Hoping to avoid their fourth consecutive win, the Nittany Lions will play host to Maryland as the College Football betting favorites this weekend. What side do we like?
Most every sportsbook we've checked has the Nittany Lions favored by 3.5 points, but there are a few instances in which they're laying four points, like The Greek, for example.
For those wishing to make a play on this matchup's total, the number has opened at 48 points. The 'over' has gone 5-2-1 in Maryland's games so far this season, though the 'under' has been more frequent (hitting in four of seven games) in matchups involving Penn State.
Penn State Nittany Lions
The Nittany Lions couldn't have asked for a better. There were some close calls, but they were able to earn four straight wins to open the season.
However, the good times have come to an end over the last month or so, as Penn State has dropped three straight games to fall to 4-3 on the season. After getting thumped 29-6 at home by Northwestern, the Nittany Lions then fell just short against Michigan (18-13) and Ohio State (31-24 in double overtime).
Against the Buckeyes, things were looking ugly early on. Penn State got in an early 17-0 hole, but managed to fight their way back and force overtime, only to still end up with the defeat.
QB Christian Hackenberg was 31-of-49 for 226 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, while the run game was completely stuffed by Ohio State. Akeel Lynch, Bill Belton and the rest combined for a measly 16 yards and one touchdown on 31 attempts. Meanwhile, DaeSean Hamilton led all receivers with 14 catches for 126 yards.
A standout defense has been the catalyst for Penn State this season, and they certainly showed up against the Buckeyes, making life difficult on J.T. Barrett throughout. And, despite now losing three in a row, they're still ranked in the top 10 in average points allowed (17.4) per matchup.
Coming into the weekend, the Terrapins have alternated wins and losses over their last four games. In that span, they've beaten Iowa and Indiana and lost to Ohio State and Wisconsin.
On the season, Maryland is sitting at a solid 5-3, while winning two of four conference games. The Terrapins are scoring 31.6 points per game and giving up 29.3 points per contest overall.
Last week against the Badgers, it was ugly from the start where they sat as +295 underdogs on College Football odds. The Terrapins were outclassed in practically every department on their way to an embarrassing 52-7 loss. They had just 175 yards of total offense, while allowing Wisconsin to rack up 527 yards on the other side of the ball.
C.J. Brown was 13-of-29 for 129 yards and a touchdown and the ground attack only had 46 total yards of rushing. Star wideout Stefon Diggs was also held in check, catching one ball for 21 yards and a score in the blowout loss.
Now Brown and the Terrapins will try to bounce back this weekend against another desperate team in Penn State.
College Football Pick
There's no doubt it's been a troubling run for Penn State recently, but we firmly believe the home team is worth backing this weekend.
The Nittany Lions are going to give it a good fight week in and week out, and that's not going to change Saturday. They've hung around with two good football teams over the last couple of weeks and have been unlucky not to get a win for their efforts. Look for that to change in week 10 of the college football season.
With our College Football picks, we think Penn State is the right side. Behind their stout defense, the Nittany Lions should be able to get back on track with a win, while also covering the spread for backers.
Free College Football Pick: Penn State Nittany Lions -3.5