As Ohio State hits the road for the second time in the 2022 campaign, Happy Valley figures to become a sad place for Penn State fans to be this afternoon.
The Buckeyes are eager to snag their second win over a ranked team after not having faced any AP Top 25 competition since the season opener with Notre Dame. While the Fighting Irish have since dropped out, the Nittany Lions entered the rankings in Week 3 and briefly flirted with top-10 status prior to their first loss against Michigan two weeks ago.
If luggage cart joyrides provide any indication, Ohio State certainly seems enthusiastic at the hotel this morning about the opportunity to prove themselves against one of the best teams in the Big Ten.
gooood morning buckeyes pic.twitter.com/azMsudLaOH
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) October 29, 2022
Now three hours out from kickoff, the proud Eleven Warriors arbiters of speculative Buckeye football opinions offer up their scoring predictions and examine the betting trends in advance of Ohio State’s pursuit of an eighth with this season.
Eleven Warriors Staff Score Predictions
Dan Hope: Ohio State 42, Penn State 20. “Michigan was able to beat Penn State by three-plus scores, and I’m predicting Ohio State will do the same even with this game being in Happy Valley. While I expect the Nittany Lions to make a few big plays against an Ohio State pass defense that hasn’t been tested much, I also expect the Buckeye defense to prevent Sean Clifford from getting into rhythm.”
Chris Lauderback: Ohio State 35, Penn State 21. “Sure, it’s not a night game but it’s still a legit road test and it’ll be tight for a bit before OSU’s passing game secures the win. Mark me down for Emeka Egbuka snagging two touchdowns.”
George Eisner: Ohio State 49, Penn State 17. “As demonstrated after the Buckeyes’ 2018 victory in Happy Valley and in each meeting since, James Franklin remains more threatening to Penn State fans than the Ohio State football team.”
Chase Brown: Ohio State 42, Penn State 20. “I’m not still salty about 2017 but part of me wishes I was to fully appreciate the ass kicking the Buckeyes will hand out on Saturday.”
Matt Gutridge: Ohio State 33, Penn State 17. “James Franklin’s record against Ohio State drops to 1–8 as the Buckeyes win their sixth straight against the Nittany Lions, a series high.”
Garrick Hodge: Ohio State 38, Penn State 17. “While Ohio State is clearly the better team, playing Penn State usually always is a slog, and that should be no different in a hostile environment, but OSU will pull away in the second half to win by multiple scores.”
“James Franklin remains more threatening to Penn State fans than the Ohio State football team.” – George Eisner
Josh Poloha: Ohio State 41, Penn State 20. “Luckily, it’s not a White Out game in primetime but Happy Valley will still be a tough crowd and a hostile environment on the road for the Buckeyes even with the noon start time. They’ll get the W, but it will be Ohio State’s toughest test since the season opener against Notre Dame.”
Ramzy Nasrallah: Ohio State 42, Penn State 24. “This feels like a kitchen sink game for James Franklin. I just don’t think Penn State has a big enough sink.”
Andy Vance: Ohio State 49, Penn State 17.
Jason Priestas: Ohio State 37, Penn State 20.
Check out this week’s Eleven Warriors Roundtable for scoring predictions from Kyle Jones, Griffin Strom and Johnny Ginter.
Will Ohio State Cover?
While the spread for this game opened last Sunday at 13½ points, that amount has since grown a bit into a margin of 15½ in favor of the Buckeyes. Ohio State has a 1-5 record against the spread in their previous six contests against Penn State, but are also 10-1-1 ATS in their last dozen matchups during the month of October. The road team has also covered in four of the last five meetings between these teams.
Chris Lauderback is the only Eleven Warriors staff member that projects the Buckeyes will win by less than 16 points today. Andy Vance and George Eisner forecast the most pronounced win for Ohio State by a healthy 32 points, while Matt Gutridge has the team just barely covering by half a point more than the spread.
What About the Over?
The over/under point total has seen an even greater increase than the spread since open, as the expectation of 55½ has swelled up to 60½ as of this morning. While the under has cashed in three of the last four games between these teams along with one push, Penn State has helped achieve the over in four straight games against opponents with a winning record.
Much more of a divide exists within the 11W staff concerning the estimated scoring total. Seven folks have sided with the under, while six believe the over will land instead. Ramzy Nasrallah joins Eisner and Vance with the loftiest approximation of 66 points, while Gutridge’s shallow cover coincides with the lowest expected total of just 50 points.
Eleven Warriors House Prop Bets
For those craving some more player-centric or timeline-specific predictions, below are some prop betting lines to consider for each side heading into the opening kick. Share your predictions in the comments and compete for bragging rights.
How many passing touchdowns will C.J. Stroud finish with?
- Four or more (+110)
- Less than four (-153)
How many interceptions will Sean Clifford finish with?
- At least one (-240)
- None (+168)
How many rushing touchdowns will TreVeyon Henderson finish with?
- At least one (-114)
- None (-120)
- Will the teams combine to exceed the halftime over/under total of 31½ points?
Make sure all the Nittany Lion fans in the Quaker State understand which member of the union runs the Midwest with an Ohio Crest Tee from Eleven Warriors Dry Goods.