Penn State College Football Preview

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Penn State

College Football

Betting Preview

Schedule and Odds


Penn State won a bowl Game last year to finish above .500, but they still had just two Big Ten wins. In James Franklin’s second season with the Nittany Lions, this team expects to challenge in the Big Ten East and hopefully grab the third-place spot. They are still a little hampered by the previous NCAA sanctions, but they are no doubt on the way up.

5 dimes sportsbook lists Penn State at odds of 125 to 1 to win the National Title and 17 to 1 to win the Big 10. These odds are current as of May and will likely change often so be sure to check in with 5 dimes frequently.

The one that thing has to improve if they want to see any improvement is the offensive line that were torn apart a year ago. Christian Hackenberg, who is one of the better quarterbacks in the conference, should have better numbers than 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He often ended plays on his back because the line could not block anyone. The line may have struggled in the spring Game, but some of that was due to new faces working together. Guard Brandon Mahon was awarded most improved offensive player so that’s something to work with.

The backfield loses a couple of long timers in Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak, but it shouldn’t be an area to worry about with Akeel Lynch leading the way. Nick SCott also had a solid spring, and freshman Saquon Barkley could have a say once he arrives. The receivers struggled in Big Ten play last year (another result of poor offensive line), but they are a group that can help Hackenberg plenty. DaeSean Hamilton (82 receptions) and Geno Lewis (55 receptions) are both back and there is plenty more help, including deep-ball threat Saeed Blacknall.

The defense loses a decent amount of talent, but they did have a successful spring. However, that’s probably more of a combined result with a poor offensive showing. They held onto coordinator Bob Shoop and that should give this group enough of a boost to be elite again. The Nittany Lions lose their top tackler and top two sackers. Garrett Sickels and Carl Nassib are hoping to fill a couple holes after they controlled the line of scrimmage in the spring Game. Nyeem Wartman will try and take linebacker Mike Hull’s spot, which is easier said than done. This is still a talented group and will keep them in plenty of Games through the season.

Most of Penn State’s non-Conference Schedule matches up to their style of plenty; nitty and gritty teams that don’t have outstanding offenses. The good news for the Nittany Lions is their home slate in Big Ten play. They get Rutgers, Indiana and Illinois at home, which could already put them over their two-win Conference total from a season ago. Road Games at Ohio State, Maryland and Michigan State will be tough, though. A home meeting with Michigan late in the season may end up deciding third place, as long as the Terrapins don’t steal it again.

2015 Penn State Football Schedule

Sept. 5 at Temple
Sept 12 vs. Buffalo
Sept. 19 vs. Rutgers
Sept. 26 vs. San Diego State
Oct. 3 vs. Army
Oct. 10 vs. Indiana
Oct. 17 at Ohio State
Oct. 24 at Maryland (M&T Bank Stadium)
Nov. 31 vs. Illinois
Nov. 7 at Northwestern
Nov. 21 vs. Michigan
Nov. 28 at Michigan State

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