In Saturday night’s marquee matchup, 10th ranked Penn State is hosting 22nd ranked Auburn. With Ohio State’s loss last week against Oregon as a 14.5 point favorite, Penn State is a leading contender to win the Big Ten this season.
Currently, Caesars Sportsbook has Penn State at +650 odds to win the Big Ten behind Ohio State (-200) and Iowa (+550). If PSU can beat Auburn, and win the Big Ten, then they are likely to make the College Football Playoff.
Auburn plays in the SEC, but they have only played two cupcakes this season in Akron and Alabama State. Against the Nittany Lions, the Tigers face their stiffest test yet. But even on the road, they have opened as only 6.5 point underdogs.
The question for Saturday’s game is if Penn State is a legitimate Big Ten contender this season.
Below, I go over how I think the game will go and my favorite bets.
Auburn vs. Penn State Best Bet: Penn State -6.5 (-110) at Caesars
For in-depth analysis of this CFB bet of the day and others, continue reading.
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Auburn vs. Penn State Prediction
In Week 1 at Wisconsin as a 5.5 point underdog, Penn State won a defensive battle 16-10. In that game, the Nittany Lions limited Wisconsin’s starting quarterback Graham Mertz to 0 passing touchdowns, two interceptions, and only 185 passing yards. Most impressively, Wisconsin’s running backs were limited to only 3.1 rushing yards per carry against PSU.
Auburn’s body of work this season has been much harder to measure. In their first game against arguably the weakest FBS program in Akron, Auburn won 60-10. Last week against an FCS program in Alabama State, the Tigers won 62-0. Against Penn State, Auburn should have a much different game.
This year, Tigers quarterback Bo Nix is back. Among power five quarterbacks, I have always been skeptical about Nix. In 2020, Nix had a competition percentage of only 59.9% and 12 passing touchdowns in 11 starts. Even though Nix plays in the highly competitive SEC, Nix barely performed against weaker teams last year.
Auburn’s offensive strength has come from a strong running game, which makes things easier for Nix. Currently, the Tigers average 9.9 yards per carry, which is the best in the FBS. However, the Tigers should have their hands full on the road against a tough Nittany Lions defense.
Prediction: Auburn 17, Penn State 28
Auburn vs. Penn State Best Bets
Best Bet: Penn State -6.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
As of Sunday afternoon, Penn State is a 6.5 point favorite and that is why I personally have bet one unit of my bankroll on them for this week’s game. However, as the week goes by, the Nittany Lions should get more betting attention and the line should move.
That is why I recommend a spread bet on PSU up to 9.5 points with half a unit if it’s between 7.5 and 9.5 points.
The SEC is a stronger conference than the Big Ten, but Penn State is the stronger team. Auburn’s offense does not matchup well against Penn State, and that is why Penn State should win a low-scoring game on Saturday night.
Best Bet: Under 53 Points (-110) at DraftKings
Wager: 0.5 Units
While I have faith in Penn State’s defense against Auburn, I believe that Auburn should hold its own against a conservative Penn State offense.
Against Ball State last week, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford completed 21 of 29 passes for 230 yards. In Week 1 against Wisconsin, Clifford completed only 54.5% of his passes. Clifford may be good enough to lead a strong defensive team to victory, but he will not light up the scoreboard.
At 53 points on DraftKings, the under is worth a shot. We should see a low-scoring game and that is why I would take the under at up to 50.5 points.