Defense Prevails in B1G Michigan-Penn State Top 25 Battle

penn state michigan

Willie Bee

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 1:01 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 1:01 PM GMT

Penn State puts its unbeaten record on the line Saturday at home as the favorite on the NCAA football odds to end a 3-year losing streak against the Michigan Wolverines in a huge Big Ten matchup. 

NCAAF Season Record: 20-24-1 (-4.45)

One of the country’s top running backs going against one of the best run defenses? And with both conference and national championship implications on the line in a prime-time telecast? You can count me in.

Beaver Stadium will be overflowing for Michigan’s visit to Penn State, ABC cranking its cameras up at 7:30 PM (ET). Half of a 4-team battle in the East Division of the Big Ten, the Wolverines and Nittany Lions are meeting for the 21st time with No. 19 Michigan looking to extend its 3-game win streak in the series. The oddsmakers at Bookmaker don’t see that happening with No. 2 Penn State favored by 10 after opening -12½. Saturday’s total is moving up, now 45 after sitting as low as 41 in early wagering.

 

Barkley & McSorley To Test Maize & Blue D

Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines can all but kiss their conference title hopes good bye if they don’t leave State College with a dubya. A turnover-marred 14-10 upset loss at home to rival Michigan State two weeks ago basically put Michigan in win-out mode in order to salvage either B1G or CFP aspirations. That was the first game with John O’Korn in for the injured Wilton Speight at quarterback, and the senior backup threw three interceptions in the setback. Harbaugh didn’t let O’Korn throw much in last week’s 27-20 overtime win at Indiana, relying more on the ground game and his stout defense to eke out the victory.

James Franklin’s crew is coming off a 31-7 win at Northwestern as 2-TD favorites on the NCAA football odds, moving the Nittany Lions to 6-0 and No. 2 in the nation after Clemson fell. Saquon Barkley did score twice, but the Heisman hopeful was held below 100 yards rushing for the fourth time this season. Trace McSorley once again picked the offense up through the air, and the PSU defense did the rest with three more takeaways (17 total, 3rd in country).

 

Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

How these two never met before Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993, I’ll never understand. After all, the Nittany Lions have a history against Michigan’s cross-state rivals in East Lansing dating back more than 100 years. Regardless, it has developed into a top-notch collision in a short time, the Wolverines holding a 13-7 advantage after winning and covering the last three. The last four in State College sent ‘over’ bettors back to the pay window.

A few clouds a temps starting in the low-60s is the weatherman’s call. My call is on the defenses with a free college football pick on the ‘under.’

Free NCAAF Pick: Under 45Best Line Offered: Heritage

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