Top betting lines are available for half of Penn State’s 2022 football schedule, including the most notable games. And for the most part bettors like the Lions – except for Ohio State, of course.
Fandual listed the following top lines for Penn State:
- Sept. 1: Penn State is a 3-point favorite at Purdue
- Sept. 17: Penn State is a one-point favorite at Auburn
- Oct. 15: Penn State is a 6.5-point underdog at Michigan
- Oct. 22: Penn State is a 9-point favorite at home against Minnesota
- Oct. 29: Penn State is a 13-point underdog at home to Ohio State
- Nov. 26: Penn State is a 6.5-point favorite at home against Michigan State
Two of the most notable lines involve Penn State being a road favorite in Game 1 at Purdue and a double-digit underdog at home to Ohio State in late October. Let’s take them individually.
Penn State vs. Purdue
The Lions have won four consecutive games at West Lafayette since 2006, beating the spread in three of four. However, Penn State should probably be a road underdog against a team that went 9-4 last season and returns a dynamic offense (although it reportedly lost top receiver Milton Wright). The Lions rarely face intimidating atmospheres at Ross-Ade Stadium, which is likely to be bustling for Thursday night’s opener. This line will probably be moved by September.
Penn State vs. Auburn
Unlike Game 1, Penn State is likely to be a heavy favorite going into its first trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn lost five straight to close out the 2021 season, then endured a heartbreaking offseason punctuated by a redemption showdown with head coach Bryan Harsin that resulted in his return. The Tigers are a mess, but it’s still a home game against a Big Ten opponent who has never been visited before. Thus, the handing over to the field.
Penn State vs. Michigan
These teams have been on a relatively one-sided streak against the spread lately. Michigan is 6-2 ATS against Penn State since 2014, including Michigan’s four-point win last year at Beaver Stadium. Michigan won’t line up the Big Ten champion roster it made in 2021, but is seventh in the ESPN Pre-Season FPI and has one of the best quarterback situations in the Big Ten with the return of Cade McNamara and JJ McCarthy.
Penn State vs. Minnesota
The Lions at +9 seems generous, considering Minnesota went 9-4 last season and was challenged for the West Division title. The Gophers have a rising star in wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell and, like Penn State, a sixth-year quarterback in Tanner Morgan. Additionally, Morgan reunited with his former offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, who also just moved to Penn State in 2020. Many points point to Minnesota.
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Penn State vs. Ohio State
Penn State fights best in the Big Ten when it faces Ohio State at home. The Lions have won three of their four conference titles in the seasons they hosted the Buckeyes. That history, and the fact that Ohio State usually goes for the Whiteout, sometimes narrows the line.
However, bettors are not holding back this year. Ohio State, at -13, has been a heavy road favorite at Penn State twice since 1995, according to oddshark. The Buckeyes were +13.5 in 2014 and +17.5 in 2016. Sure, Penn State covered both of those games, winning outright in 2016, a game you might remember.
Penn State vs. Michigan State
Spring lines for November games can be seen as either laughable or an opportunity. Take advantage of a number out of proportion. After last year, Penn State as a 6.5-point favorite (even at home) against the Spartans initially seems silly.
What if head coach Mel Tucker found another Kenneth Walker III this offseason, and if quarterback Payton Thorne extends his success into 2021? Or if by November, the track of Tucker’s revival train had gone wonky? Or, this line needs much more time to develop.
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AllPennState is the place for Penn State news, views and insights on the SI.com Network. Editor Mark Wogenrich covered Penn State for more than 20 years, tracking three coaching teams, three Big Ten titles and a catalog of great stories. Follow him on Twitter @MarkWogenrich. And remember to subscribe (button on the home page) for more quality content on the SI.com network.