Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions – Point Spread

Note: If you’re
looking for the 2013 Week 9 matchup between these teams, please go here:
State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Pick

No. 12 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-2 SU, 7-2 ATS) vs. No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions (8-1 STU, 5-4 ATS), Saturday, November 7th, 3:30 p.m. Eastern, Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA; TV: ABC
By Oracle of Predictem.com

Point Spread: Penn State -3.5/Ohio State +3.5
Over/Under: 40

This game has been circled since the schedules came out.

Most Big Ten gurus figured that Ohio State and Penn State would be the two teams battling for the Big Ten title, and maybe even a shot at the National Championship. But really, this game isn’t about the Big Ten championship, it’s about keeping pace with the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes.

Both teams are looking to jolt into the BCS standings as well. The Nittany Lions are just one spot out while Ohio State is 16th. With a win and maybe a little help, the winner of this contest may find themselves in the BCS standings come Sunday.

These two teams always play close, and online sportsbooks expect the same with Penn State, who plays at Beaver Stadium against OSU at 3:30 p.m., is the favorite -3.5 to open up. For the most part, that line has stayed put except moving at some books to -4.

The over/under has opened at a measly 40 points, but that’s for a good reason.

Both teams contain the best defenses around, as OSU is sixth in the nation in yards given up (260), rushing yards allowed (86.4), and points allowed (11.7) per game.

Meanwhile, Penn State can do one better, giving up 9.3 points per game – the BEST in the nation. They’re also fifth in the country in yards given up (254.8) and rushing yards allowed (84.1).

Last year it was the Nittany Lions who came out a 13-6 winner in a knock ’em out, drag ’em down game.
Penn State used 10 fourth quarter points to earn the win and covered the spread at the same time.

In that game, QB Daryll Clark threw for just 121 yards. Pat Devlin had the only touchdown of the game.

Terrelle Pryor was also limited in the contest for the Buckeyes. The quarterback threw an interception and was held to just six rushing yards – one of his strengths.

Penn State running back Evan Royster may be the X-factor in Saturday’s contest. He’s been hot lately by gaining over 100 yards in his last three games. He had a big afternoon last Saturday by gaining 118 yards on just 15 attempts and a touchdown in their 34-13 win. Royster has six touchdowns on the year.

Royster and the Penn State offensive line will be tested though against the nation’s sixth best rush defense.

Same goes for the other side of the ball. Ohio State’s running attack this year has been dreadful. In fact, it’s their quarterback who leads them in rushing (555 yards). Daniel Herron (307 yards, six touchdowns,) has been injury prone so far this season, but he looks to be ready to go against the Nittany Lions’ defense.

Pryor has basically been asked to carry the load for this team. He’s struggled at times, but as a sophomore has come through. He’s thrown for 1,536 yards and 13 touchdowns this year and has six rushing touchdowns to boot.

Penn State’s defense bent but didn’t break last season. In fact, they held Chris Wells, a first day draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals, to just 55 yards on 22 carries.

Without a running attack, it may be a long night for Pryor because PSU won’t have much else to worry about.

These two squads have been back and forth over the years. They’ve met every year in the past 10 seasons with OSU leading that straight up mark 6-4. The home team has won seven of those ten games as well.

The home team is a remarkable 9-2 ATS in the last 11 head-to-head meetings between these two Big Ten foes. Another trend in this match up that favors PSU is the fact that the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five games.

Add to that OSU is just 1-4 ATS in their last five at Beaver Stadium is a recipe bettors may have a hard time staying away from.

On the year, OSU is an impressive 7-2 ATS though. They’re 6-0 against teams with winning records as well. They have a bunch of trends against the spread going their way, including a 21-5 record when playing on grass.


Penn State has covered their past four games as a favorite and after not covering their first four games of this season, has done so in their last five.

The under trends are huge for both teams. Not surprising considering the defenses. It’s come in six times in the Buckeyes’ nine games this year and is 5-1 in six home games for PSU.

This game is important for many reasons. The winner moves up in the standings and has a good shot at a BCS ranking. The loser will pay dire consequences, though. Look for this one to be a classic.

Oracle’s Pick: It wouldn’t be surprising to see this game come down to the waning minutes. With that said, bettors may want to stay away from this line. Instead, 40 points may not seem like a lot, but when these two teams meet, it is! Take the under!