Michigan State vs Penn State – NCAA Football Pick for October 13th

by Rick Rockwell
on October 9, 2018

Minute Read

The #8 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions return from a Bye Week and look to get back on the winning track as they host the Michigan State Spartans. PSU needs a solid showing on Saturday in Happy Valley, while the Spartans need to bounce back from a disappointing loss last weekend. Kickoff inside Beaver Stadium is at 3:30 PM ET.

Betting Data Michigan State Penn State
Current S/U record 3-2 4-1
2018 Home 2-1 2-1
2018 Away 1-1 2-0
2018 ATS 1-4 4-1
2018 ATS Home 0-3 2-1
2018 ATS Away 1-1 2-0
2018 O/U 4-1 4-1
2018 O/U Home 3-0 2-1
2018 O/U Away 1-1 2-0

Spartans vs Nittany Lions Big Ten Game Preview

The first time these two teams ever played against each other was in 1914. However, it wasn’t until Penn State began Big 10 play in 1993, that the two teams began playing on a regular basis. Overall, the Spartans hold the all-time advantage at 16-15-1. Since joining the Big 10, the Nittany Lions have a 14-8 record against the Spartans. MSU has won 4 of the last 5 games including a huge upset last year 27-24.

Michigan State (3-2, 1-1 Big 10) suffered a demoralizing loss last weekend to Northwestern by a score of 29-19. They weren’t able to crack 100 yards on the ground and became one-dimensional as QB Brian Lewerke threw 51 times. That won’t work against an aggressive, talented Penn State defense. Can the Spartans find some balance on offense and try to keep the PSU offense off the field?

Penn State (4-1, 1-1 Big 10) is coming off a Bye Week, which means they’ve had two weeks to stew over their narrow 27-26 loss to Ohio State. It was a game that PSU could’ve won, but poor play calling on the final drive of the game cost them. The Nittany Lions will look to take out their aggressions on MSU this weekend at home.

Just about every online betting site opened with PSU favored by 13.5 points and no changes with the line since then. The Over/Under opened at 56.5 points with most sportsbooks, but saw small increases before settling at 56 total points.

Free NCAAF Spread Bet and Big 10 Prediction

This isn’t the typical Spartans defense that we’re accustomed to seeing. Yes, they only give up 33.8 rushing yards per game, but they do give up 305 passing yards and 23.4 ppg. Furthermore, they haven’t faced an offense like PSU all season long.

PSU QB Trace McSorley is still in the Heisman Trophy conversation as he’s thrown for 1,049 yards and 10 TDs to just 2 INTs this season. Additionally, he has 400 rushing yards and 6 rushing TDs in 5 games. He’s a dual threat that the Spartans are going to have to account for on every snap. Additionally, PSU has a strong running game that averages 261.2 rushing yards per game and is led by Miles Sanders who has 538 rushing yards and 6 rushing TDs.

Penn State’s offense averages 510 total yards per game and 49.6 ppg. They’re one of the most explosive offenses in the Nation and they will really put MSU’s defense to the test.

PSU’s defense only allows 21 ppg, which includes just 27 points to the vaunted Ohio State offense. If OSU can only score 27 points on PSU, then I highly doubt MSU will reach their season average of 27.2 ppg. Especially, when MSU can’t even run the ball effectively.

Michigan State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games, 4-8 ATS in their last 12 road games, 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games at Penn State, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games during October, 3-6 ATS and 3-6 SU in their last 9 games following a conferences loss, and 4-8 ATS in their last 13 Weeks 5 through 9 games.

Penn State is 4-1 ATS this year, 6-1 ATS in their last 7 overall games, 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 home games, 15-6 ATS in their last 21 Big Ten games, 6-1 ATS and 6-1 SU in their last 7 October games, 12-4 ATS when playing against a winning team, and 8-1 ATS in their last 9 Weeks 5 through 9 games.

I expect this game to get out of hand by the start of the second half, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see MSU score some garbage time points to make the score appear closer than it really was. Penn State should’ve defeated OSU this year. They will use that anger to fuel them the rest of the season. If PSU wins out, they could have a chance at a Big 10 title game with a little help. However, they would have to beat both Michigan and Wisconsin to accomplish that.

I see Penn State coming out of a Bye Week and crushing an inconsistent Michigan State team. Without any balance on offense, PSU will key in on Lewerke and make life miserable for him all game long. This PSU defense is underrated, but coming on strong.

The PSU moneyline of -510 is not worth the bet as there’s no return. If you aren’t comfortable with the PSU spread of 13.5 points, then the Over/Under of 56 total points is something to consider as both teams are 4-1 with the Over this year. Additionally, the Over is 8-2 in the last 10 games where MSU plays at PSU. For me, I’m going with the spread, but I also like the Over.

Michigan State vs Penn State Betting Recap:

  • Oddsmaker: BetOnline
  • Money lines: Mich St. (+415) and Penn St. (-510)
  • Spread: Penn State -13.5 (-115)
  • Over/Under: 56 total points (+110)
  • Prediction: Penn State 42 – Michigan State 20
Pick: Penn State -13.5

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Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

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