Penn State vs. Ohio State: Spread Analysis and Pick Prediction ColumnistOctober 23, 2013

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes rushes past linebacker Glenn Carson #40 of the Penn State Nittany Lions in the second quarter at Beaver Stadium on October 27, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Penn State comes in rested against an Ohio State foe that didn’t look great last week against Iowa. But the Buckeyes have enjoyed a knack for covering home spreads—regardless of how big—so 14.5 points (at midweek) is not discouraging their backers.

Point spread: Ohio State opened as 14.5-point home favorites; the total was 56.5 as of Wednesday. Line updates and the matchup report are provided via Odds Shark

Computer Prediction: 41-17 Ohio State

Why the Nittany Lions can cover the spread

Penn State true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg might be well on his way to a Freshman of the Year award. He's completed 132 of 226 passes for 1,672 yards, with 11 touchdowns and is a three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree.

He already has three 300-yard games.

Why the Buckeyes can cover the spread

This has become a team of streaks all of a sudden. The Buckeyes have earned three tight wins in a row, they're a perfect 7-0 on the season, and they boast 19 consecutive victories—the longest streak in the nation. The fact is, close or not, the Buckeyes continue to win under coach Urban Meyer.

Now, to stay in the Bowl Championship Series race, big wins are needed, and they will look to build on a 13-game home win streak. They have been reliably covering the spread at home the past few seasons.

Smart Pick

Penn State hasn't played since its four-overtime win over then-No. 18 Michigan back on Oct. 12. It's catching Ohio State at the right time, as the Buckeyes somewhat struggled in their 34-24 home win over Iowa.

The Nittany Lions should be able to hang around long enough to keep the Buckeyes within the point spread.

Penn State is 3-8 straight up in its last 11 games against Ohio State. The team is 2-8 against the spread (ATS) in its past 10 games as a double-digit underdog, too. Ohio State is 9-3 ATS in its past 12 Big Ten games.

Note: All spread and odds data powered by Odds Shark. Follow them on Twitter for injury updates and line move updates.