Penn State is a double-digit underdog for the first time since its 2016 upset of Ohio State.
The No. 14 Nittany Lions opened as 11.5-point underdogs to No. 5 Michigan on Sunday afternoon, according to VegasInsider.com. As of Monday afternoon, the line sits at Penn State +10.
The early over/under is set at 51. Michigan has scored 38 points or more in five of its eight games this season, while Penn State is averaging 41 points per game.
And if bettors believe Penn State will win outright, there could be money to be made. The early money line stands at Penn State +325. In other words, a $100 wager would yield a profit of $325. The Nittany Lions have just a 31.4 percent chance to win, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.
Penn State and Michigan are both 5-3 against the spread this season. The Nittany Lions will enter Ann Arbor fresh off a 30-24 win over Iowa, while the Wolverines had their bye week. Interestingly, Jim Harbaugh’s squad has never covered coming off a bye week. Michigan won outright, but failed to cover against Minnesota and Illinois in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and lost to Michigan State as 13-point favorites at home last season.
This is just James Franklin’s sixth time as a double-digit underdog in his Penn State tenure. He owns a 2-3 record against the spread in such games. Both covers came at home and against Ohio State, losing 31-24 in double overtime in 2014 and beating the Buckeyes two years ago.
Saturday will also be the second time since 2002 that the Nittany Lions have been double-digit underdogs to Michigan. The other occasion? Penn State’s 49-10 loss at The Big House two years ago.
The Nittany Lions and Wolverines kick off at 3:45 p.m. Saturday. The game will air on ESPN.