College Football Week 9 Picks: Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday, 10/26/13, 8:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Ohio State -14.5
Current Betting Line:  Ohio State -15
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Ohio State Buckeyes have the longest win streak in the country
The Ohio State Buckeyes have the longest win streak in the country

Penn State meets its oldest Big Ten Conference rival when it travels to Columbus, as it comes off a 43-40 quadruple-overtime win over the Michigan Wolverines as two-point home underdogs on Oct. 12.  The Nittany Lions are led by true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who has completed 132 of 226 passes for 1,672 yards, with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions.  Hackenberg’s trio of 300-yard passing games are tied with Daryll Clark for the third-most in a career in school history.  Penn State is 4-7 SU and 5-4-2 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons.

The Nittany Lions are 13-15 all-time against the Buckeyes, including a 7-9 mark when playing on the road in this series.  Penn State has a 15-9 on-field record after a bye week since starting Big Ten competition in 1993.  Offensively, the team has been nearly perfect in the red zone in 2013, converting 22 of 23 visits into points.  On the defensive end, three of the team’s four wins have come when holding its opponent under 100 yards rushing, which will be a tough task in this particular matchup.

Ohio State enters the game with the nation’s longest winning streak at 19 games, while it happens to be one of six FBS schools to not allow a 100-yard rusher in 2013.  The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten and ranks seventh in the country in scoring 45.0 points per game—outscoring teams 129-38 in the first quarter this season.  Senior running back Carlos Hyde has rushed for 402 yards and five touchdowns in three conference games, which is second best among conference players.  Ohio State is 8-0 SU and 2-6 ATS as favorites of 10.5 to 21 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Buckeyes defense is led by All-Big Ten junior linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is third in the Big Ten with eight tackles for loss to go along with 56 tackles.  Ohio State’s opponent will have had an off week prior to meeting Ohio State for the third consecutive week this week.  Quarterbacks Kenny Guiton and Braxton Miller have piloted the offense efficiently through seven games this season, with the duo combining to complete 136 of 197 attempts for 1,495 yards with 21 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

Sports bettors will likely back the Nittany Lions due to their 12-4-1 ATS mark in their last 17 games overall.

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