Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#161 Michigan State vs.
#162 Penn State
Saturday, November 26, 2022 at 4:00pm EST
Written by Chris King

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It’s a clash of foes from the East Division of the Big Ten on the gridiron up in Happy Valley. The Michigan State Spartans are on the road as they make the trip to face the #11 Penn State Nittany Lions Saturday afternoon. Michigan State comes in on the heels of a 39-31 double-overtime loss to Indiana at home last Saturday, losing outright as a 12.5-point favorite, in their previous contest. Penn State pulverized Rutgers 55-10 on the road in their previous contest last Saturday, easily covering the 19.5-point spread in the game. The all-time series between the teams is even at 17-17-1 with Michigan State earning a 30-27 home win in the most recent matchup on November 27, 2021.

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Michigan State Spartans Looking to Play Spoiler

Michigan State had won two straight and three of their previous four before getting knocked off by Indiana in double overtime at home last week. The Spartans fell to 5-6 overall on the season and stand 3-5 in the Big Ten so a win here could get them bowl eligible. Against Indiana, Michigan State trailed 7-3 after one quarter but outscored the Hoosiers 21-0 in the second to take a 24-7 halftime lead. The Spartans still led 31-24 after three quarters only to give up the tying score with 12:59 to play in regulation. Michigan State missed a 22-yard field goal on the final play of regulation to send the game to overtime. In the first overtime, both teams had field goals blocked while in the second overtime, Michigan State turned the ball over on downs before Indiana scored the game-winning touchdown. Michigan State held a 540-288 edge in total offense, racked up a 29-11 advantage in first downs and held a 36:33 to 23:27 margin in time of possession. The Spartans did commit the game’s lone turnover.

The Spartans are 55th in the nation in passing offense this season with an average of 241 yards per game. Michigan State struggles in the ground game, ranking 105th in the nation with an average of 121 yards per game. The Spartans are a mediocre 85th of the 131 teams in the FBS to take the field this season in scoring offense by putting up 25.2 points per game and stand 73rd in scoring defense by giving up 26.7 points a contest on the year. Payton Thorne is 218 of 344 passing for 2,450 yards with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. He has rushed for 63 yards as well. Noah Kim is 14 of 18 for 174 yards and three touchdowns in his limited action. Jalen Berger leads the ground attack as he has run the ball 141 times for 669 yards and six scores this season. Jarek Broussard (61 carries, 292 yards, three TD) and Elijah Collins (60 carries, 285 yards, six TD) are secondary options. Keon Coleman leads the team in the passing game with 50 catches for 707 yards plus seven scores on the year. Jayden Reed (49 receptions, 600 yards, five TD), Tre Mosley (31 grabs, 297 yards, four TD) and Daniel Barker (21 catches, 239 yards, two TD) each have at least 200 receiving yards on the year. Ben Patton is 15 of 16 on extra point attempts and four of eight on field goal attempts with a long of 48 this season. Jack Stone has hit 15 of 16 extra point attempts and one of three field goal attempts with a long of 43.

Penn State Nittany Lions Seeking 10th Win of Season

Penn State won their third straight, outscoring the opposition 130-24 in that stretch, as they thrashed Rutgers on the road last Saturday. The Nittany Lions improved to 9-2 on the season and stand 6-2 in the Big Ten, leaving them third in the East behind unbeatens Ohio State and Michigan. Against Rutgers, Penn State trailed 10-7 in the final minute of the first quarter before taking the lead on a Kobe King scoop-six. That triggered an avalanche of 48 unanswered points by the Nittany Lions to put the game out of reach. Penn State rolled up a 436-167 advantage in total offense, held a 21-9 edge in first downs, forced three turnovers while committing one and had a narrow 30:11 to 29:49 margin in time of possession. The Nittany Lions scored on a kick return and a pair of fumble returns as they dominated in every facet of the game.

The Nittany Lions enter this contest 44th in the nation in passing offense as they average 250.4 yards through the air this season. Penn State is 44th in rushing offense as they pick up 184.1 yards per contest. The Nittany Lions are 19th in the FBS in scoring offense by averaging 35.9 points per game and stand 14th in scoring defense by allowing just 18.2 points per contest. Sean Clifford is 191 of 306 passing for 2,341 yards with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions: he is third on the team with 177 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Drew Allar is 35 of 59 for 344 yards and four scores while adding 52 rushing yards and a score. Nicholas Singleton leads the team in the run game with 132 carries for 863 yards and 10 scores on the year. Kaytron Allen (135 carries, 748 yards, nine TD) is the other half of a solid 1-2 punch on the ground. Parker Washington leads the team with 46 receptions for 611 yards and two scores. Mitchell Tinsley (44 receptions, 515 yards, four TD), Brenton Strange (30 catches, 345 yards, five TD), Theo Johnson (16 grabs, 238 yards, two TD) and Harrison Wallace III (16 catches, 222 yards, TD) have all hauled in at least 200 receiving yards on the season. Jake Pinegar has hit 47 of 49 extra point attempts and 12 of 14 field goals with a long of 50 this season. Sander Sahaydak connected on his lone extra point and is one of two on field goals with a long of 20.

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Michigan State had won three of four but losing at home to Indiana was a blow to their bowl hopes. Missing a pair of field goals under 30 yards with the game on the line has to be a gut punch to Mel Tucker’s group and now they have to go to Happy Valley to face a Penn State team that has demolished their last three foes. The Nittany Lions have turned things around after losses to Michigan and Ohio State earlier this season and enter this game having covered in their last five games. Penn State’s run game has been effective with Singleton and Allen while the aerial assault has gotten the job done when called upon. The Spartans are overmatched on both sides of the ball and stand just 1-3 straight up in addition to ATS on the road this season. Take Penn State at home as they win comfortably.

Prediction: Penn State Nittany Lions -18

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Michigan State enters this game having seen the under post a 6-5 record in their games this season. The Spartans come in off back-to-back overs though those games were at home. On the road this season, Michigan State has seen the under hit in each of their last three games and three of four this season with the exception a 39-28 loss to Washington back on September 17. Penn State has been an over machine this season as eight of their 11 games have gone over the number. Strangely, they have split their six home games in relation to the total while each of their five road games have gone over the mark. It could be a challenge for Michigan State to get more than 17 on the board here, keeping this game just short of the total.

Prediction: Under 53
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.