Michigan vs. Penn State Betting Odds, Picks: Bets to Make With Blake Corum, Gemon Green Out

Michigan vs. Penn State Betting Odds, Picks: Bets to Make With Blake Corum, Gemon Green Out article feature image
Credit:

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Joey Porter Jr. (9) of the Penn State Nittany Lions.

  • Michigan's Blake Corum and Gemon Green will not be available for Saturday's game against Penn State, according to reports.
  • Collin Wilson breaks down the game and shares his top bets below.

Editor’s Note: Michigan running back Blake Corum and cornerback Gemon Green will not be available for Saturday’s game against Penn State, according to Michael Cohen of the Detroit Free Press. The report came just after 11 a.m. ET.

Michigan vs. Penn State Odds

Saturday, Nov. 13
12 p.m. ET
ABC
Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2
-112
48.5
-113o / -108u
-125
Penn State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2
-109
48.5
-113o / -108u
+104
Odds via Parx. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The stakes continue to mount for the Michigan Wolverines after the latest College Football Playoff rankings put them a slot ahead of rival Michigan State.

The Wolverines lost to the Spartans within the last two weeks, but the committee feels strongly enough about Michigan’s resume that the path is clear: Win out, and Big Blue is in the playoff competing for a National Championship.

The path will not be easy, as it hosts Ohio State to end the regular season, but a trip to Happy Valley to survive and advance is in order first.

What’s the mindset of Penn State football with so many rumors circulating around head coach James Franklin? While the head coach insists the job rumors are not a distraction, Penn State had continued clock management issues in the team’s victory over Maryland.

The victory over the Terrapins made the Nittany Lions bowl eligible, but with a three-game deficit in the Big Ten East, there can only be hopes of landing in a Las Vegas or Music City Bowl — possibly without their head coach.


Michigan Wolverines

Expect Michigan to Keep It on the Ground

The injury bug has set in for two main pieces of the Wolverines offense. Tight end Erick All had 12 targets in a loss to Michigan State in Week 9 and was a trusted target for Cade McNamara on third downs.

Michigan runs a heavy amount of 12 formations, 39% of snaps with one back and two tight ends, in comparison to one-back and one-tight sets on 53% of offensive plays.

Its backup tight end was targeted on five passing attempts against Indiana, but with no experience on the depth chart, there may be a heavier dose of 11 personnel after All left the Indiana game with an injury this past weekend (and his status this week is questionable).

With the injury to Ronnie Bell earlier this season, the Wolverines’ heavy run attack could not suffer an injury in the backfield.

Blake Corum has been one of the most elusive backs in all of college football, but his status is questionable for Penn State. There was not much resistance from the Indiana defense last week, keeping Michigan in standard downs on an average of 5.6 yards per play thanks to the running of Hassan Haskins.

Hassan Haskins is a baaaaaadddddd man #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/Fg6Tx8TyQj

— Nolan Bianchi (@nolanbianchi) November 7, 2021

Cade McNamara and JJ McCarthy were limited to just 15 pass completions on the game. If the Michigan offense is able to continue running at a 62% rate with success on the ground, the Wolverines will stay out of passing downs with ranks of 93rd in explosiveness and 74th in Offensive Finishing Drives.

Big Blue Defense Keeping Teams in Check

The Michigan defense was spectacular against Indiana, marking the fifth time this season an opponent was held to just one touchdown.

Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has made the Wolverines multiple, switching between a 3-3-5, 4-3 and 4-2-5 on any down and distance.

Michigan has shown 10 different schemes to defenses this season, with the bulk of the blitz coming from defensive plays with at least four down linemen.

Filthy spin from David Ojabo

He didn't start playing football until his junior year of HS…looks better each week pic.twitter.com/iORFOiAx5W

— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) November 8, 2021

The Wolverines have been extra stingy when pinned in scoring positions. Opponents are averaging just three points per trip on drives that reach Michigan’s 40-yard line, good enough to rank eighth defensively in Finishing Drives.

In combination with the second-best special teams unit, per SP+, Michigan has the goods to win here and challenge Ohio State for a trip to the Big Ten Championship.

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Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State’s Rush Defense Needs Help

The loss of PJ Mustipher on the defensive line continues to take a toll on the Nittany Lions.

Covering efforts against Ohio State and Maryland have masked that the rush defense has fallen off from the first half of the season. The Terrapins generated a Success Rate 13% over the national average on running plays in Week 10.

Maryland was limited in explosive drives and had a dreadful Saturday in putting points on the board when in scoring position, but offenses are moving between the tackles against Penn State.

The defense still ranks second in Defensive Finishing Drives and eighth in pass coverage, but with a Michigan team looking to run first, the trench will be the biggest handicap when the Wolverines have the ball.

Nittany Lion Offense Coming Alive?

The offense broke out in a big way against Maryland, just two short weeks after a nine-overtime affair with Illinois. The Nittany Lions doubled the national average in methodical drives and produced 8.2 yards per play in passing downs.

The Michigan defense will have multiple spies on wide receiver Jahan Dotson for containment.

Jahan Dotson just put him in a blender😳#CFB

pic.twitter.com/gGQJ2zrvT8

— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 6, 2021

The Penn State offense continues to struggle running the ball for an average Success Rate and an even worse number of explosive plays. The Nittany Lions have just six rushing attempts that have gone over 20 yards.

If Michigan is able to stop short-yardage attempts to Dotson, putting pressure on quarterback Sean Clifford is the next mission objective.

The numbers on Clifford fall off dramatically when there’s a crowded pocket, with a 21% dip in adjusted completion percentage and a five-to-one ratio of turnover-worthy plays to big-time throws.


Michigan vs. Penn State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Michigan and Penn State match up statistically:

Michigan Offense vs. Penn State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 19 73
Line Yards 59 63
Pass Success 48 62
Pass Blocking** 49 63
Big Play 126 38
Havoc 1 64
Finishing Drives 74 2
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Penn State Offense vs. Michigan Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 125 17
Line Yards 120 17
Pass Success 31 26
Pass Blocking** 51 3
Big Play 97 11
Havoc 76 36
Finishing Drives 75 8
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 12 49
Coverage 13 8
Middle 8 20 57
SP+ Special Teams 2 39
Plays per Minute 97 15
Rush Rate 62.1% (17) 46.7% (117)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Michigan vs. Penn State Betting Pick

Despite the questionable status of Corum, Michigan will have an advantage on the ground against Penn State’s defensive line. The Nittany Lions are 112th in Defensive Stuff Rate, measuring when a rush is stopped at or before the line of scrimmage.

The Wolverines will move the chains with success and stay in standard downs most of the evening behind a 12 formation that asks two tight ends to block.

Where the Nittany Lions have the advantage is in coverage and Finishing Drives. Penn State has allowed only 10 touchdowns on 34 opponent red-zone attempts, which could keep field-goal kicking in play for Michigan.

One of the few defenses better than Penn State in the red zone is the Wolverines. Jim Harbaugh has kept opponents to just 16 red-zone attempts with a low of nine touchdowns on the season.

Considering both of these offenses rank 74th and 75th in Offensive Finishing Drives, this could be a field-goal fest.

Mother Nature may have say in this noon kick, with “wet snowflakes” in the forecast.

Our Action Network projection on the total is directly at 48.5, where the market resides as of this writing. The keys of 24 and 48 for the first-half and full-game totals are buying points for the under.

As for the side, the Michigan defense will have to contain Dotson, who has lined up 78% of snaps out wide. DJ Turner and Daxton Hill rank among the top-100 cornerbacks in college football. Turner, specifically, has allowed just eight receptions on 22 targets and only 31 yards after the catch on the season.

Between the defensive ends Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo keeping Clifford in the pocket, finding the explosive play to Dotson will be difficult.

Pick: Under 48 or Better · Under 24 1H or Better · Michigan -120 or Better

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