Michigan vs. Penn State: Spread Analysis and Pick Prediction

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2013

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 24:  Tate Forcier #5 of the Michigan Wolverines carries the ball during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 24, 2009 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by  Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan has been bet up to a three-point favorite at some sportsbooks for its game against Penn State on Saturday with as much as 67 percent of the early wagers on the Wolverines.

But Penn State has won three straight from Michigan, which has struggled against the spread as a road team in recent years.

Point spread: Michigan opened as a one-point favorites, but it was bet to -3 by Thursday at one book monitored by OddsShark.com. The total was sitting at 50.5 midweek. (Line updates and Matchup report)


Why Michigan can cover the spread

The Wolverines have the ninth-best defense in the nation against the run (90.4 yards allowed), rank 13th in total defense (305.0 yards) and 27th in scoring defense (19.4 points). They catch a Penn State team that rushed for just 70 yards on 38 carries in a 44-24 loss at Indiana last week.


Why Penn State can cover the spread

Despite a meltdown against the Hoosiers, the Nittany Lions are capable on both sides of the ball when they build momentum. Penn State ranks 13th nationally in red zone offense (94.4 percent). On the other side of the ball, Penn State is No. 20 in rushing defense (111.4 ypg). Both could be huge factors at home.


Smart Pick

It’s hard to ignore the short chalk here, knowing that Michigan is still undefeated, leads the all-time series versus Penn State at 10-6, and has a 5-3 record against the Lions at Beaver Stadium. Still, the Wolverines are not an impressive road team. UM coach Brady Hoke is mired in a 3-6-2 skid against the spread (ATS) away from Ann Arbor while Penn State has covered seven of nine spreads at home. Overall, they are 5-12-1 ATS in 18 road games.


  • Michigan is 5-12-1 ATS in its last 18 games on the road
  • Penn State is 3-9 SU in its last 12 games when playing Michigan


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