The No. 11 Ole Miss Rebels will meet the No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions in the 56th annual Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Both squads finished the season 10-2, only losing to teams considered National Championship contenders.
These teams will miss some key players for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at how the absences affect the NCAAF odds and analyze our best bets and predictions for the 2023 Peach Bowl.
Ole Miss vs Penn State Odds
Track our latest CFB odds for Rebels vs Nittany Lions:
NCAAF lines used for Ole Miss @ Penn State were current as of Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. ET on FanDuel Sportsbook.
- Moneyline: Penn State (-172) • Mississippi (+142)
- Spread: Penn State -3.5 (-115) • Mississippi +3.5 (-105)
- Total Points: Over 48.5 (-110) • Under 48.5 (-110)
Penn State has managed to maintain its 3.5-point-favorite to 4-point-favorite cushion since opening at that line over two weeks ago. Now, with under 10 days until kickoff, this number should stick the rest of the way.
The 2023 iteration of the Nittany Lions appears primed to win the first Peach Bowl in the school’s history after winning every other New Year’s Six Bowl.
Ole Miss vs Penn State Prediction
SCORE PICK: Penn State 27, Ole Miss 21
With a win in the Peach Bowl, Penn State head coach James Franklin could reach 11 wins for the second year in a row and the fifth time during his tenure.
The Nittany Lions had the No. 1 defense in the country when it came to total yards allowed with just 2,679 in 12 contests. It held opponents to single digits five times this season, including three shutouts.
Penn State’s defense was so impressive that it ultimately led to the departure of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, who accepted a job as Duke’s next head coach earlier in December. Luckily for Franklin, it appears that Diaz will be one of the only big components on the defensive side missing this game.
Apart from star defensive lineman Chop Robinson, vital defensive players such as Adisa Isaac and Daequan Hardy are a few of the upperclassmen who have already committed to playing in the Peach Bowl despite holding draft eligibility.
This is not the news that Lane Kiffen and the Rebels were hoping to hear after managing to avoid any major players opting out of the game.
Kiffen said he didn’t anticipate absences from many of his players, but the Rebels’ No. 2 receiver Dayton Wade opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Wade was a big part of Mississippi’s offense that ranked as one of the best in the country. The Rebels averaged 455.4 yards per game this season, scoring 51 total offensive touchdowns in the process.
If Ole Miss wants any chance of winning this game, the offense will have to come up big – unlike what we saw against Georgia and Alabama in the school’s two losses this season.
When facing two elite defensive units, Kiffen’s squad was held to its two lowest point totals of the season, with 10 against Alabama and 17 against Georgia.
Both of those squads were able to stiffen the run game and force quarterback Jaxson Dart into mistakes. With the personnel Penn State brings on the defensive side of the ball, they can repeat this formula and find success doing it.
The Nittany Lions closed out the season winning three of their last four, receiving multiple solid performances from sophomore quarterback Drew Allar.
Allar and the Penn State offense should have plenty of opportunities to expose a defense that has struggled at times this year, particularly through the air. Ole Miss allowed nearly 372 yards of offense per game, with 220 of those being passing yards.
Mississippi’s offense will not be able to repeat its success this season against a top Penn State defense, and Ole Miss will leave empty handed.
Ole Miss vs Penn State Best Bets
Penn State (-172)
FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 1.5 units
I am going with Penn State to be outright winners at -172. FanDuel has some of the lowest odds for the Nittany Lions of all the major sportsbooks.
These odds could easily move above 200 as the public begins to bet on this matchup more with the game still a ways away.
Few teams have managed to crack this elite Penn State defense, and Mississippi won’t either.
The Rebels will need a big game from running back Quinshon Judkins, whose inconsistencies on the ground were apparent in the team’s losses this season.
Penn State Over 26.5 (-115)
FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit
Once again, FanDuel has some unique and solid wagers available right now, including a Penn State team total of 26.5. While this offense will by no means blow teams out of the water, scoring 27 points is not out of the question.
The books have this total relatively spot on, as my prediction for the Nittany Lions is also in the 26.5 ballpark. Penn State scored 27 or more in all 10 victories this season, only failing to do so in its two losses to Michigan and Ohio State.
Mississippi does not have the same quality defense as these teams, and it will not be able to keep Penn State under this total – but it might be close.
Ole Miss vs Penn State Same-Game Parlay
Ole Miss vs Penn State SGP (+173)
FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit
- Penn State -3.5 (-115)
- Over 44.5 (-180)
- Penn State Over 26.5 (-115)
With options still being relatively scarce, I concocted this three-leg same-game parlay with relatively low odds but a high chance of cashing.
FanDuel is one of the few books to have Penn State at -3.5, with others already being at or surpassing -4. At -115, this leg is looking like great value based on the early betting trends we are seeing.
I decided to go with the 44.5 alternate point total for the second leg because the sportsbooks are spot on with their 48.5 total listed for the game.
We will be sacrificing some odds to achieve this total, but it should cash fairly easily considering what is expected from these squads.
Finally, for our last leg, we will be tailing our Penn State Over 26.5 best bet as the Nittany Lions managed to score 27 or more in all of its victories this season.