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College Football Free Pick: Ohio State vs Penn State

September 29, 2018

Week 5 of college football features a Big Ten showdown between two heavyweights when the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes visit the No 9 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions.

The current line on top sportsbooks has Ohio State favored by 3.5 points with the over/under point total on 69.5.

The winner of this matchup has gone on to win the conference championship the past two seasons and the winner of this game on Saturday will have the advantage as the season progresses.

Last season the Buckeye rallied to beat the Nittany Lions 39-38 and thus far through four games have not been challenged including last week’s 49-6 trouncing of Tulane that featured the return of head coach Urban Meyer from his three-game school induced suspension.

Ohio State lost its last visit to Happy Valley 24-21 in 2016. Meyer calls Beaver Stadium a difficult place to play and is one of the top five hardest stadiums to play in.

Penn State is also 4-0 and although they needed overtime to beat Appalachian State in Week 1, the Nittany Lions have combined to outscore their opponents the last three games by a margin of 177-40.

Ohio State’s star defensive end Nick Bosa will not play on Saturday due core muscle surgery. However, Robert Landers will return an injury to help the defensive line in Bosa’s absence.

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins is second in the nation with 16 touchdown passes and just one interception with a 75.7% completion percentage. Buckeyes running back Mike Weber sprained his foot last week versus Tulane but will play. He rushed for 186 yards and four TDs in the team’s season opener versus Oregon State.

Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley is completing just 53.7% of his passes with an interception in each of his last two games. However, he has rushed for 235 yards and six touchdowns through the team’s four games.

Miles Sanders rushed for 200 of the 387 yards Penn State had last week on the ground in its win over Illinois. Sanders ran for three touchdowns in the game after not reaching the end zone in routs of the Pittsburgh Panthers and Kent State Golden Flashes.

Although Nittany Lions wide receiver KJ Hamler has just 11 touches on offense this season, he has scored four touchdowns.

The Nittany Lions lost backup tailback Mark Allen, who had rushed for 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns, for the remainder of the season with an undisclosed injury.

Penn State is first in the nation in scoring averaging 55.5 point per game, but Ohio State is just one point behind at 54.5 points per game.

Prediction: Lots of trips up and down the field for both teams, with success in the red zone making the difference between a win and a loss. Lay the points on the road and take the Buckeyes to win 42-32. Bet this pick at a top sportsbook