Time: 4 p.m. ET
Venue: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Where to watch: FS1
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Penn State -18
FanDuel: Penn State -18
BetMGM: Penn State -18
Caesars: Penn State -18
Michigan State: 5-6 (3-5 Big Ten)
No. 11 Penn State: 9-2 (6-2 Big Ten)
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Michigan State - Penn State preview, analysis and prediction
Michigan State: lost 39-31 (2OT) vs. Indiana
Penn State: won 55-10 at Rutgers
This game would have been fun last year. Imagine the Michigan State team of last year going against Penn State this year with the way Penn State has played all year long. To me it would have been entertaining. This year's game however is not going to be that. Though there is some pride to be played here at least from Michigan State. The Spartans can somehow salvage their season and make a bowl game with a victory on Saturday against the 11th-ranked Nittany Lions. But are we really going to put our faith into a Michigan State team that has underperformed and been underwhelming all year long?
It's not even the fact that it's a coaching difference. No one's going to disagree that James Franklin is having a much better coaching season than Mel Tucker. But no one's going to argue with the fact that Michigan State losing so much talent last year, including running back Kenneth Walker, has definitely entered Michigan state's ability to contend in the big 10 this year. But outside of two games in which Penn State was clearly overmatched against the top teams in the conference, that being Michigan and Ohio State, they've at least proven that they can be considered the third or fourth-best team in the conference.
And for some, that's not really a bad thing. Sometimes you look at the landscape of college football, realize that there are two teams that are just head and shoulders above the rest of the competition and will eventually be moving on to the conference championship game, and you just accept the fact that you're gonna be playing second fiddle to both of those teams. And then of course we have to look back at the time the Penn State almost beat Ohio State before completely imploding in the fourth quarter, but that's neither here nor there.
Penn State has a steady offense that has been consistent all year long period between Sean Clifford not turning the ball over, between nick Singleton being a tremendous running back who will be making plays for Penn State for years to come, there is a foundation set with the Nittany Lions and this foundation is only going to get better as time goes on. Michigan state's foundation however is a little different. Quarterback Peyton Thorne was was expected to take that next step, despite everyone around him leaving, and for the most part he did that but the 10 interceptions this year have definitely played Michigan state's ability to make big plays.
So when I look at this matchup I'm not looking at two teams that are lopsided in regards to talent. But what I am looking at is a team that we all should know should be head and shoulders better than everyone. And if things bounce Penn State's way they could be finding themselves in a New Year's Six game should one of the top five teams possibly falter or maybe one of even the top ten teams completely bottoms out. But as we know, this game is going to be decided on talent that Penn State has.
I don't think this game will be over by halftime, but it is going to slowly turn into a Penn State rout. It may take a couple of quarters but I do see Penn State eventually pulling away and getting themselves to a tenth victory. Penn State by 21
Michigan State is 23-9 ATS on the road after allowing 125 passing yards or less last game since 1992.
Michigan State is 31-13 ATS on the road after outgaining opponent by 175 or more since 1992.
Penn State is 8-0 ATS as a favorite between 10.5 and 21 the last 3 seasons.
Penn State is 40-23 ATS off a road conference win since 1992.
Passing: Payton Thorne -- 2,450 yards, 18 TD, 10 INT
Rushing: Jalen Berger -- 669 yards, 6 TD
Receiving: Keon Coleman -- 707 yards, 7 TD
Passing: Sean Clifford -- 2,341 yards, 18 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Nick Singleton -- 863 yards, 10 TD
Receiving: Parker Washington -- 611 yards, 2 TD
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