College Football Pick
By Jason Green
Minnesota has bolted out to a 3-0 start, but they have not played a tough Schedule and all 3 of their wins have been at home. They hit the road in their first Big 10 Game and are only a 3-point betting underdog facing a 2-2 Penn State team.
While Penn State has played a much tougher Schedule so far, with losses to Pittsburgh and Michigan, they were throttled in their last Game losing 49-10. However, they are at home and they are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 Games facing Minnesota.
Minnesota stayed in the ranks of the unbeaten beating Colorado State at home in their last Game, but they failed to cover as a 17.5-point favorite. Penn State came nowhere near covering in their last Game where they were a 15.5-point road underdog in their 49-10 loss to Michigan.
Penn State has won 3 of their last 4 Games facing Minnesota, but the last time they played back in 2013 the Golden Gophers came out on top beating the Nittany Lions 24-10.
Minnesota had a solid offensive Game facing Colorado State racking up 417 yards with 243 yards on the ground and 174 in the air. QB Mitch Leidner has played well this season, but on the outside Drew Wolitarsky has been a one-man show with 252 receiving yards while the next leading target has 84. RB Rodney Smith, who rushed for 99 yards with 2 TD in the Colorado State Game, and Kobe McCrary have combined for 491 rushing yards.
In Penn State’s 2 losses they have been torched on D giving up at least 42 points. While they rank a legit 20th in the nation defending the pass they only rank 104th defending the run.
QB Trace McSorley only had 121 passing yards in the loss to Michigan and he has been picked off once in each of his last 3 Games. He has a solid WR corps, but needs time to find them, which he did not have in the loss to Michigan. Saquon Barkley has 317 rushing yards on the season, but after galloping for 105 in the season opening win his production has decreased in every Game since. His play Is key in this Game, as the next leading rusher for the Nittany Lions only has 41 yards.
The Minnesota defense is stronger against the run than the pass and McSorley may have a solid Game, but he has to be given time in the pocket to find his targets.
Minnesota is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road Games and they are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Games after failing to cover in their previous Game.
Penn State is only 1-7 ATS in their last 8 Games overall and they have failed to cover once in their last 4 Conference Games.
Jason’s Pick: I am not giving up on Penn State, especially at home, as they will win this Game, move to 3-2 on the season, and cover the spread only giving 3-points.