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Penn State at Michigan State ML Odds and Prediction

Penn State Nittany Lions(7-1) @ Michigan State(6-2)

  • Where: Spartan Stadium. East Lancing, MI
  • When: November 4, 2017 12:00 pm EST
  • Spread: PSU (-9) at Michigan State (+9)
  • Moneyline: Penn State (-300) at Michigan State (+250)
  • Over / Under: Over 48 (-110) vs Under 48 (-110)

Most bettors see trends exactly backwards. Trends, friends, are not good masters. But, they can make good servants.

A trend is only useful if it correlates to what the eyes see and the head understands. Programs can have their own unique character, quirky traits that make them an unpredictable wager but a lot of fun to watch. But just because the arm-chair pundit thinks, “I bet that team is good against the spread,” and checks the betting win-loss trends to see that school 5-2 ATS, that doesn’t mean on its own that the group is a good bet on Saturdays.

But when football logic and the eye-test add up, a red/black accounting can be proof-positive of a team’s attributes. Look no further than Penn State, with its hell-for-leather coaching staff and hard-hitting roster that always seems to cost the bookies. PSU is a whopping 6-1-1 against the point spread in 2017, but they’re not always terrific front-runners. Just when money line bettors took them seriously last Saturday, kapow…4th-quarter collapse against OSU.

Coach James Franklin’s style lends itself to being a strong underdog. His Vanderbilt Commodores built up a “nobody respects us” mantra that suits PSU best when it is doubted.

The superstars on offense help quite a bit too. The Michigan State Spartans are thankfully at home for the Penn State game this Saturday morning…but will have to stop Trace McSorley from throwing to DaeShan Hamilton, while somehow corralling Saquon Barkley on the ground.

Bookies don’t think the Spartans stand a chance. Bettors disagree strongly. The line opened up at (-12) for the Nittany Lions and has shot downward substantially.

Spartan Slip

The hosts suffered a nightmarish loss to Northwestern in triple-OT last weekend, staining their conference record with its 1st loss in 5 outings. But Michigan State may possess enough minor stars and handy-role players to challenge the amazing triple-threat in the Lions’ huddle.

Sophomore linebacker Joe Bachie leads the Spartans with 71 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and a handful of turnovers and successful loose-ball battles.

The offensive cast, meanwhile, is cautiously described by pundits as “improving,” but don’t be fooled by the low final scores. Michigan State didn’t win 4 typical conference games in a row, they whipped Iowa and Michigan to name just a couple.

The atmosphere at Spartan Stadium will help keep pressure on McSorley and not QB Brian Newerke. That’s worth a few points in the spread, of course, but the odds-makers didn’t miss that. The money line is shaky, and bettors think that Michigan State is a real threat at home in a conference-survival situation.

Lions – Meaner when hungry

Franklin is a coach who wants to control every game for 4 quarters. Barkley is his ultimate weapon in that regard, giving the Nittany Lions options in play-action throws or just controlling the clock with 3rd-down conversions.

But the PSU defense is built on containing big plays and wearing out opposing OTs. The Ohio State Buckeyes did not look worn out, nor contained in the 4th quarter of last week’s melt-down.

In fact, J.T. Barrett might have threatened to surpass Barkley in Heisman hype with his 4th-quarter heroics and eye-popping stats against the Penn State defense.

The front-7 will bounce back. But how high, and how soon?

Betting Picks for Penn State at Michigan State

Click here to wager on Michigan State (+250) to defeat Penn State this Saturday and get a 50% sign-up bonus from our friends at Bovada.

The Spartans are a good money line upset pick, an even better pick ATS, and could keep the point total well under the O/U total if the weather is as feared (or hoped-for, in Michigan State’s case).

A cold, windy rain is possible – and keep your eye on the forecast. A bad weather day might be just what the hosts need to have the slobber-knocker they want, and avoid a track meet with NFL-caliber skill players on the other side.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.


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