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Auburn vs. Penn State picks and best bets for Week 3

The Tigers and Nittany Lions meet in a primetime showdown of ranked non-conference heavyweights.

Sean Clifford of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks to pass during the first half of the game against the Ball State Cardinals at Beaver Stadium on September 11, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The 2021 college football season has featured several appetizing non-conference matchups, but none might be able to match the atmosphere sure to be present when No. 22 Auburn travels to State College to face No. 10 Penn State. The Nittany Lions are 0-5 in their last five games against SEC opponents, but James Franklin’s squad appears to be ready to contend for the Big Ten title this season.

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

SP+ Rankings

Auburn: 11 overall, 20 offense, 10 defense
Penn State: 7 overall, 16 offense, 5 defense

Injury update

Auburn

WR Tar’Varish Dawson Jr. - is questionable (unknown)

Penn State

RB John Lovett - is questionable (unknown)
OL Sal Wormley - is questionable (unknown)
CB Keaton Ellis - is questionable (unknown)
DT Hakeem Beamon - is questionable (unknown)

ATS/Total

Against The Spread

Auburn: 2-0 ATS
Penn State: 2-0 ATS

Total

Auburn: Over 2-0
Penn State: Over 0-2

Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports

Auburn: 17 overall, 18 offense, 16 defense
Penn State: 13 overall, 14 offense, 10 defense

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Penn State -5
Total: 52.5
Moneyline: Auburn +170, Penn State -200

Opening line: Penn State -6.5
Opening total: 53

Weather

73 degrees, 5 mph wind, 5 percent chance of rain

The Pick

Penn State moneyline (-200)

Both teams enter this game with strong defenses and experienced quarterbacks. Bo Nix has been in bigger games with Auburn in the last few seasons, but Sean Clifford is the superior player on talent. The atmosphere is definitely going to play a factor here, with Beaver Stadium expected to be at full capacity. With Franklin’s name being thrown around for the USC job, watch for the Nittany Lions to put on an impressive showing and take down the Tigers in a result sure to have College Football Playoff implications. It’ll be close, but Penn State ultimately prevails at home.

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