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How and what to watch for Penn State vs. Rutgers

Penn State finally got a win, but it doesn’t get any easier for them this weekend.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Johnny Langan runs up the middle during the college football game between the Purdue Boilermakers and Rutgers Scarlet Knights on November 28, 2020, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, IN. Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images via Getty Images

This weekend the 2-4 Rutgers Scarlet Knights welcome the 1-5 Penn State Nittany Lions to Piscataway in a battle of teams with similar records but different trajectories.

Who would have ever thought we’d be entering the final stretch of the season with Rutgers having more wins than Penn State? It’s pretty on brand for 2020 though. The Nittany Lions finally got their first win last weekend against the struggling Michigan Wolverines. James Franklin and his squad has one of the least-explosive offenses in the Big Ten and gets virtually no chunk plays on the ground. They’ll probably attack Greg Schiano’s unit through the air, as PSU has a decent passing attack led by quarterback Sean Clifford. His main issue is that he turns the ball over a lot, throwing a pick in every game but one and multiple interceptions in half of his games. The Scarlet Knights have 11 total turnovers, but seven of them came in Week 1 against Michigan State, so they probably won’t give Clifford fits.

Still this isn’t the Rutgers team we’ve come to expect every year since they entered the Big Ten. The offense is putting up respectable numbers and the defense isn’t really getting blown out by anybody, despite their tough schedule. They’ve only lost by more than one possession twice (against Indiana and Ohio State). Offensively the boys from NJ are putting up over five more points per game on average than Penn State. They also have two special teams scores on the year, including a 100-yard kickoff return last weekend against Purdue.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Penn State vs. Rutgers on Saturday, December 5th at 12:00 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network, or you can stream it via the Fox Sports Go app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Penn State (-11.5) vs. Rutgers
Point Total: 53.5
Money line: Penn State (-420) vs. Rutgers (-320)

  • Just like the team itself, PSU bettors have had a rough season, the Nittany Lions are 1-5 ATS in its last six
  • Even against Rutgers, Penn State is 2-4 ATS in the last six meetings between these two.
  • The Scarlet Knights have been kind people betting on them, going 5-2 ATS in their last seven
  • The total has gone over in all but one of RU’s last six.

Betting splits

Penn State: (24% of handle, 19% percent of bets)
Rutgers: (76% of handle, 81% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

Rutgers has been able to keep all of their games close this year unless they play a Top-10 team. In 2020, Penn State is not even close to a Top-50 team. I’m not sure who will win, but Rutgers should keep it closer than 11.

Pick: Rutgers +11.5

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