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West Virginia vs. (7) Penn State -20.5 O/U 51.5
A storied rivalry is renewed briefly when the Mountaineers of West Virginia travel to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions. In what used to be a yearly battle between these two schools (they have played each other 55 times, the third-most games against one school in Penn State history), this marks their first meeting since 1992, which also marked the last time Penn State started a game without the recently departed Sean Clifford under center.
The play that I’m focusing in on is the over 50.5. When this number was initially released in early May, it started out at 56.5. It even went up to 58.5 at one point, before steadily coming down, incidentally as the spread widened on the Lions. It was at 51.5 as of August 27th.
As you can expect, the largest percentage of both bets and money have come in below this mark. We’re currently seeing 60% of the bets placed on the under and a whopping 90% of the money.
If there is one thing I have learned in my years of gambling, it’s almost always best to be on the opposite side of the public and that is most definitely the case here.
Much of the trepidation is because of the new starting QB at Penn State, the ballyhooed 5-star recruit Drew Allar. While he was here last year, he generally only got snaps in a mop-up capacity. His stats were nothing special, 35-60 for 344 yards and 4 passing TDs. He also added 52 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground on 18 carries.
Penn State’s offense, however, has quite a few things going in their favor. First is one of the best rushing attacks in the country, featuring the two-headed monster running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen. They led an offense last year that gained 181 yards per game. The two backs together averaged 6.0 yards per carry and combined for 22 rushing TDs.
Second, the Nittany Lions offensive line is the deepest and most talented it has been in the James Franklin era. Led by preseason All-American LT Olu Fashanu, this is a unit that looks to improve on the 21 sacks they allowed last season.
Lastly, we take a look at West Virginia’s defense or lack thereof. They surrendered 32.9 ppg a season ago, their worst mark in nine years. They allowed 150 yards on the ground and 262 through the air.
Penn State’s defensive unit is also very highly touted and with WVU’s penchant for turning the ball over (they had a -8 turnover differential last season), it’s highly likely that Penn State forces multiple turnovers that keep the table set Penn State’s high powered offense.
The Oracle has predicted that Penn State wins 41-18. While that covers the 20.5-point spread, the play that I’m releasing is the OVER 50.5. I would also recommend looking into alternative over markets, as high as 55.5. I don’t believe it is out of the realm of possiblity that Penn State puts up 56 themselves, but see 52 as a much more likely scenario. I think that West Virginia puts up about 14-17 points themselves, allowing this to sail far beyond the 50.5 total. The last time these two played, in 1992, the final was Penn State 40- West Virginia 26. Expect another shootout like that.
West Virginia-Penn State OVER for 5 units