The Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. Check out our college football odds series for our Ohio State Penn State prediction and pick.

This season in the Big Ten has been predictable in some ways, unpredictable in others. The predictable part has been that Ohio State and Michigan have established themselves at the top of the conference. These are the two blue-blood programs in the Big Ten. They have planted their flag and are one month away from a collision in Columbus for very high stakes. While Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines chug along undefeated, Ryan Day and his Ohio State Buckeyes have made their way through the first eight weeks without a scratch. The opener against Notre Dame was a tough slog, but this team has never come particularly close to losing a game. The Buckeyes have C.J. Stroud, a Heisman Trophy candidate, at quarterback, slinging the ball to a fleet group of wide receivers. They have an improved defense guided by Jim Knowles, the former defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State who has made a real different for Ohio State this season.

Penn State got roughed up by Michigan earlier in October, so the Nittany Lions have to beat Ohio State if they want any chance of winning the Big Ten East Division and playing for the Big Ten championship in Indianapolis this December. The Nittany Lions have had a few recurring problems under coach James Franklin, chiefly their offensive line and more broadly their strength in the trenches. Michigan overpowered them, and Ohio State presents a formidable challenge. If Penn State can’t dramatically elevate its level of play, it will lose its second game of the season and fall into a very bad position in terms of a New Year’s Six bowl berth. Realistically, the Nittany Lions will need this game to secure an NY6 ticket. It’s a high-stakes game for Franklin and his staff, especially since they know that they will have to visit Ohio State next year, the less favorable Big Ten schedule rotation for Penn State within its conference.

Here are the Ohio State-Penn State NCAA Football Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Football Odds: Ohio State-Penn State Odds

Ohio State Buckeyes: -14.5 (-114)

Penn State Nittany Lions: +14.5 (-106)

Over: 60.5 (-110)

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Under: 60.5 (-110)

Why Ohio State Could Cover the Spread

The Buckeyes are a lot faster than Penn State. They have far more skill on the perimeter and at quarterback, with C.J. Stroud being several leagues better than Sean Clifford. Ohio State has a solid defense which isn’t going to get caught out of position very often, and which should easily be able to contain Penn State’s mediocre offense, which has a hard time stretching the field and getting the push needed on the offensive line to make its scheme work. Ohio State is a significantly better team, and it should show up on the field.

Why Penn State Could Cover the Spread

Ohio State has not played many road games this season. The Buckeyes spent all of September at home and have simply not been tested in games played away from Columbus. This is the first true challenge for OSU in a 2022 road game. That should help Penn State cover a spread of more than two touchdowns. Also realize that Penn State has usually given Ohio State fits — not usually winning, but usually making this game uncomfortable for the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions’ defense should slow down Stroud and the Buckeye offense.

Final Ohio State-Penn State Prediction & Pick

Penn State’s defense will keep this game close. Ohio State wins, but it won’t run away with it.

Final Ohio State-Penn State Prediction & Pick: Penn State +14.5