Two Big Ten teams off of losses and with quarterback injuries meet in Happy Valley on Saturday night.
Penn State dropped their first game of the season on the road to Michigan 41-17 and may have lost veteran starting quarterback Sean Clifford as well. Five star recruit Drew Allar may replace him, but the Nittany Lions may also face a backup after Minnesota lost starting quarterback Tanner Morgan to a concussion in their loss to Illinois last week.
How do we assess the quarterback uncertainty? First, let's check out the odds:
Minnesota vs. Penn State Odds, Spread and Total
Minnesota vs. Penn State Betting Trends
- Penn State is 3-2 against the spread (ATS) as a favorite this season
- Minnesota hasn't been an underdog this season
- This is the lowest total game of Penn State's season
Minnesota vs. Penn State Prediction and Pick
As of this writing it's unknown who is playing quarterback on either side. Clifford didn't finish the Michigan loss due to a shoulder issue, potentially opening the door for Allar to take the job. Allar has shined in a small sample size this season as a backup to Clifford, but I don't have a massive drop off between the two signal callers.
However, there is a significant drop off when you look at the other side. Morgan left the Illinois game with a concussion and the already struggling Gophers offense looked even worse with Athana Kaliakmanis at QB. The freshman completed two of six passes for 17 yards and tossed two interceptions.
Penn State's rush defense could be had, 84th in rush yards allowed per carry, but with zero passing game to worry about they can limit Gophers stud running back Mohammad Ibrahim and keep the Gophers behind the sticks.
Meanwhile, whether it is Clifford or Allar, I make Penn State a considerable favorite here. Minnesota was able to build a strong statistical profile against weak competition, but has struggled against tougher Big Ten competition like Purdue and Illinois.
I think the Nittany Lions, under the lights in a vaunted 'white out' atmosphere, are a strong moneyline parlay piece, but for the sake of this article I'll lay the points with PSU. I can't trust this Minnesota offense to go on the road and put up points, scoring 24 points in their last two Big Ten games.
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