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Penn State vs. Northwestern Odds: Nation’s Best ATS Team is Horrible in These Situations

Penn State vs. Northwestern Odds: Nation’s Best ATS Team is Horrible in These Situations article feature image

G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: James Franklin (center).

Penn State vs. Northwestern Odds

Saturday, Sept. 30
12 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Penn State Odds
-110o / -110u
Northwestern Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Penn State is 4-0 and ranked No. 6 in the country. Their average margin of victory this year is 31.8 points, sixth-best in FBS. And, they have a coach who, since 2005, is the fourth-most profitable coach against the spread (ATS). That's out of 618 who have put on the headset!

So, it shouldn't come as any surprise that the public is on the Nittany Lions and James Franklin this weekend to cover against Northwestern, even with a hefty -26.5 line.

About 77% of all bets and 72% of all money at BetMGM is on Penn State to cover on Saturday.

But buyer beware of the Nittany Lions, who are an FBS best 56-34-2 against the spread since 2016.

Under Franklin, PSU has only covered one-of-seven in Big Ten games in which they are favored by more than 26.5.

In 2017, they were 31-point favorites against Rutgers and 27.5-point favorites against Nebraska. They beat Rutgers by 29, Nebraska by only 12.

In 2018, they were 28-point favorites against Rutgers and 27-point favorites against Illinois. They again failed to cover against Rutgers, winning by 13. They covered their only time under Franklin with a spread that large when they thumped Illinois, 63-24.

In 2019, they saw their closest miss when they only scored seven points in the second half to beat Purdue by 28 as -28.5 favorites. Rutgers again spoiled their cover that year, as the Nittany Lions only won by 21 as 38.5-point favorites.

The last time Penn State was such a large favorite in a conference game was against Maryland in November 2020. Penn State failed again to cover, this time winning by 16 as a 27.5-point favorite.

Over the last eight years, Penn State has covered over 62% of its games, the best in the land. But in conference games in which they're massive favorites? They hit at only a 14% rate.

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