College Football Week 8 Odds: Minnesota At Penn State Preview

Written By Brett Gibbons on October 21, 2022
minnesota penn state odds

The Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-2, 1-2) look to break a two-game losing streak on the road against the Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1, 2-1). Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Penn State’s annual Whiteout game. It will be broadcast on ABC. Below, we’ll look at the latest Minnesota Penn State odds and a full betting preview for the game.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers At Penn State Nittany Lions Odds

Minnesota At Penn State Odds Movement

Penn State opened as a six-point home favorite on Sunday afternoon at DraftKings Sportsbook. That number was bet down to four points and it currently stands at . The line will further react to the health of Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan, who left last week’s loss but hasn’t been ruled out for this weekend. When it comes to low-total games like this one (over/under ), points matter more and the two-point move is worth noting.

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Welcome To Reality, Minnesota

After four weeks of football, Minnesota was one of the biggest surprises. They were a top-10 team in FPI and SP+ ratings, tops in the nation in net points per drive, and looking like a real contender in the Big Ten West.

What they also had during that stretch of the year was the easiest schedule in the nation. Their four wins this season came against New Mexico State (128th in aggregate power ratings– FPI, SP+, FEI, Sagarin, more), Western Illinois (FCS), Colorado (117th), and Michigan State (49th but sliding). Their two losses are against Purdue (31st) and Illinois (28th). It’s abundantly clear the Week 5 Minnesota football team was a product of their schedule.

Now, they head into Happy Valley potentially without Morgan and with workhorse back Mo Ibrahim not at 100%.

But they also take on a Penn State team with a QB situation in flux. Sean Clifford was yanked last week for five star freshman Drew Allar in their 41-17 loss at Michigan. Head coach James Franklin said “nothing will change” in terms of Clifford being the starter, echoing that Clifford has “earned the right” to be the starter.

But what’s especially important about the benching is that it burned Allar’s red shirt eligibility. Franklin remains adamant on Clifford as the starter, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Establish It

Last week, Illinois’ game plan against Minnesota was clear: run the football as often as possible. Back Chase Brown had 41 carries in the game and the Fighting Illini came away with the win. While season-long metrics suggest that Minnesota is a strong run defense, refer to their schedule laid out above; coaching decisions will tell you as much as numbers.

The issue is, Penn State has been a very inconsistent rushing team this season. Freshman phenom Nicholas Singleton has all the makings of a star running back, but Penn State is 123rd in rushing success rate on the season.

On the other side, with Morgan out (or playing less than 100%), Ibrahim will see an increased workload. And why not? Penn State is 94th in rushing success rate allowed this season. While Michigan’s stellar offensive line and backfield was able to exaggerate the deficiency, Minnesota should be plenty good enough to run the ball on them.

High-volume, low efficiency run games with inconsistent or injured quarterbacks leads to a methodical and sluggish gameflow. That’s clearly echoed in the over/under () and even that might be challenged.

Minnesota At Penn State Forecast

Whiteouts at Penn State create one of the best atmospheres in all of college football, but Penn State is just 7-6 outright in those games. The tradition was made legendary in their 2016 upset over No. 2 Ohio State and is usually reserved for an opponent the caliber of Ohio State or Michigan. But their environment isn’t an end-all, be-all factor in games.

What’s there to trust about Clifford in this game? Franklin made sure we knew he’s still the guy, but Clifford is a largely-disappointing QB, particularly in big games. Penn State’s offense can be painstakingly inefficient, especially rushing the football. On the other side, Minnesota is playing without their veteran QB at 100% or potentially altogether.

I fully expect this to be an inefficient game. Instead of betting Penn State far from the key number of 3, I’m leaning under () in this game.

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Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons