While not the top 10 matchup it appeared to be last week, the Big Ten has its first big game of the year this weekend as No. 18 Penn State (0-1) hosts No 3. Ohio State (1-0). Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET on Saturday at Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley, Pa., and the game will be televised on ABC.
Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993 and is 8-18 against Ohio State in conference play. Overall, the Buckeyes lead the series 20-14, including three wins in a row. Penn State last won at home in 2016 but is just 1-5 against the Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium since 2005.
Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Outlook: Let Fields Work
The Buckeyes covered in week one with a late touchdown in a 52-17 win over Nebraska. Ryan Day’s squad gained 491 yards total with 276 passing. The defense had three sacks and forced two fumbles, one returned for a score, but did allow 210 rushing yards.
Quarterback Justin Fields fell behind other Heisman contenders whose seasons began, as the Buckeyes didn’t play the first seven weeks of the season. He established himself as a contender in the opener, throwing for 276 yards with only one incompletion. Fields had two passing touchdowns and one rushing score on the day.
On the ground, the Buckeyes spread the ball around, as running back Trey Sermon ran for 55 yards, while running back Master Teague III ran for 41. Teague had two rushing scores, and backup quarterback Jack Miller III ran for a score.
Fields completed 20 passes to eight different players. Wide receiver Garett Wilson had seven catches for 129 yards with a touchdown, while wide receiver Chris Olave had six catches for 104 yards.
Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Outlook: Protect The Ball
Penn State had a roller coaster of a ride at Indiana in the opener, falling behind early, leading 28-20 in the final minute of regulation, and losing 36-35 on a controversial call in overtime.
If they turn the ball over three times again, Penn State won’t likely upset Ohio State this week. In the opener, the Nittany Lions had over 40 minutes of possession, ran 87 plays, and outgained Indiana 488-211 but still lost.
Quarterback Sean Clifford had two interceptions against Indiana with three touchdown passes. He threw for 238 yards in the game while rushing for 119 yards with a fourth touchdown.
Overall, Penn State had 250 rushing yards and held Indiana to just 41 on the ground. Clifford led the way while running back Devyn Ford tallied 69 yards, and Keyvone Lee had 35 yards. Ford also scored a touchdown with a team-high 20 carries.
Clifford’s most frequent target was tight end Pat Freiermuth, who finished with seven catches for 60 yards and a score. Wide receiver Jahan Dotson had 94 yards and a touchdown on four catches, while wideout Parker Washington also scored.
Betting Lines and Pick
Ohio State is favored by 12 points on the road. The total is 65 points, and Penn State is a +350 underdog on the moneyline.
While Ohio State has dominated this series lately, the home team is 5-2 ATS, and the underdog is 4-0 ATS in recent matchups. The weather could impact this game as well, but the crowd won’t as a usual rabid fan base of over 100,000 at Happy Valley will be absent.
Turnovers and defense could help Ohio State get a blowout, but points should be hard to come by.
Free Pick: Under 64 (-110)