FanDuel has released the over/under win total for the Nittany Lions at 9.5. Can Penn State Football put together another 10+ win season and make you money in the process?
After going 10-2 in the regular season in 2022, expectations are high for Penn State Football heading into the 2023 campaign. According to most early preseason rankings, the Nittany Lions are expected to begin the season in the top 5.
9.5 Was also the projected win total from 247, so this number isn’t surprising as an opening line. However, I do think this moves to an even 10 once bettors breakdown the schedule. We are still almost 6 months away from the start of the season, so there’s plenty of time for things to change, but I don’t see a world in which this line drops to something lower than 9.5 unless there’s a plethora of season-ending injuries in camp.
It is odd to see a projected top 5 team have such a low win total, but that is the case when you are scheduled to play 2 other top-5 teams: Michigan and Ohio State. Assuming they are both losses, Penn State cannot have another slip up. Penn State was able to avoid this in 2022, but can they repeat that success?
My initial response is: Yes. Penn State Football has a young and hungry team that wants to build off of the success of last year. Even if Allar isn’t ready to lead the Nittany Lions to the playoffs on day 1, the defense and running back duo should be able to carry us through most of the schedule, just like last year.
Penn State opens the season with West Virginia, a program that is currently going through a rebuild and spent much of last season and the offseason debating if they should fire their head coach. The opening line for this game on FanDuel is Penn State -18.5.
Penn State then plays Delaware, a game I won’t bother talking about, before traveling to play Illinois. Illinois was a surprise team for many last season, but now they lost both their QB and standout RB to the NFL draft. There is no line on this game right now, but Penn State should be able to handle business.
Next up brings the Iowa Hawkeyes. The first game since the injury-riddled battle in 2021. The line on this game opened at Penn State -10 and is already at -10.5 I already bet this, and I imagine by September this line is 17+. This has revenge written all over it.
Penn State then plays @ Northwestern, a team who finished 1-11 last season, and then comes home to play Umass, these should both be easy wins.
Finally, we get to the showdown @ Ohio State. The opening line on this game is Penn State +9.5, so Vegas is predicting us to lose by two scores. To avoid being a complete homer, I will agree that this looks like the first loss on the schedule. But Ohio State does have some question marks, most noticeably at QB as CJ Stroud is going to be a top 5 pick in the NFL Draft.
The Nittany Lions then take on Indiana, another game where they should be close to 3 score favorites, before visiting Maryland. Of course Maryland will get up for this game, but the talent gap should be too big for them to overcome.
Finally on November 11th we get Michigan at home. In the recent years, the home team has seemed to be victorious. The opening line on this game is very close, with Penn State getting +1.5 points. I truly think this game will be a toss up, and hopefully with this game being late in the season, Allar will have enough reps to stay competitive with the favorites to win the conference.
Penn State Football closes out the year with Rutgers and Michigan State. Rutgers will likely be 3 score underdogs, and MSU will be underdogs at home as well unless they can drastically bounce back after their disaster season in 2022.
In conclusion, I think betting over 9.5 is good value right now. This line could possibly move to 10, and the odds could also get worse. Right now on FanDuel it is over 9.5 at -108, and I could see that lingering around -120 to -130 for most of the spring. Of course the downside is that you will have your money locked up until the end of the football season.