Central Michigan vs. Penn State Betting Odds & Picks: Defenses Should Shine in Happy Valley

Central Michigan vs. Penn State Betting Odds & Picks: Defenses Should Shine in Happy Valley article feature image

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Landon Tengwall (left), Nick Singleton (center) and Olumuyiwa Fashanu (right).

Central Michigan vs. Penn State Odds

Saturday, Sept 24
12 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Central Michigan Odds
-110o / -110u
Penn State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Penn State returns home to host Central Michigan on Saturday. With both teams coming off of a win, they'll both be looking to continue their momentum.

Central Michigan enters this game with a 1-2 record after its first win of the season over Bucknell. The Chippewas are 1-1-1 against the spread and have gone over in two games this season.

Penn State enters this game following a dominant road win over Auburn. The Nittany Lions boast a 3-0 record with a 3-0 mark against the spread. They've also gone over the total in each game.

The current weather forecast has winds ranging from 4.8 to 5.2 miles per hour and no precipitation.

Central Michigan Chippewas

Coming off of their first win on the season, the Chippewas look to get back to the winning ways they experienced in their 2021 campaign.

They've averaged 36.3 points per game and 6.0 yards per play. They boast a 46% Success Rate and have scored 4.48 Points per Opportunity.

Behind Daniel Richardson's arm, Central Michigan has passed on 56% of its offensive plays. Richardson has completed 57.5% of his passes for an average of 7.0 yards per attempt while tossing seven touchdowns to just two interceptions.

The Chips own a 44% Passing Success Rate and average 4.6 passes over 20 yards per game.

In 2021, Lew Nichols III led the nation with 1,848 yards rushing and 2,186 yards from scrimmage. Through three games, he's down from 5.4 yards per attempt to just 3.6, and he's amassed only 258 yards on the ground.

As a team, Central Michigan has a 49% Rushing Success Rate. Its offensive line has generated 3.39 Line Yards per attempt and has allowed a 20.2% Stuff Rate.

The Chippewas defense has largely made the offense's 36.3 points per game a moot point, as the unit has allowed 32 points per game and 5.3 yards per play. CMU ranks 88th in Success Rate Allowed at 43% and 92nd in Points per Opportunity with 4.14.

The one positive from the defense is that it generates Havoc on 21% of plays.

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Penn State Nittany Lions

After going on the road and handily defeating Auburn, Penn State closes out nonconference play with what should be a much easier opponent.

Through three games, the Nittany Lions are averaging 40.7 points per game and 6.9 yards per play.  They own a 43% Success Rate and average 26.4 seconds per play.

The Penn State offense has evenly featured the run and the pass. Fifth-year senior quarterback Sean Clifford has completed 63.9% of his passes for an average of 8.1 yards per attempt. He's also been solid from a decision-making perspective, throwing just one interception compared to five touchdowns.

As a team, the Nittany Lions boast a 47% Passing Success Rate.

The addition of freshmen running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen has improved the effectiveness of the Penn State running game, but it still struggles to find consistent success.

As a team, Penn State's averaging 5.5 yards per attempt and has a 38% Rushing Success Rate.  The offensive line has allowed a Stuff Rate of 21% stuff rate while generating 2.77 Line Yards per attempt.

However, the defense has been strong outside of its season opener against Purdue.

One factor in the defense's success has been the team's ability to control opposing field position. On average, its opponents have started their drives right around the 22-yard line.

But the defense has also played well enough to capitalize on this help. PSU has allowed a 39% Success Rate and 3.36 Points per Opportunity while generating Havoc on 21% of plays. That all adds up to 17.7 points per game and 5.0 yards per play.

Central Michigan vs. Penn State Matchup Analysis

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

Central Michigan Offense vs. Penn State Defense
Rush Success3672
Line Yards4138
Pass Success3249
Pass Blocking**5922
Finishing Drives4654
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Penn State Offense vs. Central Michigan Defense
Rush Success5453
Line Yards11039
Pass Success54113
Pass Blocking**6351
Finishing Drives3392
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling11125
PFF Coverage7591
SP+ Special Teams12644
Seconds per Play21.7 (9)26.5 (68)
Rush Rate46.3% (103)49.8% (89)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Central Michigan vs. Penn State Betting Pick

With Penn State as a four-score favorite, both the public and the sharps appear to be favoring the Chippewas. Sixty percent of bets and 72% of the money has been in favor of Central Michigan.

The total for the game opened at 57.5 and has moved almost a full touchdown.  The movement on the total helps my preferred play of the under. The Penn State defense should hold a significant edge against the Central Michigan offense and keep the scoring in the 50s.

Pick: Under 63 (Play to 59.5)

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