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Handicapping Penn State (9.5)
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The Penn State Nittany Lions are coming off consecutive 11-win seasons under head coach James Franklin, so the bar is set high for Penn State heading into the 2018 regular season. The Nittany Lions are considered serious contenders to win the Big Ten title this season and they are given an outside shot to reach the College Football Playoff.  The schedule is favorable for the Nittany Lions, as they get Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State at home, but a late season trip to Michigan won’t be easy.

Let’s look at the schedule for Penn State for 2018 to see if they will go over or under their win total of 9.5 games.

Penn State 2018 Regular Season Win Total - per
Over 9.5 (-115)
Under 9.5 (-115)

2018 Penn State Schedule Analysis

Sept. 1 vs. Appalachian State
The home opener for Penn State may not be a cakewalk, as Appalachian State is one of the top teams in the Sun Belt. The Nittany Lions should have too much talent, but if Miles Sanders isn’t ready to replace Saquon Barkley and new offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne doesn’t have everyone on the same page, this game could be close.

Sept. 8 at Pittsburgh
The Panthers won just five games last season and lost 33-14 to the Nittany Lions in University Park. Perhaps this game will be closer, but Penn State should go to 2-0 on the season.

Sept. 15 vs. Kent State
This should be a rout, as Kent State is one of the worst teams in the MAC. They won just two games last season and they are no threat to Penn State.

 Sept. 21 at Illinois
The Nittany Lions shouldn’t have too much trouble against an Illinois team that still isn’t very good. Illinois has won a total of five games the last two years and they don’t figure to win this one.

Sept. 29 vs. Ohio State
The first big test of the season for Penn State comes at home against the Buckeyes. There is a good chance this will be a matchup of unbeaten teams ranked in the top ten and it could decide who wins the Big Ten East.

 Oct. 13 vs. Michigan State
This game won’t be easy, but the Nittany Lions get a bye after playing the Buckeyes and it is at home. The Spartans won at home last season, so revenge will be on the minds of Penn State players for this game.

Oct. 20 at Indiana
There is no question that this should be a letdown spot for the Nittany Lions. The question is whether Indiana is good enough for it to matter. The answer is probably not, so this should be a road win for Penn State.

Oct. 27 vs. Iowa
The Hawkeyes nearly upset Penn State last season at home, but this time around the game is at Penn State. The Nittany Lions should pull away to win a low scoring contest this time around.

Nov. 3 at Michigan
There is no doubt that this game won’t be easy for the Nittany Lions, as they rarely win at the Big House. They are just 1-7 in their last eight trips to Michigan. The home team has won the last two games in this series by at least 29 points.

Nov. 10 vs. Wisconsin
This is another very difficult game for the Nittany Lions, as the Badgers could be the top team from the West Division this season. Penn State has won five of the last six meetings against Wisconsin.

Nov. 17 at Rutgers
The last two games for Penn State should be pretty easy, as they get Rutgers and Maryland. Even at home, Rutgers should be no threat to Penn State.

Nov. 24 vs. Maryland
The regular season finale should be a rout, as Penn State has won the last three games against Maryland by a combined margin of 135-47.

2018 Penn State Nittany Lions Regular Season Win Total Prediction

Oddsmakers have the win total for Penn State at 9.5 and that is a really good number. The most likely scenario has the Nittany Lions going 9-3 or 10-2. We’ll lean toward 9-3 and under the total.

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