The top Big 10 game for week 11 of the 2011 college football season features the 19th ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-2) traveling to State College, PA to take on the embattled and 12th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions (8-1) Saturday afternoon (12:00pm ET). The Cornhuskers were shocked last week by Northwestern 28-25 in Lincoln in a game in which they were 17.5 point favorites going in. Penn St. has won seven straight games going into this contest, including their last game on October 29 at home against Illinois by a score of 10-7, failing to cover the 4.5 point line. Nebraska is 3-6 ATS this season while the Nittany Lions are 2-7 ATS this year.
The Huskers run the football on offense with quarterback Taylor Martinez the trigger man for a unit that averages 34.7 points per game to rank 27th among FBS teams and 237.7 yards per game rushing to rank 13th in the nation. On defense the Huskers had their problems last week against Northwestern, allowing 468 yards, and the famed “Black shirts” unit has allowed 23.1 PPG (41st nationally) and 349.4 YPG (41st nationally) this season. Penn St. has the 10th rated offense in the Big Ten and ranks 88th nationally with an average of 355.8 YPG. Coach Paterno’s crew, which ranks 100th in the nation in scoring offense with an average of 21.8 PPG this season, is not exactly the strength of the team. The Nittany Lion defense has carried the team this season, ranking 3rd nationally in scoring defense with 12.3 PPG allowed and 8th in total defense with 282.3 YPG allowed.
Nebraska vs. Penn State Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Nebraska Cornhuskers -3.5
@ Penn State Nittany Lions +3.5
Over 43 (-110)
Under 43 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.com <– best college football lines (easy credit card deposits + $900 bonus too)!
Nebraska vs. Penn State Pick:
Nebraska is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games as a road favorite and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games. Penn St. is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games and 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games against a team with a winning record. The under is 4-1 in Nebraska’s last 5 road games and 4-1 in their last 5 games as a favorite. The under is 7-1-1 in the Nittany Lions’ last 9 games overall and 6-1-1 in their last 8 games n grass. The two teams last met in 2003 when Nebraska won 18-10 at home, failing to cover a 10.5 point line.
With all of the controversy surrounding Penn St. amid the scandal involving ex-assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and the announcement that coach Joe Paterno has been fired , the distractions and media attention on this game will be enormous. It is one of those games where the record almost goes out the window for the Nittany Lions and the point spread continues to move against them as the week goes on. It is unheard of for an 8-1 Penn St. team ranked 12th in the nation to be a home underdog. Nebraska is a tough team for any team to stop on offense, and the thinking here is that the vaunted Nittany Lion defense will not have the preparation necessary, even coming off of a bye week, to be at their best. The Penn St. offense does not scare anyone, and if the Huskers can stop PSU running back Silas Redd, there is little danger that the passing game with either of their quarterbacks, junior Matt McGloin or sophomore Rob Bolden can hurt them. This would have been Paterno’s last home game and though his team would probably love to win this for him, there is too much chaos to expect them to maintain their focus. Take Nebraska and lay the points here, but your best bet is to lock the line in before it gets any higher.