Ohio vs. Penn State Odds, Picks, Predictions (9/10/22)

Penn State narrowly escaped with a win over Purdue in last week’s season opener, but Week 2 might offer James Franklin’s group a bit of a break. The Nittany Lions host Ohio on Saturday, as the Bobcats look to build off a high-scoring win over FAU.

Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for Saturday afternoon’s matchup in College Station.

Ohio vs. Penn State Odds

Penn State enters as a heavy 24.5-point favorite at -3000 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 54.5 points in what figures to be an offensive battle.

A typically strong Ohio program sunk to just 3-9 last season, but even some of the better Ohio teams of the past decade probably wouldn’t open as anything but a decisive underdog on the road at Penn State. Despite some extreme highs and lows from the Nittany Lions in Week 1, it would be a major surprise if they didn’t handle Ohio with ease this weekend.

Ohio vs. Penn State Prediction & Pick

My pick: Penn State -24.5

You can’t totally ignore Ohio’s offense after it dropped 41 points on FAU to overcome a great performance by Owls QB N’Kosi Perry. Kurtis Rourke was downright dominant for the Bobcats, finishing 27-of-34 for 345 yards and 4 touchdowns. That’s a mild concern after Penn State’s defense had some lowlights against Purdue, but Rourke’s track record – an uninspiring 2021 season – tells you that probably isn’t sustainable.

Penn State didn’t allow more than 21 points at home last season, and Ohio was torched on the road by a 3-9 Northwestern in its only game against Big Ten competition in 2021. With serious defensive issues that date back to last season for Ohio, the Nittany Lions should cruise.

Ohio vs. Penn State Key Matchups

The over/under comes in on the high end because these two defenses didn’t impress at all in Week 1, and the defensive issues extend back even further for Ohio. The Bobcats allowed 25+ points in 10 of their 12 games last season, a problem that plagued the team from start to finish.

While Ohio was able to pull out a win in Week 1, the performance didn’t do anything to indicate this group was over its defensive lapses. FAU had two 100-yard receivers in the loss, turning what appeared to be an Ohio blowout into a game that came down to the last drive.

Penn State fans don’t need to be sold on what they saw from Sean Clifford in Week 1 to be convinced he’ll probably have his way with Ohio’s defense. Clifford struggled with accuracy against Purdue, finishing 20-of-37, but he tossed four touchdowns and ran for another against a less than impressive Boilermakers defense. This game should be an opportunity for Clifford to build confidence before a huge matchup with Auburn.

The Nittany Lions’ running game could help take the pressure off Clifford if it uses Ohio’s defense as an opportunity to get going. Keyvone Lee was held to 30 yards on 9 carries in his season debut but could see more work if Penn State builds up an early lead this weekend.

Penn State’s defense was troubling at times against Purdue. The unit just couldn’t contain receiver Charlie Jones, who exploded for 153 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches.

Ohio should be able to score some points through the air on Saturday – this won’t be anything like South Dakota State facing Iowa – but disappointment is probably in order after such a strong opener from the Bobcats’ offense.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and graduate of Boston University. He’s covered several sports on Instagram since he was 12 and now writes about everything from betting trends to breaking news for Lineups.

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