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Penn State Alabama Betting – Penn State brings its young pups into a lion’s den

Posted by Tony Bryant on 9/8/2010 11:28:54 AM
penn state alabama betting

This is not the biggest matchup of week two of the college football season, but it’s the most tradition-packed encounter on the slate. Joe Paterno and Bear Bryant staged a memorable duel in the 1979 Sugar Bowl between Penn State and Alabama, a game won by the Crimson Tide thanks to a memorable goal-line stand in the final minutes. Now, these many years later, Paterno will go down to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama once again. The Nittany Lions – who won the Big Ten title in 2008 – will not be at their very best this year, but they’ll give their very best shot against the defending national champions, who are still quite formidable but have a very green defense for coach Nick Saban.

NCAA football betting: Penn State Nittany Lions @ Alabama Crimson Tide

Online Betting Odds: Alabama -11.5

Why To Bet On Penn State

The Nittany Lions have a young quarterback, but a very promising one in freshman Robert Bolden. The youngster justified Paterno’s confidence in the season opener against Youngstown State by hitting just over two-thirds of his passes (20 of 29) and throwing only one interception. Bolden is an athletic quarterback who differs from many of Penn State’s old-school quarterbacks in the 1970s and 1980s. He’s a representation of a new breed of quarterback akin to Michael Robinson, who led PSU to the 2005 Big Ten championship. Darryl Clark, the man Bolden’s replacing, was more of a traditional pocket passer, so Penn State has a chance to be a more diversified team on offense. This is significant because Alabama returns just two starters on defense. Alabama does re-load instead of just rebuilding under Nick Saban, but this early in the season, the Crimson Tide are sure to undergo an appreciable learning curve. Penn State has an opportunity to catch Alabama’s defense off guard and score 24 to 27 points. With a half-decent defensive effort, the Nittany Lions can play this game tight and get into the final minutes with the outcome resting in their hands. They’d love that scenario, to be sure.

Why To Bet On Alabama

The Crimson Tide might have a young defense, but their offense is absolutely stacked. Greg McElroy – who won the national championship in his first year under center in Tuscaloosa – is back to lead his teammates into battle. Julio Jones is a top-class wide receiver, arguably the best in all of college football. Mark Ingram is out, but Trent Richardson is a more-than-able replacement at running back. Alabama fans have actually wanted to see Richardson get a lot more work, and this game will give him the carries he wants. On top of all this, simply realize that Bolden – as a true freshman – will be walking into the din of Bryant-Denny Stadium, which has been newly expanded to over 100,000 seats. It will be very hard for Penn State’s youthful offensive players to cope with the atmosphere that will greet them.

How The Game Will Play Out

The emotions and intensity in Alabama will overwhelm Robert Bolden. Penn State is too young to take advantage of Alabama’s inexperienced defense, and Bama’s offense – at home – should feel very comfortable. The game will start slowly, but Bama will get cranking and lean on PSU’s defensive line in the second half. Bolden will commit multiple turnovers, and the Tide will cover the number.

Penn State Alabama Betting Pick: Alabama -11.5

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