Michigan vs. Penn State Betting Preview

November 12, 2021

This is one of the many November clashes fans have been anticipating between the Big Ten East powers as Michigan heads to Penn State. The Wolverines lost their first big test of the season, and now is trying to learn from their mistakes against the Nittany Lions. Penn State stopped a three-game losing streak last week, and is hoping to ride that momentum into a massive home game with a top-10 foe. 

Michigan vs. Penn State Betting Pick

Michigan -2

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Michigan and Penn State will square off at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania at noon Eastern on Saturday, November 13, 2021.

Why bet on the Wolverines:

✅ Michigan averages 234 yards per game on the ground and has ran for at least 175 yards six times this season. The key is their tandem of running backs – Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins – one of whom has rushed for at least 100 yards five times this season. Penn State is allowing only 137 rushing yards per game, but has allowed two teams to rush for at least 160 yards in the last three weeks.

✅ Penn State has struggled to take away the opponent's strengths over the last three games. Both Ohio State and Maryland torched the Nittany Lions secondary for more than 300 passing yards and the week before, Illinois ran for more than 350 yards against the Nittany Lions.  

✅ The Wolverines allow less than 300 yards of offense per game and are allowing opponents to convert less than a third of their third-down conversions. Michigan has held seven of its opponents to less than 20 points per game, including limiting two of its last three foes to seven points. 

✅ Only two teams have thrown for more than 200 yards in a game this season against Michigan, which hasn't allowed a passing touchdown in three straight games. Penn State barely averages more than 100 rushing yards per game and are averaging nearly 280 passing yards per game.

✅ Michigan has held at least a five-minute advantage in time of possession in its last six games. Penn State lost the time of possession battle in each of its three losses, twice losing it by more than 11 minutes in that span.

Michigan

The Wolverines responded to their first loss of the season with a dominant effort against Indiana to keep their hopes of a Big Ten title alive. Michigan relies heavily on its rushing attack to carry the offense, and thus far no one has really been able to slow down the duo of Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins. With that talented pair in the backfield, the offense has been able to move the ball relatively easily. The defense has been the better unit, however, dominating almost every opponent Michigan has faced this season by attacking the quarterback and being physical in the secondary.

Penn State

The Nittany Lions snapped their three-game losing streak last week against Maryland, but it's hard to feel confident about this group against Michigan. Penn State's defense has played decently well the past month despite the three defeats with seven takeaways in the last four games. However, the Nittany Lions have struggled to put games away with its offense that can't seem to find a good rhythm. The offense relies too much on Sean Clifford with a struggling running game heaping pressure on the quarterback to make plays in the passing game. 

Michigan -2

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Josh
Josh Walfish
Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has covered college sports for the past decade. He most-recently was chronicling the UMass Minutemen and now works as a freelancer writer and editor based out of Chicago.