The Penn State Nittany Lions (0-3 overall, 0-3 Big Ten) visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-2, 0-2) Saturday for a noon ET kickoff at Memorial Stadium. Below, we analyze the Penn State-Nebraska college football betting odds and lines, with picks and predictions.
Penn State at Nebraska: Betting odds, spread and lines
- Money line: Penn State -152 (bet $152 to win $100) | Nebraska +125 (bet $100 to win $125)
- Against the spread/ATS: Penn State -3.5 (-106) | Nebraska +3.5 (-115)
- Over/Under: 56.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
Penn State at Nebraska: Three things to know
- Nebraska lost to Northwestern 23-13 last week despite getting double the first downs (28 vs. 14) and 125 more total yards (442-317). The Cornhuskers have been using a platoon approach for their QB position with Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey. Neither has thrown a touchdown pass yet this season and Nebraska’s pass game only averages a 98th-ranked 189 yards per game.
- Penn State shot itself in the foot in last week’s 35-19 loss to Maryland where the Nittany Lions were minus-three in the turnover battle. There have been lapses in a Penn State defense that ranks 86th in opponent’s passing yards per game and 94th in opponent’s points per game.
- The Cornhuskers have struggled as a home underdog recently—going 1-7 against the spread when getting points at home—but the Nittany Lions have gone 1-5 ATS in their last six as a favorite.
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Penn State at Nebraska: Odds, betting lines, predictions and picks
Penn State 31, Nebraska 21
Money line (ML)
PENN STATE (-152) has a higher net points per play and net third-down conversion percentage than Nebraska (+125). That’s my jumping off point for this handicap but there’s more.
ESPN’s college football guru, Bill Connelly, hasn’t sold any stock on Penn State’s football team. He has an 0-2 Penn State team eighth in his SP+ rankings compared to Nebraska’s 39th ranking after Week 9. We are getting a good number on the Nittany Lions because they’ve been blown out and are underperforming expectations.
PENN STATE (-152) is the right side, though, the money line is expensive so I’d entertain throwing this in a parlay.
Against the spread (ATS)
One of Penn State’s -3.5 (-106) major struggles has been its rushing attack, which has fallen off a cliff since last season. It is down 1.5 yards per rush year over year and its net rushing yards per attempt has gone from plus-2.3 yards per rush in 2019 to minus-.1 yard per rush in 2020.
A big reason for that is due to the medical opt-out by last year’s leading rusher, RB Journey Brown. He announced earlier this week that he’d be retiring from football because of a heart condition. As much of a bummer as that is, it could serve as a bit of a rallying cry for Penn State this Saturday. The Nittany Lions should have more success on the ground against a Nebraska team below-average in most defensive rushing categories.
GIMME PENN STATE -3.5 (-106).
These offenses have been terrible through their first few games. Penn State ranks 82nd in points per game and 98th in points per play vs. a Nebraska side that’s 116th in PPG and 117th in points per play. I am going to “LEAN” UNDER 56.5 (-110) because you could highlight both team’s weak defenses at this point as well.
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