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The undefeated No. 3 Michigan Wolverines are heading to Happy Valley for a pivotal matchup with the No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions.
One loss could effectively send Michigan’s College Football Playoff hopes spiraling, especially with Ohio State ranked first and maintaining a perfect record. The Wolverines won their last two meetings against the Nittany Lions but were defeated in consecutive games before that.
Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite betting picks for No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 10 Penn State.
The Wolverines are slight favorites on the road. This will be their first time facing a ranked opponent all year, whereas PSU has already gone toe-to-toe with Iowa and Ohio State (in a 20-12 loss).
|No. 3 Michigan||-4 (-110)||-185||Over 45 (-110)|
|No. 10 Penn State||+4 (-110)||+154||Under 45 (-110)|
Michigan is led by Heisman candidate J.J. McCarthy, who’s averaged 237.1 yards per game and has 18 touchdowns, three interceptions, and the second-best QBR in college football. He went 24-37 for 335 yards against Purdue last week and tossed seven touchdowns against Michigan State and Indiana the two weeks prior.
UM is one of the most balanced teams in the country. Their ground game is led by Blake Corum, who has run for 649 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The Wolverines rank fifth in points per game (40.7), though again, they have not faced a team in the top 25. They’re also surrounded by controversy over alleged sign-stealing and a complicated alleged business relationship between Corum and Connor Stallions, the man at the center of the cheating scandal.
Michigan’s defense has been unimpeachably excellent up to this point, allowing the fewest yards (231.4) and points per game (6.7). They don’t force a ton of sacks or turnovers but allow the 12th-worst third-down conversion percentage (29.4%).
On the other side is Penn State. Many believed that this was the year they’d finally get over the hump and beat Ohio State, but they came up short on the road. QB Drew Allar (1,895 yards, 20 TDs, one INT) only went 18-42 for 191 yards and one score, while the defense gave up 11 receptions, 162 yards, and a TD to the Buckeyes’ top wideout, Marvin Harrison Jr.
The Nittany Lions are not considered an offensive team, yet they’re sixth in points per game (40.2, .5 behind Michigan’s average) and put up 51 against Maryland last week.
What Penn State is known as is a defensive juggernaut. They give up just 234.2 yards (second) and 11.9 points per game (third), and unlike Michigan, they have already held the top-ranked team in the country to 20 points on the road.
PSU is second in the country with 20 takeaways and first with 4.22 sacks per game. They are a brick wall on the defensive front and have as good a chance as anyone at breaking down Michigan’s excellent O-line.
Michigan has not been tested by a worthy adversary, that much is true. But they have tremendous offensive balance and an O-line that can at least stand up to the pressure the Nittany Lions’ defense will bring. Their defense is also excellent, and Allar showed a lack of poise in the OSU game.
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We’re not looking for this game to fly over the total, but this feels like it could be the best Michigan team that Harbaugh has had during the Harbaugh era. They’ve been excellent against Ranked Big 10 opponents the last couple of seasons and will bring swagger and confidence into Happy Valley, and we think they’ll be able to put up points. Penn State will have to air the ball out in response, and this game should go over.
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Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
When: Saturday, Nov. 11, 12:00 p.m. ET
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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