Even with the delay in getting their season started the Ohio State Buckeyes showed it was worth the wait. Getting mentioned as a top team without even playing a game, the Buckeyes slaughtered Nebraska, 52-17, leaving no doubt. OSU has won 16 in a row over Big Ten foes and looks to extend that run against a rattled Penn State Nittany Lions crew. PSU was upset by Indiana in overtime on a controversial play. The teams have played close games in Happy Valley with the last two meetings decided by a total of four points with each getting a victory.
The game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Penn State Nittany Lions will take place at Beaver Stadium in University Park, PA at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 31, 2020. The game will be televised on ABC.
Ohio State vs Penn State Odds
Ohio State Buckeyes -12.5
Penn State Nittany Lions +12.5
Opening game results had a lot of bettors jumping on Ohio State. The Buckeyes easily handled Nebraska and showed no mercy scoring a touchdown with 18 seconds left in that game to line the pockets of backers. OSU was a four-touchdown favorite covering the line with that late score. The Buckeyes need to score points with pollsters after their delayed start to the season and they’ll try to add on as much as they can when given the chance. The line was bet up to OSU -12.5 after hitting the board at -10.
It wasn’t quite how Penn State drew it up, losing their opening game as a 7-point favorite to Indiana. Maybe PSU was looking ahead to its showdown with the Buckeyes, or maybe there are more faults with the team than most expected. Either way this week’s matchup gives the Nittany Lions a chance to prove they are still a viable contender in the Big Ten. And they’ve played OSU tighter than any conference team. Penn State has lost three straight in the series with all of them decided by a total of 13 points. Penn State covered the closing line in each of the last four meetings and the Lions are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
Ohio State Buckeyes
With Heisman hopeful Justin Fields back directing the offense, the Buckeyes will score points. Fields was nearly perfect against Nebraska completing 20 of 21 passes for 276 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He added a team-high 54 yards and another score on 15 rush attempts as the OSU totaled nearly 500 yards. To become a more complete offense the Buckeyes will need more production from running backs Trey Sermon and Master Teague. The two combined for 89 yards averaging just over 3.8 yards per carry.
With blue chip prospects at nearly every position it’s hard to go against Ohio State. They buckled down defensively after the Huskers tied the game at 14 in the middle of the second quarter allowing just a field goal the rest of the way. Adrian Martinez did expose a potential weakness, though. The Nebraska QB ran for 85 yards and a touchdown and his backup Luke McCaffrey added 80 yards on nine attempts. You can bet Penn State’s Sean Clifford will look at that as a way to pull off the upset.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Losing to Indiana on a disputed 2-point conversion attempt in overtime shouldn’t even have come to that, according to PSU coach James Franklin. It looks like few teams suffered more from the delayed start to the season. Penalties, turnovers and mental lapses are all correctable, and once the Nittany Lions got moving on offense they looked like a bunch that could do damage. The only problem is that there isn’t much time to make adjustments and losing another game puts PSU in a deeper hole than it’s already in.
That could be just the motivation the team needs. Penn State has just one win in the last eight meetings with Ohio State and three of those setbacks have been by a touchdown or less. PSU dropped a 27-26 home decision two years ago and their only win since 2012 came in Happy Valley during the 2016 campaign, 24-21. Penn State didn’t play poorly last week outgaining the Hoosiers 488-211 and holding them to 4 of 12 on third down. Three turnovers and 10 penalties didn’t help. Clifford had 119 of PSU’s 250 rushing yards, and the Buckeyes looked vulnerable against the run last week.
Ohio State vs Penn State Prediction
Game Prediction: Penn State +12.5 and UNDER 64.5
This matchup lost some of its luster with Penn State losing last week. And that’s likely going to make this game one of the best. In a game they dominated on the stat sheet the Lions simply hurt themselves. The offense came around in the second half and I expect a cleaner effort this week with plenty at stake. We won’t have the whiteout at Beaver Stadium, which favors the visitors, but playing with a sense of urgency and getting 12.5-points on the line makes PSU the right play.