The West Virginia Mountaineers take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. Check out our college football odds series for our West Virginia Penn State prediction and pick. Find how to watch West Virginia Penn State.
This game will bring back memories for college football fans over 50 years old. Penn State and West Virginia were independents in the 1980s. They had some memorable battles on the gridiron when Joe Paterno coached the Nittany Lions and Don Nehlen led the Mountaineers. Both teams played in college football national championship games in that decade, with Penn State winning two national titles. It was a special series back then. This game is notable in that it will be the first game of NBC's new Big Ten Saturday night football series, a lucrative package which will include USC, Oregon, Washington, and UCLA next year.
There are a few other really big stories attached to this game. On the West Virginia side, coach Neal Brown is on the hot seat. No more excuses, no more waiting. Brown has to deliver this year or he's gone. His tenure has been extremely frustrating for the school and its fans. Mediocrity won't continue to be passively accepted. This is a put-up-or-shut-up year for Brown, who has not been able to make things work for the Mountaineers, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. West Virginia hasn't just been bad under Brown; it has been boring, which is arguably the worse sin. WVU needs to be fun and good this season.
The big story for Penn State is that Drew Allar, a much-hyped recruit, takes over at quarterback after the Sean Clifford era. Allar is widely viewed as having a lot of upside. If he turns out to be the real deal, Penn State could definitely contend with Michigan and Ohio State for the Big Ten championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Here are the West Virginia-Penn State College Football odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: West Virginia-Penn State Odds
West Virginia Mountaineers: +20.5 (-115)
Penn State Nittany Lions: -20.5 (-105)
Over: 48.5 (-110)
Under: 48.5 (-110)
How To Watch West Virginia vs. Penn State
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT
*Watch West Virginia vs Penn State LIVE on fuboTV (click for free trial)*
Why West Virginia Could Cover the Spread
The reality of being on the hot seat will lead Neal Brown to coach better this season than he has in the past at West Virginia. Being desperate will bring out more resoucefulness and creativity in a lot of people, and if Neal Brown — who was viewed as one of the rising stars in his profession when he took the West Virginia job — can regain his previous level of coaching acumen, the Mountaineers could begin to realize their potential on a larger level. They will also keep this game close.
Also realize that as much talent and potential as Drew Allar has, the Penn State quarterback is just getting started. Will he have everything figured out right now? Will it all come together instantly and immediately? Usually, it doesn't happen that way. West Virginia just has to stay relatively close and not get boat-raced to cover the spread. That seems doable.
Why Penn State Could Cover the Spread
The Nittany Lions have so much more upside on offense with Drew Allar. Sean Clifford had a great performance in the Rose Bowl victory over Utah, but he was inconsistent over the longer run of his Penn State career. If Allar is the quarterback many people at Penn State (and across the country) think he is, Penn State is about to unleash its offense on West Virginia and create an ambush for the Mountaineers, who — as noted above — have struggled on offense under coach Neal Brown and really need their defense to be great in order for them to have a remote chance of winning. Penn State is in position to blow the doors off this game if Allar plays well in his season opener.
Final West Virginia-Penn State Prediction & Pick
West Virginia isn't very good. Penn State is very good. Penn State should hammer WVU here.
Final West Virginia-Penn State Prediction & Pick: Penn State -20.5