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No. 20 Penn State vs. No. 5 Ohio State picks and best bets for Week 9

The No. 5 Buckeyes welcome the the No. 20 Nittany Lions to the Horseshoe.

C.J. Stroud of the Ohio State Buckeyes directs his team during the second quarter in the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Indiana University on October 23, 2021 in Bloomington, Indiana. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The second marquee game in the Big Ten East on Saturday will take place at the ‘Horseshoe’ as the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes welcomes the No. 20 Penn State Nittany Lions to Columbus. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

After a sluggish by their standards start to the regular season, Ohio State (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) is starting to look like Ohio State and they reduced Indiana to rubble last week in a 54-7 beating. Since messing around with Tulsa in mid-Septmeber, the Buckeyes have put up 52+ points in four consecutive outings with each victory coming by at least 39 points. Freshman quarterback CJ Stroud is building a strong Heisman case and he went 21-28 through the air for 266 yards and four touchdowns last week.

Penn State (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) is in the midst of a two-game losing streak and they were upset by Illinois 20-18 in a wild slugfest that went to nine overtimes because of the new NCAA overtime rules. Even with Sean Clifford at quarterback, Penn State was wholly ineffective on offense throughout the entire contest. The story out of Happy Valley has been the non-stop rumors swirling around head coach James Franklin and the LSU job, so we’ll see of that has an effect on their focus tonight and for the rest of the season.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

Penn State: 10th overall, 49th offense, 6th defense
Ohio State: 1st overall, 1st offense, 20th defense

Injury update

Penn State

DE Hakeem Beamon Questionable - Undisclosed

CB Keaton Ellis Questionable - Undisclosed

OL Sal Wormley Questionable - Undisclosed

Ohio State

RB Master Teague Probable - Undisclosed

WR Julian Fleming Probable - Leg

CB Sevyn Banks Questionable - Undisclosed

ATS/Total

Against The Spread

Penn State: 4-3 ATS
Ohio State: 4-2-1 ATS

Total

Penn State: Over 2-5
Ohio State: Over 5-2

Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports

Penn State: 13th overall, 14th offense, 10th defense
Ohio State: 2nd overall, 2nd offense, 3rd defense

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Ohio State -19.5
Total: 61
Moneyline: Ohio State -1125, Penn State +700

Opening line: Ohio State -12.5
Opening total: 60

Weather

49 degrees, 8 MPH Winds NW, 44% chance of rain

The Pick

Penn State +19.5

The line has jumped heavily into Ohio State’s favor and while the Buckeyes should come out with the outright victory here, 19.5 is simply too much against a Penn State team that is just a tier below OSU in terms of overall talent. The Nittany Lions make it competitive here and cover at Ohio Stadium.

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