clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How and what to watch for Michigan State vs. Penn State

The Michigan State Spartans hope to end the regular season on a high note by upsetting the Penn State Nittany Lions in College Station.

Northwestern v Michigan State Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

To close out the Big Ten regular season, the Michigan State Spartans will travel to State College to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions.

The debut season for new Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker has delivered reasons for optimism and concern in roughly equal measure. The Spartans knocked off the then-No. 13 Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Halloween only to score just seven points over their next two games combined. Then, with the positive momentum seemingly squandered, Michigan State then upset the No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats to close November. The program’s post-Mark Dantonio trajectory remains unclear, but the Spartans certainly seem more exciting than they have in years.

Meanwhile, if not for Michigan’s discouraging season, Penn State would rank as the Big Ten’s most disappointing team. One considered a potential College Football Playoff contender, the Nittany Lions dropped their first five games of the season, four of which they entered as the favorite. While head coach James Franklin’s job security doesn’t appear damaged by the poor performance, the last year puts the program at a crossroads of sorts as 2020 draws to a close.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Michigan State versus Penn State on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 12 p.m. ET on ABC, or you can stream it via Watch ESPN or the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Penn State -14.5
Point Total: 47
Money line: Michigan State +510, Penn State -770

  • Since 2015, Michigan State has a road record of 11-16-0 against the spread (6-7-0 as the road underdog).
  • Also during that span, the Spartans have an over record of 13-14-0 on the road (5-8-0 as the road underdog).
  • Since 2015, Penn State has a home record of 19-17-2 against the spread (16-14-2 as the home favorite).
  • During that period, the Nittany Lions have an over record of 18-19-1 at home (16-16-0 as home favorite).

Betting splits

Michigan State: (73% of handle, 73% percent of bets)
Penn State: (27% of handle, 21% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

Neither team has a dominant offense, and the Michigan State defense has shown the ability to take advantage of struggling quarterbacks.

Pick: Under 47

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/MI/PA/WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA) or Call or Text the TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789. 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IA/IN/CO/IL/TN/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See for full terms and conditions.