Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio State Buckeyes Big Ten Predictions

Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday, 11/13/10, 3:30 PM EDT, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Ohio State -17
Current Betting Line:  Ohio State -18
Opening Total:  49
Current Total:  49.5
Current Moneyline:  Ohio State -1000 / Penn State +700

Penn State Football Preview
Penn State will need a huge game form running back Evan Royster to defeat the heavily favored Buckeyes in Columbus

Penn State briefly celebrated head coach Joe Paterno’s 400th career win due to the legend already looking ahead to the upcoming matchup.  “Now that the celebration’s over, let’s go beat Ohio State,” Paterno exclaimed.  The Nittany Lions have come back from back-to-back losses to win three straight games, including coming back from a 21-0 deficit to tally a 35-21 home win over Northwestern.  Quarter Matt McGloin led the comeback, setting career-highs with four touchdown passes on 18 completions.  Running backs Evan Royster and Silas Redd pitched in by gaining 134 and 131 yards respectively.  The team’s tough schedule continues this afternoon by facing its sixth ranked opponent of the season when stepping on the field in Columbus.  Penn State is 8-3 ATS over the past three years and the college football lines page finds them as a hefty underdog.

The Nittany Lions have definitely been in a rebuilding mode during the 2010-11 campaign, with seventeen players making their first career starts.  Sixteen players who were on the two-deep roster to open the season have been injured prior to and during the course of the season.  Penn State has a legitimate shot to pull off the upset on Saturday, owning a 9-3 record on the road the past three seasons, including an 8-2 mark in Big Ten Conference road games.  The main reason for the team’s recent success has been the growth of the offensive, combining to score 109 points in the last three games, after hitting that mark in the first six contests.  The unit is averaging more than 100 yards more offense in that span as well (438-335).

Ohio State is coming off a bye week and knows that notching three more wins will give them at least a share of a sixth straight Big Ten title.  “We know November is going to be turned up a notch,” said head coach Jim Tressel.  “If we’’ll go to work and get ready for November, you never know what can happen.”  The Buckeyes have produced a dominating 26-4 conference mark under Tressel since the start of the 2005 season.  Ohio State holds a narrow 13-12 series advantage over Penn State, including an 8-6 edge at Ohio Stadium.  One cause of concern in this contest is the team’s 2-4 mark after a bye week under Tressel’s watch.  The team is 6-0 ATS at home this season.

The Buckeyes lead the conference and rank third in the NCAA in total defense, giving up just 234.2 yards per game, while also leading the league and ranking seventh nationally by scoring 42.0 points per contest.  Ohio State has won six of the last eight meetings overall, including a 24-7 win last season in Happy Valley behind three total touchdowns from star quarterback Terrelle Pryor.  This game is always played on a big state, but the presence of ESPN College Gameday gives it even a bigger feel, with the Buckeyes posting a 9-3 record when hosting the broadcast.

Bettors will be interested in knowing that the Nittany Lions are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games as a road underdog of 10.5 points or more, while the Buckeyes are 36-15 ATS in conference play.

The college football handicappers at Maddux Sports are ready for another explosive weekend of gridiron action!

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