Minnesota is visiting Penn State in Week 8 of the College Football season, after losing to Illinois last week. Penn State is also coming off a loss last week, when they got blown out by Michigan. This game should be interesting because both teams need a bounce back win here. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Minnesota vs. Penn State Odds
Penn State is a 5-point home favorite in this game and is at -200 on the money line. The over/under is also at 44.5. Penn State only being favored by five points here is surprising. It comes off as an overreaction by oddsmakers to Penn State’s loss to Michigan last week. Another factor that doesn’t seem to have been thought of for Minnesota is the fact that the status of their quarterback, Tanner Morgan, is up in the air. It just seems like Penn State should be favored by more here.
The over/under seems about right, maybe a little low. Minnesota might struggle with scoring with their quarterback out, and Penn State has been inconsistent on offense too. I wouldn’t be surprised if this spread goes up too.
Minnesota vs. Penn State Prediction & Pick
The Pick: Penn State -5
There’s a few things that factor into this pick. A night game in State College, is a sight to see, and is very intimidating for opposing teams to come visit. Penn State also is still a very good team even after the way Michigan pushed them around last week. They average 32 points and 414 total yards a game. The key for Penn State is on the defensive side of the ball. They give up 19 points and 379 total yards a game.
The numbers seem a little skewed because of that Michigan last week, but this defense still has talent. Minnesota, on the other hand, might be in a lot of trouble in this spot mainly because of the questions surrounding quarterback Tanner Morgan’s health. He has been very good for the Golden Gophers, but got a scary injury last week, which makes his chances of playing this week in doubt. Minnesota is averaging 35 points and 443 total yards on offense, while their defense is giving up 12 points and 264 total yards on defense. Penn State is the better team here, and even with a potential question of who’s playing quarterback, they should get it done here in this spot.
Minnesota vs. Penn State Key Matchups
Can Minnesota stop Nic Singleton on the ground? Can Penn State contain Mohamed Ibrahim on the ground?
Nic Singleton vs the Minnesota Front Seven
Nic Singleton has been a difference maker for the Nittany Lions. Last season, they just couldn’t run the ball at all, but now they can thanks to Singleton. He has 69 carries, 482 rushing yards, and five rushing touchdowns so far on the year. His best game was against Ohio in Week 2 when he had 10 carries, 179 rushing yards, and two touchdowns. The Minnesota rushing defense has been decent and is giving up 105 rushing yards a game so far on the season.
The most they have given up this season was last week when they gave up 220 yards on the ground to Illinois. Singleton is the x-factor for Penn State’s offense, and if the Golden Gophers can’t contain him then it’s going to be a long day for them.
Mohamed Ibrahim vs the Penn State Front Seven
Mohamed Ibrahim is the engine that makes the Golden Gopher offense go. He has 104 carries, 694 rushing yards, and nine rushing touchdowns. His best game was against Colorado where he had 23 carries, 202 rushing yards, and three rushing touchdowns. He was injured last year, and has been a force so far this year. The Penn State defense has been okay, and is allowing 136 rushing yards a game. Their worst game was last week when Michigan ran for 418 yards on the ground against them. Ibrahim is a bona fide star for the Gophers, and if Penn State can contain him then it might be a long day for Minnesota.