup; can they finally get over the hump and get themselves back in the race for the Big Ten’s East Division crown?

How the Public is Betting the Ohio State/Penn State Game

The public is evenly split on this one. 52% of tickets have come in on Penn State, and the line has not budged an inch. The total has ticked down from 61 to 60.5.

Injury Concerns

Ohio State:

Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (lower body) is probable. Cornerback Lloyd McFarquhar (undisclosed) is questionable. Linebacker Teradja Mitchell (undisclosed), tight end Joe Royer (undisclosed), wide receiver Kamryn Babb (knee), running back Evan Pryor (knee) and linebacker Mitchell Melton (knee) are out.

Penn State:

Wide receiver Jaden Dottin (undisclosed) is questionable. Tight end Jerry Cross (undisclosed) and defensive end Zuriah Fisher (knee) are out.

When Ohio State Has the Ball

It really hasn’t mattered much what anyone has tried to slow down Ohio State. C.J. Stroud is going to throw a fair amount and throw it well, and the Buckeyes have so many weapons at their disposal that defenses have little chance to stop them from scoring a large number of points. Ohio State runs the ball well with both Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson, and receivers Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. have stepped up so well that Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s absence up to this point hasn’t even made a fraction of a difference.

The Buckeyes have so much that they can do to hurt teams that it’s impossible for a defense to focus on taking one thing away. As long as Ohio State doesn’t have an off day, it is going to put up points, and lots of them. Other than the Notre Dame game, the Buckeyes haven’t faced a team that could put their offense under pressure. Rutgers and Iowa both fought well, but their defenses eventually gave out because, at some point, you have to score against a good team to have any kind of hope.

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When Penn State Has the Ball

What makes facing Ohio State so scary is that not only do you know that the offense is probably going to put up a lot of points, but that the defense is usually going to keep you from being able to do much to respond. Penn State has to find a way to get the offense going from the beginning rather than get off to a languid start and hope to build up to success as the game goes on. The Nittany Lions don’t have time to wait around, so Sean Clifford has to be at his best immediately.

Clifford has seen his completion percentage rise slightly as a senior, as he has been more willing to find a plan B if the first option isn’t available. As such, he’s only thrown three interceptions against 13 touchdowns, which has helped the Nittany Lions limit their mistakes. Throw in an improved running game with Nicholas Singleton leading the charge, and it’s clear that Penn State has the ability to score when everyone is on the same page.

But getting everyone on the same page and doing it against Ohio State is a truly tall task. The Nittany Lions have been prone to nosedives against the likes of Central Michigan and Northwestern, but they got away with it because of how weak those teams are. They won’t get away with a repeat here.

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Betting Trends

Taking Ohio State to cover this season has been a great way to make money, as the sportsbooks just can’t set the number high enough to keep Ohio State’s offense from scoring quickly. Taking the Buckeyes to cover has not been wise when Penn State is the opponent, as the Nittany Lions have covered in five of the past six matchups between the teams.

The under has also hit in three of the past four meetings, but it might have a tough sell in this game. In its past five conference games, the Buckeyes have hit the over on all four occasions. Penn State has played to the under six times in eight years, but the Nittany Lions haven’t seen a defense of this caliber in a while.

Weather Report

Weather shouldn’t really affect anything here. Temperatures will sit at 59 degrees at kickoff, with winds blowing east at five miles per hour.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

This is a tough one to handicap because of how good Ohio State has looked this season. But Penn State always finds a way to hang around with the Buckeyes and make each matchup a tight battle to the end.

I’m worried about it, but I think that Penn State has enough firepower to put up some points and keep the game from turning into a laugher. I’ll back the Nittany Lions here.