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Penn State Nittany Lions Betting - 2011 Penn State Nittany Lions College Football Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 7/5/2011 3:09:44 PM
penn state nittany lions betting

The sports betting odds for the Big Ten have been thrown for a loop as Nebraska has moved into the conference, while Ohio State is in the midst of a slew of NCAA violations, while Michigan and Michigan State are on the ascent. Penn State is trying to keep their names in the hat when it comes to a conference title, but the Nittany Lions will need their quarterbacks to step up their game.

Seven starters return on the offensive side of the ball, but they suffered some key losses, such as running back Evan Royster, guard Stefan Wisniewski and center Doug Klopacz. This could put a lot of pressure on a passing game that still hasn’t figured out who its quarterback is going to be. Neither Matt McGloin nor Rob Bolden has the starter’s job wrapped up, and they may be doing it behind a makeshift line a year after the Nittany Lions were tied for 10th in the country in terms of sacks allowed. The Nittany Lions don’t need to have an offense like Oregon or Oklahoma in the tough Big Ten, but they need to be able to move the chains and it’s tough to see where that is going to come from at this point. Silas Redd and Stephfon Green are the most likely candidates to replace Royster, but the quarterbacks have to step up and keep the opposition honest to allow the running game room to improve.

There are also seven starters back on defense, and that may be the key to Penn State’s NCAA football odds until they sort out their offensive problems. The defense has a lot of experience in the unit, led by linebackers Michael Mauti and Nathan Stupar, who are looking to reinstate the Nittany Lions’ “Linebacker U” reputation. The secondary is deep and talented, and they’re going to have to be good because the line doesn’t generate that much of a rush, so they could be in coverage for longer than they want to be. The Nittany Lions were 101st in the nation in sacks, so coach Joe Paterno and his staff may be forced to come up with more blitzes involving their linebackers to make up for their lack of strength up front.

NCAA football betting players will get an early look at how the Nittany Lions stack up against the country’s elite as they host Alabama in the second week of the season, but Penn State’s schedule looks pretty easy to navigate until November. Iowa and Purdue both come to Happy Valley, and the Nittany Lions should be favored in most, if not all, of their other games. But the real fun starts in November, when Nebraska visits, and then the Nittany Lions travel to Ohio State and Wisconsin to close out the season. However, the Buckeyes aren’t nearly the strength that they usually are, and Penn State manages to miss Michigan and Michigan State altogether, so the schedule is on the side of the Nittany Lions.

The Nittany Lions are listed at +3000 to win the BCS title, but their first mission should be to win the Big Ten for the first time since 2008, and they have a solid shot, but there are a few obstacles to overcome first. The quarterback situation has to be fixed, unless Redd or Green turns out to be the second coming of Royster. The defense should be able to keep the Nittany Lions in most of their games, but it’s tough to say that they’ll be on the level of Wisconsin or Nebraska, who is joining the conference from the Big 12. Paterno should have a successful season in his 45th year as Penn State’s head man, but they’re just not ready to get over the hump in the Big Ten, so don’t waste an online betting wager on their BCS chances.

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