Ohio State vs Penn State Odds, Picks and Predictions: Over-Exposure in Week 9

Ohio State's been incinerating every defense in its path, and while Penn State might not roll over, we think it's far more likely to fight fire with fire. See why our college football picks are backing the Over for this Big Ten showdown.

Andrew Caley - Senior Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Andrew Caley • Senior Betting Analyst
Oct 29, 2022 • 09:11 ET • 4 min read

At this point, it feels inevitable that once again, the winner of the regular season finale between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan will be the de facto Big Ten champion. But if there’s one team that might have something to say about that, it’s the Penn State Nittany Lions. 

The one-loss Nittany Lions host the undefeated Buckeyes in Happy Valley this weekend. Can Penn State overcome a juggernaut Ohio State offense and upset as more than two-touchdown underdogs? Or will it get steamrolled by CJ Stroud and Co. like everyone else in the Buckeyes' path so far?

I break it all down and bring you my best bet with my college football picks and predictions for Ohio State vs. Penn State on Saturday, October 27.

Ohio State vs Penn State best odds

Ohio State vs Penn State picks and predictions

For my money, Ohio State has the best offense in the country (sorry, Tennessee fans). That high-octane attack has led the Buckeyes to a 7-0 record and quarterback CJ Stroud is the betting favorite to win the Heisman Trophy

Ohio State can attack you in so many ways. The team has a seemingly endless supply of stud receivers. Emeka Egbuka, Marvin Harrison Jr., and Josh Flemming all average at least 15 yards per catch and have scored at least six touchdowns. Oh, and top wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba is expected to be back this week.

Meanwhile, running backs Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson each have combined for nearly 1,000 yards at 6.4 yards per carry and 13 scores. That balance and depth of talent means this team ranks fourth in total offense and second in scoring offense, posting 49.6 points per game.

Basically, the Penn State defense will have its hands full. The Nittany Lions have a solid secondary, but the rush defense is starting to show some cracks, giving up nearly five yards per carry over its last three games. That includes giving up a whopping 418 yards rushing to Michigan in a 41-17 loss two weeks ago.

But defending a team with so many weapons just wears on you. Look at what happened to Iowa last week. The Hawkeyes were able to keep it close for a bit. But long drive after long drive by the Buckeyes and, before you know it, there’s a 50-burger in a 54-10 win. And that’s an objectively better Iowa defense.

However, head coach James Franklin will have his team up for this matchup and give Ohio State its best effort. But I think that lends better to betting the total than backing the Nittany Lions as dogs.

Sean Clifford looked healthy last week, leading his team to a 45-17 win over Minnesota. With Clifford under center, this is a balanced offense, with improved offensive line play and the emergence of freshman running back Nicholas Singleton. 

They’ll stack up against an improving but mostly-untested Ohio State defense. The Nittany Lions should be able to put up 17-24 points at home, and that'll be enough to send this one Over the number.

My best bet: Over 60.5 (-110 at FanDuel)

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Ohio State vs Penn State spread analysis

The line for this Big Ten battle is in a bit of a no-mans-land at 15.5 and hasn’t seen much movement off that number as of Thursday morning.

Much will be made of the fact that James Franklin is 0-10 straight up in his last 10 matchups against Top 10 teams, which includes that loss to Michigan on Oct. 15. Penn State is also 0-5 SU in the last five meetings against Ohio State. But the Nittany Lions are 4-1 ATS in those games, losing by an average of just seven points and by never more than 13. 

As I said, Franklin usually has his team prepared for this matchup. And generally, I like getting more than two touchdowns at home with Penn State. 

But this Ohio State offense is just so dangerous. Expect to see big games from running backs Henderson and Williams after what the Wolverines did to them a few weeks ago. That will force the Penn State defense to stay honest and open things up for an already awesome Stroud.

The 15.5 line tells me oddsmakers don’t feel super certain about which way this one will go, and it's the same for me. So, I’ll stay away.

Ohio State vs Penn State Over/Under analysis

Obviously, I feel fairly good about the Over here. Ohio State has put up at least 49 points in all four of its conference games so far. That includes 50 burgers against Iowa and Wisconsin, two defenses that are theoretically good.

With the Buckeyes putting in so much work on offense, it’s no surprise the Over is 4-0 in those four games. On top of that, they have gone Over by more than nine points per contest. 

Meanwhile, the Ohio State defense is giving up an average of 15.3 points per game in Big Ten play, which doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re averaging 50, that easily takes down totals in the low 60s, and Penn State arguably has the most capable offense the Buckeyes have faced all season. 

The Over going 5-0 in Ohio State Big Ten games looks like a solid bet.

Ohio State vs Penn State betting trend to know

The Over is 5-0 in Ohio State's last five games overall, and 4-0 in Penn State's last four games vs. teams with a winning record. Find more NCAA betting trends for Ohio State vs. Penn State.

Ohio State vs Penn State game info

Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. ET

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Ohio State vs Penn State weather

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