The Penn State Nittany Lions begin a season filled with plenty of hype and a very realistic shot at the College Football Playoff. And to start the season off, the NCAA Football lines have them as nearly a three-touchdown favorite against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
While the Nittany Lions broke a two-year “down” stretch in which they were 4-5 and 7-6, James Franklin’s group got back on track in 2022 by going 11-2 and winning the Rose Bowl.
Now, Penn State enters the season ranked No. 7 and facing a Mountaineers team still attempting to turn things around themselves. The Mountaineers haven’t won more than six games in four seasons and head coach Neal Brown finds himself squarely on the hot seat.
West Virginia vs Penn State Betting Lines
Penn State fans are riding a high with a group of running backs led by sophomore Nick Singleton, who’s fresh off a season in which he rushed for 1,061 yards and 12 touchdowns. The running game alone should cause chaos for a West Virginia defense that allowed nearly 150 yards per game on the ground last season.
But then there’s the big factor of the quarterback position for the Nittany Lions. Sean Clifford held down the fort last season for Penn State, but now it’s time for five-star recruit Drew Allar to have his chance to shine. Allar saw limited action last season, completing 35 of 60 passes for 344 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
Considering the Mountaineers’ pass defense also ranked near the very bottom in college football last season, allowing an average of 262.7 yards per game through the air, Allar should have little issue slamming his foot on the gas immediately.
Factoring in the high upside of both the passing and rushing attacks for Penn State points to plenty of value in betting online in favor of one of the nation’s top-10 teams.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) August 30, 2023
Penn State, Allar Ready for Thunderous Start
Three touchdowns is a big ask for any team in college football, but there are a ton of positives pointing to the Nittany Lions here. Although it’s never a comfortable proposition to lay three scores in a season opener, this College Football pick makes a lot of sense. That said, there’s a betting play here that makes even more sense when taking all things into consideration.
Preferable to running into a spot where the Nittany Lions are up and just run the ball heavily in the second half, putting the -20½ line in any danger potentially, the first quarter line looks appealing. Penn State -6½ at home, with a powerful running game and the potential for Allar to open it up and make some noise early, creates an intriguing spot for a great College Football picks.
West Virginia vs Penn State Game Information
- Date/Time: Saturday, Sep. 2, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
- West Virginia vs Penn State Live Stream: ESPN
West Virginia vs Penn State Game Predictions
- Predicted Score: Penn State 34 West Virginia 14
Take Penn State 1Q Spread
It’s hard not to love the Nittany Lions at home in front of a crowd that’s bound to make life miserable for West Virginia, and expecting them to lead by a touchdown after one quarter makes too much sense.
- Pick (Point Spread 1st Quarter): Penn State -6½ (-125)
Total Should Clear the Over
The current total for the Nittany Lions-Mountaineers game is set at 50, and barring something unforeseen playing out, Penn State will do its part to help push the total to go over. West Virginia’s offense is loaded with some question marks, including at quarterback, but a lean on the over 50 still makes sense here.
- Pick: Over 50 (-110)