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Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Michigan Wolverines Predictions, Picks, Odds, and NCAA Football Week Four Betting Preview – September 24, 2016

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Michigan Wolverines Predictions, Picks, Odds, and NCAA Football Week Four Betting Preview – September 24, 2016


Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Michigan Wolverines Preview

Where: Michigan Stadium – Ann Arbor, Michigan

When: Saturday, September 24, 3:30 PM ET

Line: Penn State Nittany Lions (+19) at Michigan Wolverines (-19) – view all NCAA Football odds and lines

TV Broadcast: Big Ten Network

Writer’s Pick: Michigan Wolverines (-19)

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Betting on the Penn State Nittany Lions (+19)


Penn State’s offense is showing signs of improvement this season. The Nittany Lions (2-1) were able to rack up 39 points on the road in a losing effort against a competent Pitt defense, and also put up 34 in a home win over Temple last Saturday.

Sophomore quarterback Trace McSorley (276 yards per game, 64 percent completion, 4 TDs, 2 INTs) has been good enough to get the chains moving, and to put the running game in a position to punch the ball in. Penn State has scored seven rushing touchdowns in its last two games.

Michigan’s injury-hit defense struggled against Colorado, the second-most points it’s given up at home in the Jim Harbaugh era. It could have been more, too, had the Buffs’ starting quarterback not gotten injured. That should give the Nittany Lions some confidence in their ability to put points on the board and cover the massive spread.

Penn State’s record of covering on the road doesn’t make for good reading, though. Since 2013, the Nittany Lions are just 4-13 ATS away from home. That includes a failed cover as 18-point underdogs last year against Ohio State.

Betting on the Michigan Wolverines (-19)

Michigan (3-0) finally got its first taste of adversity this season, as it got down by 14 points early against Colorado. The Wolverines eventually managed to outscore the Buffs 45-14 the rest of the way, but they fell just short of covering the 18.5-point spread.

After a strong start, junior quarterback Wilton Speight looked pretty wobbly against the Buffs defense. He finished just 16-of-30 for 229 yards with a touchdown. However, he shouldn’t be under too much pressure against a Penn State front which is still rebuilding after losing a lot of talent to the NFL.

Expect the Wolverines running game, which ran for 168 yards and 3 TDs against Colorado, to have some joy against that Lions front as well. Penn State coughed up 341 rushing yards on 6.1 yards in their loss to Pitt.

The Michigan defense which struggled against the pass vs. Colorado should get a significant boost with the return of star corner Jourdan Lewis. The senior has yet to suit up this season due to a litany of injuries. The Nittany Lions have also been fumble-happy this season – they already have 12 (most in the nation) in just three games, with six lost – a weakness which this very good Wolverine defense can capitalize upon.

Writer’s Prediction

Michigan cleans up its game on both sides of the ball, and Penn State just can’t cope. The Wolverines (-19) win and cover, 38-17.

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Written by Brad

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