NCAA Football Betting Preview
No. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-2) at No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions (8-1)
Saturday November 7th, 3:30PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Penn State -3 ½ , 39 ½ O/U
Big Ten rivalry action headlines college football this weekend when the no. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions host the no. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes in Happy Valley. This week’s match-up has been a long time in the waiting as one of the most anticipated games of the year. However, this was supposed to be a battle for Big Ten Championship rights, but Iowa could steal the show. Although both teams are still right in the picture for a Big Ten Title, only one will be still alive after this Saturday.
The Buckeyes have bounced back since their most recent loss to Purdue and blasted the likes of New Mexico State and Minnesota by a combined score of 83-7. However, scoring will occur much less often when they meet up with the nation’s number 1 ranked scoring defense Nittany Lions who are allowing just 9.3 points per game. Penn State has also rattled off 5 straight victories since losing to Iowa earlier this year and is still trying to fight their way to a BCS Bowl Game. The Nittany Lions won last year’s battle in a close 13-7 slugfest and they will attempt to do the same in front of the home crowd this Saturday.
Ohio State will look for their offense to stay hot heading into this weekend. The Buckeyes own the Big Ten’s 2nd ranked scoring offense averaging 31 points per game. QB Terrelle Pryor has been both feast and famine this year throwing for 13 touchdowns along with 9 picks. Pryor does also lead the team in rushing with 554 yards do to his natural ability as a dual threat quarterback, but in Ohio State’s two losses this season Pryor has thrown 3 picks to just 1 interception.
Pryor’s legs are a huge contributor to the offense’s success, but his arm remains the most relying factor for the offenses’ fate. Sophomore DeVier Posey has been the biggest playmaker in the passing game. The Buckeyes go to guy has caught 43 passes for 595 yards and 6 touchdowns this season. Fellow Wide out Dane Sanzenbacher also has 460 yards with 6 touchdowns in the receiving game as he will be a key guy to watch for. The Buckeyes defense will be strong enough to keep Penn State from racking up a lot of points, but that will be of little use if Pryor can not get the offense past the Nittany Lions impressive defense.
Penn State has yet to allow a team over 17 points this year which is simply remarkable on the college ranks. The Nittany Lions have allowed just 26 points in the last 4 games which averages less than a single touchdown. One reason the defense may cause even extra problem this week for Ohio State is their tendency to get a lot of pressure up front. On the defensive front, Penn State ranks 5th against the run and ranks 4th in the country in sacks. The Nittany Lions are averaging 3.56 sacks per game and also rank 2nd with over 8 tackles for loss per contest as well. Those numbers are pretty staggering especially when they will be trying to get to Terrelle Pryor who has made more than a few mistakes this season.
On offense the Nittany Lions have delivered as expected behind quarterback Daryll Clark and tailback Evan Royster. The team is averaging 30 points per game and Clark has thrown 18 touchdowns on the season. Clark is completing over 63% for 2,158 yards and has 7 picks as well on the year. Clark’s performance along with Royster gives the Nittany Lions tremendous balance that defenses must respect. Royster has rushed for 859 yards and 5 scores on the year averaging just less than 6 yards per carry. Also, wide out Derek Moye has 648 receiving yards and 5 scores as the primary go to guy in the passing game. The Buckeyes defense will have their hands full with this balanced attack, but they have played well all year. The focus will likely be on Clark. Ohio Stand will focus in on the running game and force Clark to beat them with his arm. As long as turnovers do not turn the momentum, the Nittany Lions should fare well.
Pick – Penn State and consider play on the under.