The Nittany Lions host the Tigers in Week 3’s most anticipated non-conference game, and BetRivers is here to provide our Penn State-Auburn prediction and analysis for Saturday night’s “White Out” in Happy Valley. Penn State got a hard-earned with a Week 1 over then-No. 12 Wisconsin, and put up 44 points in a 31-point victory over Ball State in Week 2. The Nittany Lions have a tough schedule down the stretch, with road games at Iowa and Ohio State, and with the Buckeyes already suffering a loss, Penn State can’t afford more than one defeat if they want to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Each of Penn State’s last four September games have hit the under, which the favorite has covered the spread in each of Auburn’s last nine games.
Longtime college sports writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 and The Field of 12 Network is here to break down the tantalizing matchup and provide his Penn State-Auburn prediction for Week 3 of the college football season.
PENN STATE-AUBURN PREDICTION:
#10 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (2-0) vs. #22 AUBURN TIGERS (2-0)
GAME: 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
MONEYLINE: Penn State -205 ML, Auburn +155 ML
SPREAD: Penn State -5
PENN STATE-AUBURN PUBLIC TRENDS:
Penn State ML: 41% handle, 46% bets
Penn State Spread: 68% handle, 46% bets
Over: 23% handle, 55% bets
If Alabama-Florida is the biggest game of the day on Saturday, Penn State-Auburn is a close second.
This feels like something of a statement game for Penn State. The Nittany Lions won at Wisconsin in their opener. They are currently ranked 10th nationally. They play in a Big Ten where Iowa, of all teams, looks like they are the best team in the league right now. Given Ohio State’s loss to Oregon on Saturday, the spot in the playoff that we all assume is going to come from the Big Ten is open, and James Franklin’s boys have as good of a chance to land that as anyone.
And I do think that this is the game that will tell us whether or not that push will be for real.
Because, frankly, Penn State is playing at home, during a White Out, against a team that has not played anyone this season and a quarterback that has never proven to be all that effective away from home. Bo Nix has one 300 yard game on the road. He has one game where he’s thrown for more than two touchdowns. His QB rating at home hovers in the 145 range. On the road, he’s closer to 110. And after what we saw Penn State’s defense do in Week 1, there’s no reason they can’t unleash hell on Nix on Saturday night.
The interesting note here is that this line has moved away from Penn State. It opened at (-7.5). It dropped as low as (-4.5), going through key numbers 6 and 7. At the time of this writing, it was sitting at (-5.5). I love Penn State, especially if you can get it at (-5.5).