With all that has happened off the field of late for the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes it seems odd to talk about just a football game between them. As game time approaches, the distractions appear to be factoring into the the game's final line. According to SB Nation's Odd partner Oddshark, the Buckeyes come in as a seven point favorite at home:
Backers of the Buckeyes have seen them go 6-4 and 5-5 ATS so far this season, while the Nittany Lions are at 8-2 and 2-7-1 ATS. In totals betting, the Nittany Lions are 1-7-1, while the Buckeyes are 5-5.
That line could be considered a surprise since the Buckeyes are coming off of an overtime loss to Purdue. The Nittany Lions defeated the Boilermakers by five a few weeks ago in Happy Valley, but that was before the massive distraction of the Jerry Sandusky case broke. SB Nation's Black Shoe Diaries has a solid statistical breakdown of this game:
This game could get weird. Both defenses look like they could dominate the opposing offense. This could mean a bunch of offensive (literally) screw ups that allow the other team to capitalize. Things like short fields, red zone scoring, and (gulp) defensive touchdowns could be a staple of a game like this one.
The return of Devier Posey for the Buckeyes could be a game-changer, as he adds an element that has been missing for the Ohio State offense.