After months of uncertainty and setbacks, the 2020 Big Ten season will kick off this weekend. Though not the conference’s marquee matchup of the opening week, the tilt between No. 8 Penn State and unranked Indiana does offer plenty of intrigue.
After Ohio State, arguably no team in the Big Ten possesses a greater wealth of talent than Penn State. That remains true even after the Nittany Lions lost star linebacker and presumptive first-round draft pick Micah Parsons, who opted out of the season, and starting running back Journey Brown due to an undisclosed medical condition. While their absences won’t go unnoticed, the team still has returning quarterback Sean Clifford to stabilize the offense and an upperclassman-laden defense.
And though Indiana cannot match its opponent in complete depth of talent, the team does have a true field-tilting presence on offense. Senior wideout Whop Philyor, comes off a remarkable 70-catch, 1,002-yard, five-touchdown season and should give an inexperienced Nittany Lions secondary fits throughout the game. The burden of creating opportunities for Philyor falls on Nick Sheridan, the Hoosiers’ new offensive coordinator who replaces Kalen DeBoer.
Penn State has won each of the last six matchups with Indiana, and owns the all-time series 22-1.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
You can watch No. 8 Penn State vs. Indiana Saturday, Oct. 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1, and you can stream it via the Fox Sports app or with a cable or streaming login.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Point spread: Penn State (-6.5) vs. Indiana
Point Total: Over 62
Money line: Penn State (-250), Oklahoma State (+175)
- Last year, Penn State went 7-6 against the spread
- The Nittany Lions also hit the over on just six of their 13 games that season
- Indiana faired a little better against the spread in 2019, going 8-5
- The Hoosiers also did better hitting the over, doing so in seven of their 13 games
The Best Bet
In a regular year with a typical build-up to the season, Indiana would face considerably more challenges against Penn State. However the Nittany Lions will play without several key players due, and could struggle somewhat coming out of the gate. The Hoosiers will have a very hard time winning on Saturday, but they stand a good chance to cover the spread.
Pick: Indiana (+6.5)
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