It’s a White Out! Yup, one of the biggest matchups on the college football schedule this weekend takes place in Happy Valley as the Penn State Nittany Lions host the Auburn Tigers.
Both teams enter this matchup with perfect 2-0 records and ranked in the AP Top 25, so plenty is on the line. Can Auburn stay hot, quiet the White Out and pull off the upset, or does Penn State have betting value as a short home favorite?
Find out with our free college football betting picks and predictions for Auburn vs. Penn State on Saturday, September 18.
Auburn vs Penn State odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Penn State hit the board as 6.5-point home chalk but bettors are apparently enamored with Auburn's hot start and bet the line down as low as -4.5 before coming back to -5 as of Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, the total has held steady at the opening number of 53.
Auburn vs Penn State picks
Picks made on 9/17/2021 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Auburn vs Penn State game info
• Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
• Date: Saturday, September 18, 2021
• Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ABC
Auburn vs Penn State betting preview
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.
Auburn: No key injuries to report.
Penn State: John Lovett RB (Questionable), Hakeem Beamon DT (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Auburn is 0-4 ATS in its last four games as an underdog, while Penn State is 6-0 ATS in its last six overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for Auburn vs. Penn State.
Auburn vs Penn State predictions
Penn State -5 (-110)
Auburn comes into this game on fire. The Tigers are 2-0 SU and ATS, putting up 60 or more points in their first two games. That must be the reason why bettors have driven this number down from -6.5 to -5.
But those games were at home against Akron and Alabama State. Those are about as close to a pair of layups as a college football team can get. So, it’s incredibly difficult to get a feel for how good this Auburn team really is.
Quarterback Bo Nix has been impressive in his first two games, throwing for 383 yards while completing 74.4 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and no interceptions. But have people just completely wiped their memories about Bo’s road woes?
When Nix has played on the road during his career, his completion percentage drops to 54.5, he has more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (nine), and he's never thrown for more than 300 yards in a game.
Meanwhile, Penn State is also 2-0 ATS and already has a win against a ranked opponent in Wisconsin. The Nittany Lions' defense was awesome in that game, limiting the Badgers to just 10 points and a minuscule 3.7 yards per play. They followed that by thrashing Ball State, who is a quality Group of 5 team this season.
At the end of the day, with the help of an insane home crowd, QB Sean Clifford will make enough plays to secure the win and cover for the Nittany Lions.
Under 26.5 First-Half Total (-110)
What's one of the best ways to take a rabid crowd out of a ball game and take the pressure off a quarterback who has struggled on the road? Sustaining drives with the run game. That's exactly what I expect Auburn to do in this one.
The Tigers have two capable running backs in Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter. Both are averaging over a ridiculous 10 yards per carry and have totaled at least 240 yards. But that will change. They are going up against a Penn State defense that limited a strong Wisconsin running game to just 3.0 yards per carry.
And while it has yet to be tested, Auburn’s defense should be a strong unit this season. That said, Penn State should be up to the task. The Nittany Lions know they will need a balanced attack in this game to come out with the victory, so there could be a feeling-out process early on.
Combine that with what should be the insane atmosphere in Beaver Stadium and this one could be low-scoring heading into the break.
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