Early Lines: Penn State Favored at Nebraska, Underdogs for Ohio State and Michigan

By Nick Polak on March 23, 2020 at 4:47 pm
Oct 19, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) passes the ball as Michigan Wolverines linebacker Josh Uche (6) defends during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Though we don't know what will happen with the 2020 college football season just yet, that isn't stopping the betting sites from giving their early picks for some of the projected biggest games of the upcoming season.

BetOnline recently released point spreads for several games set for this fall, including three Penn State contests– Penn State at Nebraska, Penn State at Michigan, and Penn State vs. Ohio State.

The Lions are favored by three points for their trip to Lincoln but will start as underdogs against both the Buckeyes and the Wolverines. Ohio State is currently listed as a three-point favorite for its trip to Happy Valley, and Michigan is favored by three points for its home date with the Nittany Lions.

Ohio State is currently on a three-game winning streak against the Lions, but the series is split 1-1 in the previous two meetings in Happy Valley. The Lions won 24-21 in 2016 and the Buckeyes won 27-26 in 2018. The two teams have been separated by more than three points just once since 2016 when the Buckeyes won by a final of 28-17 this past fall.

Michigan and Penn State have traded home wins each year since 2016, with Michigan's 2015 win in Happy Valley marking the last time the road team won in this rivalry. Game results aside, recent history has been especially cruel to the road teams in this showdown, as they have lost by an average of 27.5 points over the five-year span.

Penn State and Nebraska have only met once since 2013, with Penn State taking home a 56-44 win in 2017 that wasn't nearly as close as the box score would suggest. Should the Lions make good on their favored status and take home the win, it would be the program's first win in Lincoln since 1981.

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