College Football Picks: Clear Favorite Buckeyes to Blowout Penn St.

David Lawrence

Saturday, October 17, 2015 3:57 PM GMT

Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 3:57 PM GMT

The Nittany Lions & the Buckeyes have not played their best football yet, & while they live in different worlds, they could play a game that’s closer than the odds makers think on Saturday.

Momentum
The Nittany Lions played an extremely efficient defensive game in disposing of Indiana, 29-7. Penn State allowed only one play of 20 yards or more, and it was a 20-yard pass. The Nittany Lions allowed just 234 total yards, only 79 on the ground. They forced Indiana into a completion rate below 50 percent (15 of 33 with an interception). They did everything right. With Ohio State being an inconsistent offensive team, the Lions think they can be disruptive in this game.

Ohio State did pull away late to beat Maryland last week, scoring almost 50 points, but in the middle of the third quarter, that game was tied at 21. Is Ohio State ready to play four complete quarters? That’s what head coach Urban Meyer wants to see from his team.

 

Line Moves
Ohio State started as a 17.5-point favorite, and those College Football Odds had dipped to 17 points earlier in the week. However, a late influx of money to the Ohio State side has made this a 19-point line as of late Thursday night. The Buckeyes’ ability to score almost 30 points in the final quarter and a half against Maryland last Saturday might have finally made more of an impact, after failing to register earlier in the week. That’s really the best explanation available. Penn State is also not that impressive on offense, which should lead some people to conclude that the Buckeyes can blow this one open.

 

Notable Injuries
Penn State tight end Adam Breneman is listed as questionable for this game with an undisclosed condition. Placekicker Chris Gulla is questionable with an undisclosed condition. Center Angelo Mangiro is questionable with what is listed by the school as a lower body injury. Defensive back Evan Schwan is questionable with an undisclosed condition. Running back Akeel Lynch is questionable with a knee injury. Running back Saquon Barkley is questionable with an ankle injury, and he is one of the more valuable players on this offense. Defensive back Marcus Allen is questionable with an arm injury. Offensive lineman Andrew Nelson is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Linebacker Nyeem Wartman-White is out for the season with a knee injury. Tight end Kyle Carter is out indefinitely for undisclosed reasons.

Ohio State has defensive back Damon Webb out indefinitely due to a suspension. Linebacker Nick Conner is out for the season with a knee injury. Defensive back Cam Burrows is out for the season with a foot injury. Wide receiver Corey Smith is out for the season with a leg injury. Defensive back Erick Smith is questionable with an undisclosed condition. Running back Mike Weber is questionable with a knee injury.

 

Handicapping The Game
The Buckeyes feel cautiously optimistic about this game. They feel they have solved at least one of their central mysteries – how to get both quarterbacks to play well and share time on the field. Cardale Jones is getting better, and J.T. Barrett is seen as a situational player who can make more of a difference for Ohio State when he does enter the game. Expect the Buckeyes’ offense to click in this game, which – when paired with Penn State’s sluggish offense – should produce a blowout. The choice for your College Football Picks should be clear.

College Football Pick: Ohio State -19 at Bovada

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