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Penn State Odds – Nittany Lions will fall short in Big Ten title defense

Posted by Blake Frazier on 4/18/2012 12:37:09 PM
NCAAF bettingPenn State lost a lot of starters from last year’s group that went to the Rose Bowl, but with Joe Paterno leading the ship, the Nittany Lions will still be a factor in the Big Ten. However, a lack of receiving options could do some damage to their football betting chances.

Penn State odds: Clark and Royster can’t do it on their own

  • Top four receivers from 2008 are gone
  • Defense should be solid as usual
  • November 7th game with Ohio State is biggest of the season

The Nittany Lions return five offensive starters from last year’s unit, including only two up front, which could force Darryl Clark out of the pocket more. Penn State may also be forced to run more as their top four receivers are all gone. However, they should have a capable ground game with Evan Royster in the backfield as he exploded for over 1,200 yards last season. Clark proved to be more than adequate as the Nittany Lions moved to the spread formation to take advantage of his athleticism, but he needs to be a little more accurate, completing just under 60% of his passes.

On defense, there are only four starters back on campus, but that group at least includes the top two tacklers from last year, linebackers Navorro Bowman and Josh Hull, back in the frame. Hull may not even start this year, which isn’t a surprise coming from a place with the nickname “Linebacker U”, and this year’s group is no exception. But they may have to pick up some of the pass-rushing slack as Aaron Maybin took his 12 sacks and went to Buffalo in the first round of the NFL draft. The secondary has just one starter back (safety Drew Astorino), but the rest is filled with experienced backs who are used to the system, and they won’t be too big of a burden on Penn State’s lines.

The Nittany Lions only go on the road four times this year to Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern and Michigan State, and after last year’s loss at Iowa that ruined their national-championship bid, you can bet that Penn State won’t overlook anyone. On November 7th, the Nittany Lions will host Ohio State, who will be out to avenge last year’s 13-6 loss to Penn State at the Horseshoe. This game should once again decide the Big Ten champion. They should be able to easily navigate a non-conference schedule that includes Akron, Syracuse and Temple, who all come to Happy Valley.

NCAA football betting odds have Penn State just behind Ohio State in the Big 10 at +200, but they’re a +2800 longshot to win the BCS title, possibly due to a poor performance against USC in the Rose Bowl. The Nittany Lions have a favorable schedule, which could hurt them in the computer standings, but any losses and they’re surely out of the BCS running. Joe Paterno will be looking to add to his NCAA-record 383 wins, but some targets need to step up for Clark, so teams don’t key on the rushing attack. If this doesn’t happen, the Nittany Lions winning the Big Ten will be a minor online betting upset this season.

For more college football betting tips and picks, visit Blake Frazier in the Betting Edge at

Blake walked onto his college football team and had a brief stint as an assistant coach after he graduated. He brings a sharp mind to the world of sports handicapping. Blake understands the nuances of the game that only someone who has played would understand. Thoughts or questions?



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