Penn State Vs. Michigan: Wolverines Favored Against Winless Nittany Lions

Written By Drew Ellis on November 25, 2020

It wasn’t long ago that a matchup between Michigan and Penn State would be the highlight of the college football weekend.

Entering the 2020 season, Michigan was ranked 15th, while Penn State was seventh.

Now, the Wolverines needed triple OT to beat Rutgers, while the Nittany Lions are winless in five games.

Which of these struggling programs will get a needed victory when they meet up on Saturday in Ann Arbor?

Penn State vs. Michigan odds: Wolverines slightly favored

Here’s a closer look at this week’s Big Ten matchup:

  • Who: Penn State (0-5, 0-5 Big Ten) at Michigan (2-3, 2-3)
  • When: Saturday, Nov. 28, Noon ET
  • Where: Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor
  • Watch: The game airs live on ABC

The oddsmakers are unanimous in their feelings for this game. Michigan is listed as a 2.5-point home favorite across the board. The juice is slightly different depending on the sportsbook.

Penn State at Michigan Week 13 oddsBetMGMDraftKingsFanDuelPointsBetWilliam Hill
Point spread
(-110 juice unless noted)
PSU +2.5
U-M -2.5
PSU +2.5 -113
U-M -2.5 -108
PSU +2.5 -114
U-M -2.5 -106
PSU +2.5
U-M -2.5
PSU +2.5
U-M -2.5
MoneylinePSU +110
U-M -134
PSU +104
U-M -127
PSU +108
U-M -132
PSU +110
U-M -131
PSU +115
U-M -135
Total points
(-110 juice unless noted)
O 59.5 +100
U 59.5 -121
O 58.5 -112
U 58.5 -109
O 58.5
U 58.5
O 58.5 -105
U 58.5 -115
O 58.5
U 58.5

When it comes to moneyline, Michigan is listed from -127 to -135. Penn State is getting lines of +104 to +115.

The over/under is pretty soundly agreed upon across the sportsbooks. Most have it at 58.5 points, with BetMGM listing it at 59.5.

Where to bet on NCAA football in Michigan right now

Michigan is still dealing with a three-week lockdown order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The order is in effect until at least Dec. 8.

Due to the order, Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino in Detroit are all closed. Some of the tribal casinos have elected to close as well.

Bay Mills closed its doors last week, while Kewadin Casinos closed all five of their casino locations in Christmas, Hessel, Manistique, Sault Ste. Marie, and St. Ignace.

Current options to bet on college football in Michigan as of Nov. 24 are:

  • Turtle Creek (William Hill)
  • Leelanau Sands Casino (William Hill)
  • Four Winds in Dowagiac, Hartford, New Buffalo (Kambi)
  • Gun Lake Casino (Parx)
  • FireKeepers Casino (Sci Games)
  • Island Resort & Casino (BetAmerica)
  • Odawa Casino in Petoskey, Mackinaw City (Fox Bet)

Unfortunately, online betting is still being worked out in the state, with the latest projections set for mid-to-late December. Keep up with the latest updates here.

Michigan in control of all-time series

Michigan and Penn State don’t have a real deep history against one another, but the Wolverines have had the edge.

Over 23 meetings all-time, Michigan is holding a 14-9 advantage over Penn State. The Nittany Lions did win last year’s meeting at home, 28-21.

Michigan has still won four of the last six in this series. More importantly for Michigan sports bettors is that the Wolverines have covered the spread in five of their last six against the Nittany Lions.

Another great play for Michigan sports bettors has been the over. These two have hit the over in five straight encounters.

The public betting is siding with Michigan right now. The Wolverines are getting 62% of the wagers as the slight favorite at home.

Is Cade McNamara the answer for Michigan?

The Wolverines put an end to a three-game losing streak on Saturday with a 48-42 3OT victory at Rutgers. More importantly, the Wolverines may have found their spark.

For the second consecutive week, Jim Harbaugh pulled Joe Milton and put Cade McNamara in at quarterback. As he did in the loss to Wisconsin two weeks ago, McNamara looked like the better play at Rutgers.

The sophomore came in and threw for 260 yards and four touchdowns on 27 of 36 passing against Rutgers. He now already has more passing touchdowns (5) than Milton has on the season (4).

Despite the obvious performance improvement, Harbaugh hasn’t publicly named McNamara the starting QB for this week’s game.

Even with McNamara under center, Michigan still has a lot of concerns defensively. The Wolverines gave up 486 yards to Rutgers, including 381 passing yards. Right now, Michigan ranks 13th in the Big Ten in pass defense (274 ypg).

Defensive Coordinator Don Brown has to up his game and play-calling against a Penn State offense that ranks fourth in the conference in pass offense (279 ypg). Brown has been feeling the heat all season from Wolverine fans.

Penn State continues surprising slide

The Nittany Lions are coming off a 41-21 loss at home to Iowa last week to drop to 0-5.

James Franklin finds himself squarely on the hot seat, mainly because his defense has been a mess.

Penn State is giving up 36 points per game, which ties Michigan for 12th in the Big Ten.

Offensively, the Nittany Lions are moving the ball, but turnovers have been problematic. Sean Clifford has thrown for 1,070 yards and 11 touchdowns. However, he also has eight interceptions in five games.

Will Levis has inserted himself into the QB picture, as he has stepped in during the last two games and thrown for 325 yards without a TD. Levis has avoided turnovers, though. Franklin has yet to commit to a starter for Saturday’s game as well.

Michigan will have its hands full with receiver Jahan Dotson. The junior is second in the conference in receiving yards (527) and TD receptions (6).

Photo by AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
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Written by
Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis has lived in Michigan his whole life, and has been writing professionally for the last 21 years. Ellis has covered anything from youth baseball in mid-Michigan, a top-25 college football program, and pro sports in the Detroit area. Always keeping busy, Ellis also has over 10 years of experience in covering sports betting, handling all major sports.

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