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Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles Free Pick 9/7/13

Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-0) at Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Beaver Stadium)

The Line: Penn State Nittany Lions -24.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: BTN HD

The Eastern Michigan Eagles will have their work cut out for them on Saturday, as the Eagles head to Happy Valley to face-off against the Penn State Nittany Lions.

The Penn State Nittany Lions got their 2013 campaign off to a winning start on Saturday, as the Nittany Lions defeated the Syracuse Orange 23-17. The Nittany Lions have a new quarterback under center, freshman sensation Christian Hackenberg. Hackenberg played well for the Nittany Lions, especially considering it was his first ever college football action. Hackenberg threw for 278 yards and two scores, while also throwing two picks on the day. The young man has the benefit of O’Brien as his coach, so all signs point to Hackenberg having a long and solid career for the Nittany Lions. Penn State gained 353 yards of total offense, but it wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that the game was decided, as the Orange just never seemed to go away.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles Free Pick 9/7/13

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Michigan Eagles also started their season the right way on Saturday, defeating the Howard Bison 34-24. The Eagles weren’t able to put away the Bison, however, and they still trailed Howard in the third quarter. Eastern Michigan relied on their steady running game and their running back Hill, who scored back-to-back TD's. The Eagles were solid offensively, but there was no real offense for the Bison. Howard isn’t exactly the Nittany Lions and the Eagles will undoubtedly meet tougher opposition this weekend in Happy Valley.

The Eagles have been gaining ground in the books. Penn State opened up as a 28 point favorite over the Eagles, but in just over an hour the line jumped down to -27, and currently at most books is resting at -24.5 for the Nittany Lions.

Tyler Benz is a nice quarterback for the Eagles and has some experience, being a Junior. I really like Hackenberg, but he is still very green and prone to mistakes. Look for O’Brien to try and put Hackenberg in good situations, especially early in the season. The Nittany Lions can beat the Eagles by just grinding it out on the ground and playing solid defense. Last season’s Nittany Lions team could probably win by 30+, but I look for Penn State to play this one close to the vest on Saturday, making sure to keep Hackenberg’s confidence up. I’ll take the Eagles here, but I’ll be waiting until closer to kick, as I expect this line to go up and you should get some free points the longer you wait.

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EMU +24.5

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