Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Odds, Betting Pick ColumnistOctober 23, 2017

Penn State's Saquon Barkley (26) finds a hole in the Indiana defense during the first half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Knight)
Chris Knight/Associated Press

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 4-1 both straight up and against the spread over the last five meetings with the Penn State Nittany Lions, but the Lions shocked the Buckeyes last year on their way to the Big Ten championship.

In a game that might decide a division title Penn State takes on Ohio State on Saturday afternoon at the Horseshoe.


College football point spread: The Buckeyes opened as seven-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 37.4-36.0 Buckeyes (College football picks on every game)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at for more picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.


Why the Penn State Nittany Lions can cover the spread

The Lions reached 7-0 last week and exacted a measure of revenge with a 42-13 victory over Michigan. Penn State jumped out to a 14-0 lead five minutes into the game on a pair of Saquon Barkley touchdown runs, let the Wolverines get within 14-13, then scored the final 28 points of the game and covered easily as a seven-point favorite.

On the evening, the Lions outgained Michigan 506-269 and outrushed the Wolverines 224-103. So Penn State has now outgained each of its four Big Ten opponents by a 459-290 per-game average.

The Lions have also outscored opponents in the first quarter this season 90-0, leading by at least 14 points after one quarter five times already. And they're now an amazing 14-1-2 ATS over their last 17 games.


Why the Ohio State Buckeyes can cover the spread

The Buckeyes own a five-game winning streak following their 56-14 blowout at Nebraska two weeks ago. They then enjoyed last week off.

Ohio State led the Cornhuskers 14-0 after the first quarter and 35-0 at the half, breezing to the cover as a 23-point road favorite.

On the evening, the Buckeyes outgained Nebraska 633-393, outrushed the Cornhuskers 279-44 and won time of possession by a 35/25 split. They also didn't punt. And almost all the yardage the Ohio State defense gave up came after the game had been decided.

So that's five games in a row the Buckeyes have hit the 500-yard mark on offense, and four games in a row they've hit the 50-point mark.


Smart pick

Penn State is coming off a big effort in a big win last week, and while the team is probably good enough to avoid a letdown, it's still difficult to get up for big games two weeks in a row.

Meanwhile, Ohio State had last week off. While the Lions upset the Buckeyes last year 24-21, Ohio State actually outplayed Penn State that day. Smart money here bets the Buckeyes.


College football betting trends

Ohio State is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games in Week 9.

The total has gone over in Ohio State's last five games against its conference.

Penn State is 14-1-1 ATS in its last 16 games.


All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.