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Indiana vs Penn State Betting Predictions, Picks & Preview

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 6 mins

Indiana vs Penn State Betting Predictions, Picks & Preview

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Hard to believe a change in one assistant coach can make such a difference, but that’s what’s happening with Penn State. The addition of offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has led to a far less mistake-prone Nittany Lions attack, a much more confident quarterback Sean Clifford, and an unblemished record through four games.

And on the betting front, Penn State is perfect against the spread when facing FBS opponents, although it did fail to cover a big number against lower-level Villanova last week. Saturday night the Nittany Lions welcome Indiana, which is 1-3 ATS after losing by two TDs at home to Cincinnati and barely winning as 9-point favorites at Western Kentucky.

While it’s not the marquee matchup it once seemed, there’s still much to offer those making college football picks in Pennsylvania, Indiana or elsewhere.

Odds are current as of publication. Betting sites may indicate odds changes closer to kickoff.

Indiana vs Penn State Key Matchups

Indiana’s defense vs. Sean Clifford: The Hoosiers defense has given up 31 or more points to all three FBS teams it’s faced and is putting little pressure on opposing quarterbacks. While Clifford will never be confused with Patrick Mahomes, the Penn State QB has a high completion rate that Indiana may struggle to disrupt.

Michael Penix Jr. vs. Penn State’s secondary: Penix is the engine that drives Indiana’s offense, and the Hoosiers quarterback has struggled this season, completing 48% of attempts. Now he faces a Penn State defense that’s been dominant against the pass, allowing just 4.9 yards per pass and recording five interceptions.

Noah Cain vs. Indiana’s front seven: An able complement to Clifford, the tailback Cain has three touchdowns on the ground and is averaging nearly 3.5 yards per rush. Indiana is allowing 113 rush yards per game, so the Hoosiers’ chances may rely on bottling up the run and making Penn State one-dimensional.

5 Key Indiana vs Penn State Stats

34.3: Average number of points Indiana is allowing to FBS opponents so far this season.

3-1: Indiana’s record going over the total so far this season, the exception being in a 34-6 loss at Iowa against a 45.5-point total.

1-3: Penn State’s record going over the total so far the season, the exception being last week in a 38-17 victory over FCS Villanova against a 53-point total.

8: Consecutive victories for Penn State dating back to the middle of the 2020 season, when the Nittany Lions won four straight after an 0-5 start.

7-1: Penn State’s record against the spread over the course of its eight-game winning streak, the exception being last week’s 38-17 victory over Villanova as 29.5-point favorites.

Indiana vs Penn State Weather Forecast

Early forecasts indicate that Saturday will bring a perfect evening for college football in State College, Pa., with temperatures around 60 degrees at kickoff and almost no chance of rain. The weather should have little impact on the game.

Indiana vs Penn State Moneyline

Penn State is a -470 favorite and Indiana a +340 underdog, according to sportsbooks. While this was the game that triggered Indiana’s ascent and Penn State’s tumble last season, things have changed since. The Nittany Lions are much improved on both sides of the ball, while Indiana is struggling to stop anyone.

Penn State has beaten better opponents this season, Indiana barely survived far worse. If you bleed crimson and cream and are hoping for a shocker, have at it. But given the dearth of value, there’s zero reason to bet the favorite on the moneyline.

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Indiana vs Penn State Point Spread

The Nittany Lions are a 10.5-point favorite, according to betting sites, with some college football odds ranging higher. Penn State has been very good to those in college football betting over its last eight games, covering against every FBS opponent over that stretch.

And Indiana’s two-TD loss to Cincinnati should give bettors pause: the Hoosiers held a first-half lead thanks to an immense crowd that rattled the Bearcats early, but could keep the Cincy offense in check for only so long. Now they’re on the road against a ranked opponent, where last time out they lost 34-6. Taking the Nittany Lions to cover seems the sensible bet. You can get Penn State -11.5 (-110) at DraftKings .

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Indiana vs Penn State Totals

The total is 52.5, according to betting apps. Although Indiana can score points and give up lots more, Penn State has played lower-scoring games against Power 5 competition. And yet, trends indicate that the Nittany Lions will have more scoring opportunities against a Hoosiers defense that’s allowed 34, 38 and 31 points against FBS foes.

Penn State also allowed 20 to an Auburn team with a capable offense - so it makes sense to think Indiana will score enough to force Penn State to keep its foot on the gas, and the game will hit the over. You can get Over 52.5 (-110) at FanDuel .

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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.