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Michigan State vs Penn State Odds, Picks: NCAAF Betting Guide

Michigan State vs Penn State Odds, Picks: NCAAF Betting Guide article feature image
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John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Penn State running back Nick Singleton.

Michigan State vs Penn State Odds

Saturday, Nov. 26
4 p.m. ET
FS1
Michigan State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+19.5
-110
52.5
-115o / -105u
+800
Penn State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-19.5
-110
52.5
-115o / -105u
-1400
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

In the final game of the regular season, Michigan State travels to State College for a Big Ten game against Penn State.

MSU enters this game with a 5-6 record and is coming off of a home loss to Indiana. The Spartans are 5-6 against the spread and have gone under in six games this season.

Penn State comes in with a 9-2 record, riding a three-game winning streak. The Nittany Lions have gone 8-3 ATS and have gone over in eight of their 11 games.

It will be a cool day at Beaver Stadium, but weather shouldn’t play a big role in this game. Temperatures will range from 43-48 degrees with no precipitation in the forecast. Wind speeds will be moderate, ranging from 3.2-4.4 miles per hour.


Michigan State Spartans

Mel Tucker’s third season as head coach in East Lansing has been a mixed bag following an 11-2 campaign in 2021.

The Spartans are averaging 25.2 points per game and 5.7 yards per play. They have a 41% Success Rate and put up 3.74 points per opportunity while playing at a top-30 pace of 24.6 seconds per play.

Payton Thorne has completed 63.4% of his passes for an average of 7.1 yards per attempt this season, but. he’s struggled with turnovers. Thorne has thrown 10 interceptions compared to 18 touchdowns.

As a team, Michigan State owns a 43% Passing Success Rate and averages four passes of at least 20 yards passes per game.

The running game has been a struggle for this offense. It averages 30.5 rush attempts per game and 4.0 yards per attempt.

Jalen Berger leads the team with 669 rushing yards and six scores, but two other backs have at least 60 carries. Michigan State has just a 40% Rushing Success Rate, which ranks 104th nationally. The offensive line has generated 2.83 Line Yards per attempt and has allowed a 19.8% Stuff Rate.

The defense hasn’t been particularly strong for Michigan State. It allows 26.7 points per game on 5.8 yards per play to go along with a Defensive Success Rate of 44% (98th) and a Defensive Finishing Drives rank of 58th.

But it’s particularly noteworthy that Michigan State’s struggles in pass defense from 2021 returned again this season. It ranks 119th in Passing Success Rate Allowed at 47%, and it allows three passes over 20 yards per game.

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Penn State Nittany Lions

James Franklin’s ninth season at Penn State, while likely disappointing to fans, is among his best with the program. Penn State averages 35.9 points per game and 6.1 yards per attempt. It owns a 43% Success Rate and averages 4.56 points per opportunity.

Sean Clifford’s fourth season as the starting signal-caller for Penn State has been his best yet. He’s completing 62.4% of his passes and averaging 7.7 yards per attempt to go along with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

As a team, Penn State has a 45% Passing Success Rate and averages 3.8 plays of at least 20 yards per game.

The Nittany Lions will enter this game without leading wide receiver Parker Washington, who was ruled out for the remainder of the season with an undisclosed injury.

On the ground, the addition of two freshmen running backs has provided a spark to the Penn State rushing attack. Both Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton have over 130 rush attempts with each averaging more than 5.5 yards per attempt.

The Nittany Lions rank 100th in Rushing Success Rate at 40%, as the offensive line produces 3.01 Line Yards per attempt and allows a Stuff Rate of 17.5%.

Penn State’s defense has been its strength. It’s allowed 18.2 points per game and 4.7 yards per play while ranking 28th in Success Rate Allowed at 38% and 21st in points per opportunity at 3.23.

But the best area for this defense has been its ability to generate Havoc. It ranks third nationally with a 26% Havoc Rate, including 21 turnovers created.


Michigan State vs Penn State Matchup Analysis

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

Michigan State Offense vs. Penn State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 104 47
Line Yards 98 10
Pass Success 56 22
Pass Blocking** 15 9
Havoc 41 1
Finishing Drives 77 21
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Penn State Offense vs. Michigan State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 100 63
Line Yards 42 85
Pass Success 35 119
Pass Blocking** 61 73
Havoc 13 94
Finishing Drives 15 58
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 80 91
PFF Coverage 121 38
SP+ Special Teams 117 36
Seconds per Play 24.6 (28) 25.8 (48)
Rush Rate 47.7% (103) 52.4% (74)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Michigan State vs Penn State Betting Pick

The line for this game currently sits at Penn State -18 with a total of 52.5.  While the tickets for this game are relatively balanced with Penn State at 62%, the money skews more toward the favorite at 75%.

My read on this game is that Michigan State will need to find success running the football to keep this game close. And despite its success last week against Indiana, that hasn’t been its strength for the majority of the year.

Although the Spartans defense has been above average against the run, it’s likely that either Singleton or Allen — or both — will find enough success to open things up for Clifford in the passing game.

My preferred play is to back the favorites at -18, and I’d play this up to any number under 20.

Pick: Penn State -18 (Play to 19.5)

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