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The ninth ranked team in the nation, Penn State, hosts Big Ten rival Indiana on Saturday. Penn State suffered its first loss of the season last week to fall to 8-1 while Indiana is a surprising 7-2. Penn State beat Indiana last year 33-28, but the Hoosiers covered the spread. The Nittany Lions are 14 point favorites in this one. Kickoff is at 12:00 p.m. ET at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Indiana has surprised a lot of people with its 7-2 record. They are 4-2 in the Big Ten East Division, just one game behind Penn State and 2 games behind Ohio State. An upset here would be huge for Indiana and vault the Hoosiers into a tie with Penn State in the division. They have won 4 straight games but this is definitely the toughest game they've had all season.
Penn State lost its first game of the season this past weekend, losing at Minnesota 31-26. Minnesota is unbeaten at 9-0 but was somehow ranked No. 17. That will change this week when the new polls come out. They'll clearly be top 10. As for Penn State, they don't have an easy game here. They desperately need to wipe out that Minnesota loss, but this is a big spread.
Indiana has been a surpriseIndiana has been the biggest surprise in the Big Ten this year. They are 7-2 record and 4-2 in the Big Ten East Division, just one game behind Penn State and 2 games behind Ohio State. An upset here would vault the Hoosiers into a tie with Penn State in the division. They have won 4 straight games but in last week's 34-3 win over Northwestern, Indiana quarterback Michael Penix went down with an injury. Penix is out for the season with a shoulder injury, which makes Peyton Ramsey the starter. Ramsey is a very capable backup as he has been thrust into the starting role in the past from Penix's injuries and has performed well. Against Northwestern he was 7 for 10 for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Rather than leaving IU, Peyton Ramsey played the roll of backup and stepped in for an often injured Mike Penix Jr.— D.J. Fezler (@DJFezler) November 12, 2019
With Penix out for the season due to injury, Ramsey is in line to lead the Hoosiers for the remainder of the season without uncertainty.https://t.co/cyHUdbTgmN
Indiana averages 34 points per game, which is 34th in the country. They average 446 yards per game, which is 34th, including 308 in the air (15th) and 138 on the ground (96th). Defensively, they give up 20 points per game on average, which ranks 23rd in the country. They allow 310 yards per game, which ranks 17th. That includes 176 per game in the air (9th) and 134 yards per game on the ground, which is 37th.
Penn State defense get lit upThe Penn State Nittany Lions finally met their match, falling on the road last week to Big Ten foe Minnesota 31-26. It was their first loss of the season and dropped them from fourth in the country to No. 9. Minnesota handled Penn State pretty easily, leading 31-19 late into the fourth quarter before the Nittany Lions scored late to make it close. The vaunted Penn State D gave up the most points they have all season and allowed over 400 total yards. It was actually the Minnesota defense, which had 3 interceptions, that stepped up and made the big plays. PSU quarterback Sean Clifford was 23 for 43 for 340 yards with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. Running back Journey Brown had 124 yards rushing with 2 touchdowns. Also, KJ Hamler had 7 catches for 119 yards while Pat Freiermuth had 7 catches for 101 yards.
The Nittany Lions average 37 points per game, which ranks 17th in the country. They average 432 total yards per game, which is 45th in the nation. That includes 261 ypg in the air, which is 40th, and 171 ypg on the ground, which ranks 55th.
The defense has been great all year but was exposed last Saturday. They allow 12 points per game, which is 5th in the country. They allow 300 total yards per game, which is 13th in the country. They give up 225 ypg in the air, which is 63rd, and 74 ypg on the ground, which is 3rd in the nation.
Trends are from Covers.com:
- Nittany Lions are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
- Nittany Lions are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Nittany Lions are 21-8-2 ATS in their last 31 games on grass.
- Nittany Lions are 19-8-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Nittany Lions are 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Nittany Lions are 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Nittany Lions are 17-8-2 ATS in their last 27 home games.
- Hoosiers are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games following a ATS win.
- Hoosiers are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Hoosiers are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games on grass.
- Hoosiers are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 road games.
- Hoosiers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
- Hoosiers are 3-12-2 ATS in their last 17 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Hoosiers are 3-13-1 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Nittany Lions. As mentioned, Indiana has been a pleasant surprise at 7-2 but they have avoided playing the iron of the conference, for the most part. When they did play a top team, Ohio State, they got blown out 51-10. They run into a hornet's nest playing in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions are coming off their first loss of the season and they will not be in a good mood. The other issue is Indiana will have to start a backup quarterback in Ramsey due to the injury to starter Penix. While Ramsey has been good in the backup role, he is in a tough spot here against one of the best defenses in the country. I think this will be a close, competitive game with Penn State scoring late to cover and put it away. The home team is 6-1-1 against the spread in their last 8 meetings. Also, the Hoosiers are 2-5 against the spread in their last 7 meetings in Penn State.
Prediction: Penn State -14.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under. This is Penn State here. They have one of the best defenses in the country. They were exposed last week by Minnesota, but playing back home, I expect them to get back to their dominating selves, particularly against a backup quarterback. A loss here would be disastrous for PSU and I don't see it happening. The under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings between these two in Penn State. Also, the under is 5-0 in the Nittany Lions last 5 games following an against the spread loss and 5-2 in their last 7 games overall. Further, the under is 5-2 in the Hoosiers last 7 games in November.