Penn State vs. Michigan State Spread, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks and Betting Preview

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The Michigan State Spartans (9-2) look to rebound after a public embarrassment at the hands of Ohio State. They’ll host the Penn State Nittany Lions (7-4) in a game that’s essentially lined as a pick ‘em.

Michigan State has outperformed its metrics all season long. The Spartans are still being outgained on the year, averaging 430 yards of offense while allowing 463 on the defensive side of the ball. The offense is heavily reliant on star running back Kenneth Walker III (1,597 yards, 18 TDs). When it works (as it has most of the year), it gets the job done. When it doesn’t (a la last week), it appears one-dimensional and rudimentary. Walker is banged up, and his status for this game remains in doubt.

Penn State has done one thing consistently throughout the year: play solid defense. The Nittany Lions are allowing only 15.5 points per game, the fourth-best mark in the country. Opposing offenses have managed only 4.6 yards per play. Michigan State is dealing with injuries at the wide receiver position and other areas of the team and may be limited by a good Nittany Lions defense.

It’s uncertain who will be under center for Penn State with starter Sean Clifford banged up once again. Clifford left last week’s game against Rutgers early after missing pregame warmups due to an undisclosed illness. They didn’t need him much in a 28-0 beatdown of Rutgers, but the Spartans are a different animal.

We have a strong lean toward the Penn State side. The model likes the Nittany Lions as well, so we’re going to go ahead and make it an official play. The Spartans have been overvalued for much of the season and Penn State is still a good football team, despite the offensive limitations.

Pick: Penn State -1.5

All CFB game predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid
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