Penn State vs. Minnesota: Early prediction, point spread, odds, best bet

Penn State and Minnesota are each coming into Week 8 looking for a rebound. The Nittany Lions were clobbered on the road by Michigan, and Minnesota was unable to create offense against Illinois in a division loss to the Illini. With Penn State set to host the Gophers for a primetime whiteout game, and with a big test coming up the following week, Penn State must take advantage of the home field advantage this week.

According to the early line on the game from BetMGM, Penn State will be a slight favorite at home. The Nittany Lions are far form a runaway favorite this week after two rough offensive performances in their last two games against Northwestern and Michigan.

A look at the early odds for Week 8

The lines, courtesy of BetMGM.

  • Point spread: Penn State -4.5

  • Penn State money line: -200

  • Minnesota money line: +165

  • Over-under: 44.5

Click here to place your bets at BetMGM.

Penn State vs. Minnesota injury report

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota’s offense could be in some serious trouble on Saturday. Already without star wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell due to a season-ending injury, the big question for the Gophers will be what the availability of quarterback Tanner Morgan is looking like. Morgan was knocked out of Minnesota’s last game at Illinois with a head injury. Morgan is considered questionable for Saturday at this stage, which would leave Minnesota without their experienced veteran quarterback to lead the offense.

Running back Trey Potts is expected to be available for Minnesota this week after missing last week’s game due to an undisclosed injury.

Penn State doesn’t have any new notable injuries coming out of the Michigan game that they haven’t been dealing with essentially all season.

Betting trends

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Penn State has failed to cover the spread each of the past three games they have played, although two of those games saw Penn State favored by at least 25 points and the most recent game was played as an underdog for the first time this season. But three straight games not covering against the spread is certainly a trend to keep in mind this week.

Penn State has been in a game that has gone over four out of six times this season, including last week. Although Penn State’s lack of defense was largely to credit for the game against Michigan to sail over 49 points (Michigan scored 41 points themselves).

Minnesota has also failed to cover the spread each of their past two games, both as an underdog. In fact, Minnesota lost straight up each of their past two games. A Minnesota game has gone over just twice this season, with three consecutive games going under or breaking even.

Best Bet

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

While Penn State has suddenyl given few reasons to trust the offense will get the job done, you can count on the whiteout factor to helping with energizing the offense a bit. Minnesota is not a program that will roll over, but the Gophers have some legitimate concerns on offense, especially if Tanner Morgan is unavailable, and that could be a good thing for this Penn State defense. The Penn State offense and defense both need a big rebound, and the Gophers look primed to provide it.

Taking Penn State to cover the 4.5 points feels pretty safe this week, but taking the under 44.5 is pretty tempting given the recent trends for both teams. Penn State winning 24-17 gets the job done, and that score feels about right under the current best-case scenario.

Get more betting analysis and predictions at Sportsbook Wire.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire