Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers: 11/9/2019 Betting Pick

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The No. 13 Minnesota Golden Gophers are set to face off against the No. 5 Penn State Nittany Lions in a showdown where one winning streak will reach nine games. This key Big 10 showdown kicks off at 12:00 p.m. ET and ABC is scheduled to have the TV rights. These two conference foes did not get a chance to face each other in 2018.

Betting Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

In this Saturday Big Ten game, Penn State is tabbed as the favorite and is currently giving up 6.5 points. The Nittany Lions are also receiving -270 moneyline odds while the Golden Gophers are +210. If one school finds paydirt early it would produce a decent in-game betting opportunity. Vegas has determined the over/under (O/U) to be 48 points.

This game’s line opened at 6, while the O/U has not changed after being set initially at 48.

Both of these teams have been profitable this year as the Nittany Lions have gained 5.0 units while the Golden Gophers are up 7.0 units.

The Nittany Lions are 8-0 straight up (SU), including 5-0 SU against conference opponents. The Golden Gophers are 8-0 SU overall and are also 5-0 SU in conference play.

The Nittany Lions are hoping to remain undefeated after a 28-7 win over Michigan State on October 26 in which Sean Clifford completed just 18-of-32 passes for 189 yards, four scores and one interception. Journey Brown (45 yards on 12 rush attempts) led the ground attack. KJ Hamler (five receptions, 57 yards, one TD) and Pat Freiermuth (five catches, 60 yards, three TDs) shared the receiving duties in the win.

Minnesota is coming off of a 52-10 win over Maryland. The defense held its ground in the victory, holding the Terrapins to only 131 passing yards and 79 rushing yards. Tayon Fleet-Davis was a bright spot in the loss for Maryland, recording 59 yards on one catch. For Minnesota, Tanner Morgan completed 12-of-21 passes for 138 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Rodney Smith (103 rushing yards on 17 attempts, one TD) and Shannon Brooks (56 yards on 10 carries) mounted the running game while Tyler Johnson (four receptions, 37 yards, one TD) and Chris Autman-Bell (four catches, 56 yards) led the receiving corps in the win.

Penn State’s run the ball on 56.2 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Minnesota has a rush percentage of 68.4 percent. The Nittany Lions have rushed for 170.1 yards per game (including 157 per game versus Big Ten opponents) and have 19 touchdowns on the ground this year. The Gophers are logging 204.5 rush yards per game (253 in conference) and have 21 total rushing TDs.

The Nittany Lions offense has averaged 252 yards in the air overall (234.6 per game versus conference opposition) and has 21 passing scores so far. The Gophers have recorded 225 pass yards per outing (220 against Big 10 competition) and have 18 total pass TDs.

On the defensive side of the ball, Penn State has allowed 68.4 rush yards and 211.6 pass yards per game. The Minnesota D has given up 166.4 yards per game to opposing passers and 117.4 yards per game to opposing runners. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to opponents, as the Nittany Lions have given up an ANY/A of 3.74 to opposing QBs, while the Gophers are allowing an ANY/A of 3.41.

Offensively, Clifford is up to 1,749 passing yards this season. The signal-caller has completed 63 percent of his 191 attempts with 17 scores through the air and only three interceptions. He has a 9.29 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 7.31 over the past two games.

Look for a balanced approach offensively from Penn State in this one. KJ Hamler (512 receiving yards, six receiving touchdowns on the year), Pat Freiermuth (263 receiving yards, six receiving TDs) and Journey Brown (278 rush yards, three rush TDs, one TD) have each played key roles lately.

Tanner Morgan has connected on 98-of-145 passes for 1,516 yards, 16 TDs and four INTs for Minnesota. His ANY/A sits at 9.56 for the year and 8.53 across his past two games.

As a group, Rodney Smith, Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman have combined to account for 516 total yards and seven touchdowns the last two outings.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Free Pick

SU Winner: Penn State, ATS Winner: Penn State, O/U: Under

Betting Trends

  • Penn State, as a team, has rushed for 3.3 yards per attempt across its last three outings and 3.2 over its last two.
  • Minnesota has averaged 5.7 yards per carry over its last three games and 5.2 over its past two.
  • The Minnesota offense has lost five fumbles this season while Penn State has lost four.
  • Each offense has recorded 15 pass plays of 30+ yards.
  • The Penn State defense has allowed five pass plays of 40 yards or more, while Minnesota has given up two such plays.
  • The Penn State offense has created 10 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Minnesota has created 12 such runs.
  • The Nittany Lions defense has allowed three rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while the Golden Gophers have given up seven such runs.
  • The Penn State defensive unit has 30 sacks on the year while Minnesota has just 19.