Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Predictions, Odds, Picks

Oct. 30, 2021
Eytan Shander
VI Betting Expert

The hopes of winning the Big Ten were silenced when Penn State lost in 9 Overtimes to Illinois. The Buckeyes have done nothing but put their early season loss to Oregon in the rear-view mirror. It’s a classic Big Ten showdown in Columbus, as the Buckeyes and Lions kick off Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

Score Prediction

Ohio State 38, Penn State 17

Best Bet


Ohio State -18

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Predictions

The only thing going for Penn State is their defense. Good enough to be looked at as one of the better units in the country, they continue to be at the mercy of how bad and inconsistent the offense plays.

Starting QB Sean Clifford got hurt against Iowa and hasn’t looked the same, neither has the offense. The Buckeyes are playing on a different level than PSU, especially when it comes to moving the ball. Strength of schedule aside, OSU has made it look effortless, where it’s just an overall effort to get anything out of PSU’s offense.

They don’t stand a chance. PSU’s defense may be top 60 in the country, but they are going up against an offensive powerhouse. C.J. Stroud and the running attack have destroyed opposing defenses, while the OSU defense hasn’t had any major letdowns.

Yes, they have been shutting down far-lesser opponents, but their defense isn’t getting scored on, and should keep that theme going against Penn State.

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Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Odds

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Ohio State is an 18.5-point home favorite against Penn State. Both teams enter the game 4-2-1 ATS for the season.

The total for this game is 61.5 points. The O is 5-2 with OSU and just 2-5 with PSU.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Big 10
  • Date: Saturday, October 30, 2021
  • Venue: Ohio Stadium
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • TV-Time: ABC - 7:30 p.m. ET

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Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 5-2
  • ATS: 4-3
  • O/U: 2-5
  • ATS - Home: 3-2
  • ATS - Away: 1-1

Not having a healthy Clifford is killing Penn State’s offense, but they aren’t dynamic even when fully intact. He’s thrown for 1647 yards and 12 TDs to 5 INTs, nothing exceptional and not enough to beat the OSU defense, or at least outpace the OSU offense.

Noah Cain and Keyvone Lee are the two main backs, Cain getting most of the work, but Lee with breakout potential – averaging 5.1 YPC to Cain’s 3.1. Jahan Dotson leads the team in receiving with 552 yards off 49 grabs, accounting for half of the 12 receiving TDs.

For as much as they can run, the PSU rushing attack is 152nd in the country. They are 59th overall in passing offense.

Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-1
  • ATS: 4-2-1
  • O/U: 5-2
  • ATS - Home: 2-2
  • ATS - Away: 2-0-1

Ohio State could have the best RB in the country, a defense that’s looked significantly better as the season progressed, and a 1-2 punch at WR heading to the NFL. This is the worst possible time for anyone – let alone Penn State – to be figuring out their own identity, while the Buckeyes have the poise of a champion.

Stroud has thrown for just under 2000 yards but more impressively 22 TDs to just three INTs. The real story is TreVeyon Henderson and how much he enforces his will on opposing defenses. The Buckeyes back has 693 yards on the ground, averaging 8.8 YPC and 11 rushing TDs. He’s a machine.

Miyan Williams and Master Teague IIIcompliment Henderson, both missing time, however. Garrett Wilson leads a trio of WRs that have been lighting up teams all year. Wilson has six, Jaxon Smith-Njigba with three, and Chris Olave with a team-leading eight receiving TDs.

Ohio State has gone OVER the point total in four of its last five games. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Record: 5-2
  • VI Ranking: 23
  • Points Scored: 188
  • Points Allowed: 103
  • PS/G: 26.9 (79th)
  • PA/G: 14.7 (6th)

Inside the Stats - Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Record: 6-1
  • VI Ranking: 8
  • Points Scored: 345
  • Points Allowed: 130
  • PS/G: 49.3 (1st)
  • PA/G: 18.6 (18th)

Key Players to Watch

  • PSU: Jahan Dotson - WR (49 catches, 563 yards, 6 TD)
  • PSU: Sean Clifford - QB (137/212, 1,647 yards, 12 TD, 5 INT)
  • OHST: C.J. Stroud - QB (125/185, 1,965 yards, 22 TD, 3 INT)
  • OHST: TreVeyon Henderson - RB (79 carries, 693 yards, 11 TD)


  • PSU: P.J. Mustipher - DT (Knee-Out)
  • PSU: Keaton Ellis - CB (Undisclosed-Questionable)
  • PSU: Adisa Isaac - DE (Undisclosed-Out)
  • PSU: Hakeem Beamon - DE (Undisclosed-Questionable)
  • PSU: Sal Wormley - OL (Undisclosed-Questionable)
  • OHST: Master Teague II - RB (Undisclosed-Probable)
  • OHST: Josh Proctor - S (Leg-Out)
  • OHST: Marcus Crowley - RB (Undisclosed-Out)
  • OHST: Jake Seibert - K (Undisclosed-Questionable)

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Conclusion

The total jumps out because Ohio State has consistently played to the over but doing it against far worse defenses. The flipside is PSU plays to the under, taking on better overall teams but mainly on defense.

Don’t expect it to be a landslide, but the total barely goes under because OSU will still score, but the PSU defense is good enough to keep it respectable. Lay the points with OSU as PSU got gashed on the ground against Illinois for over 200 yards. Henderson alone might cover this for the Buckeyes.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Trends

  • Penn State has gone UNDER the point total in five of its last seven games.
  • Penn State has covered the spread in eight of its last 11 games.
  • Ohio State has failed to cover the spread in five of its last seven home games.
  • Ohio State has gone OVER the point total in four of its last five games.