Penn State vs. Ohio State Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Will Nittany Lions Score With or Without KJ Hamler?


Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: KJ Hamler

Nov 23, 2019, 11:15 AM EST
  • The latest Penn State vs. Ohio State odds list the Buckeyes as an 18.5-point favorite with an over/under of 58.
  • Our experts break down every betting angle and give their picks and predictions.
  • This is a historic point spread, just the fifth time a top-10 matchup has featured a line this large.

Penn State vs. Ohio State Odds

  • Odds: Ohio State -18.5
  • Over/Under: 58
  • Time: 12 p.m. ET
  • TV: FOX
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio

The biggest game in college football Week 13 sure doesn’t feel like a big one given the point spread.

No. 2 Ohio State has been historically great so far this season, and its nearly three-touchdown point spread against No. 9 Penn State indicates that.

The Buckeyes defense — talented but sloppy in 2018 — has been unbelievable in 2019. Their 3.52 yards per play allowed is the second best mark of the last decade, trailing only 2011 Alabama.

Penn State has shown cracks in the last few weeks, with its normally stout defense allowing big passing plays to both Minnesota and Indiana.

But the biggest storyline for the Nittany Lions is the health of star wide receiver KJ Hamler, who left their last game with what looked like a head or neck injury. PSU is notoriously tight-lipped with injury news, but coach James Franklin is hopeful Hamler can play, and he was seen congratulating teammates after that game against Indiana that he left.

Can Penn State keep this thing close with or without Hamler?

Let’s break it all down.

Odds Moves for PSU-Ohio State

They’re just six spots apart in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, but according to oddsmakers, 18.5 points separate Penn State and Ohio State — at least on OSU’s home field.

Sixty-five percent of bettors (accounting for 62% of money) haven’t been turned off by the lofty spread, and have even convinced oddsmakers to tick the number up a bit from -18.

As for the total, Ohio State games almost always draw a majority of bettors to the over, and this one is proving no different, drawing 78% percent of tickets.

But the number has seen a bit of back-and-forth movement, at least from the earliest sportsbooks to market. Opening numbers ranged from 60 to 55, but most books have eventually split the difference and landed at 57.5. — Danny Donahue

Does Ohio State Have Any Flaws?

Not really.

The offensive line cannot be blamed for a sack rate just inside the top 100, as quarterback Justin Fields often tries to extend plays on his own. That’s about it in the advanced stats category.