Rutgers vs Penn State Odds, Prediction: Bet Saturday’s Big Ten Favorite
Via Scott Taetsche/Getty Images. Pictured: Chop Robinson #44 of the Penn State Nittany Lions lines up against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the second half of the game at Beaver Stadium on September 2, 2023 in State College, Pennsylvania.
- The Rutgers Scarlet Knights take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in a Saturday college football showdown.
- Penn State sits as a big favorite of -20.5, while the over/under comes in at 40.5.
- Read on for updated Rutgers vs Penn State odds, along with our full betting preview and pick.
Rutgers vs Penn State Odds
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The rosters may change, but the results stay the same. Penn State continues to lose to Michigan and Ohio State while it beats up on the rest of the Big Ten.
Patience is wearing thin in Happy Valley, and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich was the sacrificial lamb to appease the growing number of pitchforks and torches surrounding Beaver Stadium.
The good news for Penn State (8-2) is that it gets Rutgers in the wake of the Michigan disaster, and the Nittany Lions are 9-0 against the Scarlet Knights since they joined the Big Ten.
While Rutgers (6-4) secured its first traditional (via six wins) bowl berth since the 2014 season, it has dropped two in a row and was shut out in Iowa City last week.
Rutgers has historically served as the perfect panacea for whatever ails the Nittany Lions. Will 2023 be more of the same?
Let's dive into the Rutgers vs. Penn State odds and make a pick in this college football betting preview for Saturday, Nov. 18.
It doesn’t get much worse on a football field than what the Scarlet Knights did last week in Kinnick Stadium. Rutgers was blanked 22-0 and was tripled in yardage by the worst offense in the Big Ten.
Any modicum of excitement Rutgers fans may have had about Gavin Wimsatt was quickly erased. The dual-threat quarterback failed to break the 100-yard mark passing for the third time this season, and this time he couldn’t get anything going on the ground either, as he rushed for -2 yards.
The Scarlet Knights have had to rely on Kyle Monangai and their ground game for the vast majority of their points this year. Monangai’s 942 rushing yards lead the Big Ten, with his seven rushing touchdowns ranking fourth.
Monangai limped off the field against Iowa in the third quarter with a leg injury, rendering the Rutgers offense essentially useless. The Rutgers running back is expected to play against Penn State, but he won’t be 100 percent.
Despite Rutgers’ lack of scoring, its defense has kept it in games. The Scarlet Knights are fifth in the Big Ten in total defense, even after playing the likes of Michigan and Ohio State.
Rutgers, however, has struggled to consistently stop the run. The Scarlet Knights are 122nd in Rush Success Rate Allowed and have allowed three of their last five opponents to rush for more than 150 yards.
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Penn State scoring an average of 13.5 points per game against Ohio State and Michigan this season just isn’t going to get the job done, no matter how great its defense is.
The Nittany Lions responded to their plodding offense by firing offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich and promoting running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider and tight ends coach Ty Howle to play-calling responsibilities.
I wouldn’t expect any huge changes on the offensive front for the rest of the season, but I do think Drew Allar will look down the field more often, and Nick Singleton may run outside the tackles more frequently.
Those are needed alterations for an offense that has lacked any explosiveness this year. While Allar’s 21-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio is leaps and bounds better than any other quarterback in the Big Ten, he rarely throws the ball more than 10 yards down field. Penn State’s 18 pass plays of at least 20 yards in length are the third fewest in the country.
But it’s not just Allar — even the running game has slowed from 2022. Singleton has regressed in his second season as Kaytron Allen has been more consistent. After tying Michigan last season for the most runs of 30-plus yards, Penn State is currently 10th in the conference with just three such rushes.
Manny Diaz’s defense remains the standard in his second season at Penn State. The Nittany Lions are fourth in the nation in scoring defense (13.1 points per game) and second in total defense (239.7 yards per game)
The Penn State rushing defense, which ranks third in the nation, will be key in this matchup. Michigan was just the second team this season to rush for over 100 yards on the Nittany Lions.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Rutgers and Penn State match up statistically:
Rutgers Offense vs. Penn State Defense
Penn State Offense vs. Rutgers Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||77||29|
|Seconds per Play||30.5 (125)||27.0 (69)|
|Rush Rate||62.7% (8)||55.4% (45)|
Rutgers vs Penn State
Betting Pick & Prediction
It’s easy to sour on this Penn State team after its dud performances against Ohio State and Michigan, but Rutgers is not in that same tier of competition.
The Scarlet Knights were held without a point at Iowa, and frankly it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see them blanked again this week.
The only way Rutgers has moved the ball this season is on the ground. Not only does Penn State have one of the best run defenses in all of college football, but Rutgers’ biggest offensive threat, running back Kyle Monangai, won’t even be at full strength.
This won’t be some new, reimagined Penn State offense, but Allar will likely look to take more chances, and the ground game should find plenty of opportunities against a bad Rutgers run defense.
The season feels like a disappointment for Penn State, but that’s nothing that 60 minutes against Rutgers can’t fix.
Pick: Penn State -20.5 (Play to -21)