After the Ohio State Buckeyes were nearly perfect against the Indiana Hoosiers and the Penn State Nittany Lions fell in nine overtimes to the Illinois Fighting Illini the Scarlet and Gray opened up as a 16.5-point favorite over the Nits according to DraftKings Sportsbook heading into their primetime matchup on Oct. 30.
Ohio State blew out the beat up and undermanned Hoosiers in Memorial Stadium on Saturday 54-7, despite a driving rain storm that theoretically should have made things more difficult.
On the flip side, Penn State fell for the second straight game this time in a comically embarrassing 9 OT contest that saw both the Nits and the Illini struggle to score on the mandatory two-point conversion attempts in overtimes three through nine. PSU ended up falling 20-18 and will come into Columbus for a night game as decided underdogs.
Despite the line currently being at more than two touchdowns, if I were a betting man, I would jump on that number now, because given how these two teams have played against similar competition in recent weeks, I would think that anything under three touchdowns is practically giving away free money.
Now for the other number, the DraftKings oddsmakers have put the point total at 60, which I am a little hesitant to touch. Ohio State leads the country averaging 49.3 points per game and PSU is putting up 26.9 each time out. But, things have been trending in the wrong direction for the Nits’ offense lately. In their last three games, they’ve scored 24, 20, and 18. Now, they have had some injuries to deal with — primarily with Sean Clifford at the quarterback position — but James Franklin’s offense has not inspired much confidence.
So, even if the Buckeyes got to their season average (rounding down, since you can’t get 0.3 points in college football), you would still need the Nits to score at least two touchdowns to hit the over. But, I still have questions about the OSU defense, so I would probably avoid the under as well.
Sure, they’ve held their last four opponents to a collective 44 points, but those outings have been against the 116th, 97th, 74th, and 114th ranked scoring offenses in the country. Penn State is only 79th, so not exactly a juggernaut, but with an elite wide receiver and a dual threat quarterback, they certainly have the potential to test the still evolving Buckeye defense.
So, with that uncertainty about the OSU defense and major reservations about the PSU offense, I will gladly lay the points for the Buckeyes to cover, but I would stay away from the o/u in this case... although, I wouldn’t be shocked if C.J. Stroud and Co. hit the over all by themselves next week.