NCAAF Week 7 Picks and Prediction for the Penn St. vs. Michigan Matchup

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J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines prepares to throw a first half pass while playing the Hawaii Warriors. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP.

The Big Ten takes center stage in a high noon showdown between a pair of undefeated conference rivals when Penn State invades the Big House to take on Michigan.

Let’s check out the college football odds on this monumental matchup and keep cashing our NCAAF picks!

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Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Michigan Wolverines

Saturday, October 15, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at Michigan Stadium

Penn State vs. Michigan Analysis

Penn State enters this matchup with a perfect 5-0 record but after impressive victories over Purdue and Auburn, both in hostile territory, sandwiched around a blowout win over lightly regarded Ohio, the Nittany Lions have looked merely mortal in wins over weak sisters Central Michigan and Northwestern.

They are now 3-2 against the spread after covering in their first three contests.

Last week Penn State was installed as a 25 ½ point home favorite over the Northwestern Wildcats, but struggled to put points on the board, and ultimately came away with a lackluster 17-7 victory in front of the fan friendlies.

Although the Lions took advantage of three turnovers by the Wildcats, Penn State saw all three of its running backs fumble at least once leading to four turnovers plus an interception thrown by quarterback Sean Clifford.


Weather Issues

The weather conditions proved to be as sloppy as the play in a rain-soaked affair that saw Penn State tally 220 rushing and 140 passing yards.

If there was a silver lining to be had, Penn State’s run-stop unit was virtually impenetrable, allowing just 31 yards on 28 carries. The defense also had an interception and made a huge fourth and goal stop to eliminate any chance of an upset by their conference rivals.

Head coach James Franklin was not happy that his team had five turnovers, especially considering Penn State was +8 and second in the nation in that category entering Saturday’s game.

Although some might attribute the uncharacteristic errors to the sloppy conditions, Franklin was not so inclined. "I'm never going to allow the weather to be an excuse," Franklin said. "It doesn't matter. We have to protect the football."


Wolverines Looking to Repeat as Big Ten Champs

So far, so very good for Michigan. The Wolverines are not only 6-0 as they prepare to meet Penn State, but their lowest offensive output this season was 27 points against the same team they blew out in the conference championship last year, Iowa.

Nevertheless, Michigan added another checkmark in the win column with a 27-14 victory and covered the 10 ½ point impost.

Wolverine's Pattern

Speaking of covering, the Wolverines have established an unmistakable pattern of covering one week and then failing to cover the next. After defeating Indiana last week, 31-10, but just missing the cover as 23 ½ point road chalk, it would put them on track for a cover this week.

In last week’s win over the Hoosiers, sophomore quarterback, J.J. McCarthy, delivered the first 300-yard game of his young career. The sophomore quarterback finished 28-of-36 with 304 passing yards, three TDs and one interception.

"It was good to see the young quarterback come of age today," said head coach Jim Harbaugh. "Tough game, tight game, couldn't lean on the ground game today and he did it."


Penn State vs. Michigan: Pick and Prediction

Penn State appears to have lost some of its mojo entering a three-way battle for Big Ten East supremacy. The wheels fell off of the wagon against lowly Northwestern last week and now they will have to face the No. 5 ranked defense in points and yards allowed.

Michigan is tenacious and if the Lions have a case of the yips this week, the Wolverines, unlike Northwestern, will make them pay. On the flip side, we see Penn State with the 13th-ranked defense in the nation and one that is especially tough against the run, checking in at No. 7 in that category.

While that will certainly contain the Michigan offense to a certain degree, I don’t believe Penn State’s offensive attack will be able to muster enough to keep pace and stay within the margins here. I look for Michigan to cover and this game to go low.


Trends

  • Nittany Lions are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Nittany Lions are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Nittany Lions are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 meetings against Michigan.
  • The favorite is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings between these teams.
  • Under is 5-1 in Nittany Lions' last 6 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Under is 6-1 in Wolverines' last 7 games overall.
  • Under is 5-1 in Wolverines' last 6 games following a straight-up win.

Score Prediction: Michigan 30 - Penn State 17

NCAAF Pick: Michigan -7 (-103) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Michigan -7 (-103)
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NCAAF Pick: Under 51 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 51 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.