The Penn State Nittany Lions, who some people think are the best choice for a dark horse contender this season, will get its 2023 campaign started off in Week 1 when they host the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Penn State went 11-2 overall and now enter this season ranked No. 7 in the country.
Let’s do a full break down of their opening week matchup.
If you want to see the best bets to place for Week 1 action, check out our college football betting insider, Reed Wallach’s, picks article here.
West Virginia vs. Penn State odds, spread, and total
West Virginia vs. Penn State Betting Trends
- The UNDER is 5-0 in West Virginia’s last five road games
- West Virginia is 2-4 ATS in their last six games
- Penn State is 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games
- Penn State has won 11-straight games in September
West Virginia vs. Penn State How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, September 2nd
- Game Time: 7:30 PM EST
- Venue: Beaver Stadium
- How to Watch (TV): NBC
- West Virginia Record: 0-0
- Penn State Record: 0-0
West Virginia vs. Penn State key players to watch
Sean Martin: West Virginia’s defense was terrible this season, so one of the most key players to watch not only in their first game, but for the entire season, is defensive lineman Sean Martin. He has emerged as the leader of the Mountaineers’ defensive line, and he’s going to need to take a step forward this year to make the defense a strong unit. He recorded four sacks in his Sophomore year in 2022.
Drew Allar: The Drew Allar era is set to begin at Penn State. He looked promising in his few appearances in 2022, and now he’s set to be the full time starter for the first time in 2023. If Penn State is going to have a chance of winning the Big Ten, it’s going to be because Allar ends up living up to the hype and expectations. He can ease his way into the season with a relatively easy matchup against West Virginia. We’ll see how he stacks up.
West Virginia vs. Penn State prediction and pick
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Penn State is a big time favorite in this game and for good reason. They are poised to make a run at the Big Ten title and have a bit of a warm up game against a West Virginia program that’s trying to find some level of consistency.
If the Mountaineers had a defense that reflected any level of competency, I’d be willing to take a look at betting on them to cover as underdogs in this spot, but I don’t think that’s the case. They gave up 6.1 yards per play last season, which ranked outside the top 100 in the country.
More importantly, they gave up 4.3 yards per carry and now they have to face one of the best one-two punch backfields in college football in Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen.
Penn State wins this one in impressive fashion and I’m more than willing to bet on them to cover the spread.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.