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Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/9/13

Penn State Nittany Lions (5-3) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-2)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm (TCF Bank Stadium)

The Line: Minnesota Golden Gophers -1.5 See the Latest Odds


The Penn State Nittany Lions head to TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are a very impressive 7-2 this season, following a strong win this past weekend against the Indiana Hoosiers.  The Gophers have been taking care of business all season long, with their only losses coming at home to the Hawkeyes, and on the road to the Wolverines.  The Gophers, since those two losses have really turned things around and have been playing solid ball, earning wins against the Huskers, the Wildcats and the Hoosiers.  Minnesota is one dimensional offensively, but they are very good at that one dimension.  The ground attack for the Gophers is ranked 20th in the nation currently, averaging 221.1 yards per game, while the passing game is ranked 116th, averaging just over 145 yards per game.  The Gophers defense is also playing well, holding opponents to just over 24 points per game on average.  This Gopher team is very good and the best we’ve seen in Minnesota in recent memory.  The one problem with this team is that they cannot play from behind, something we saw firsthand in their two losses against the Wolverines and the Hawkeyes. 

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Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/9/13

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Penn State Nittany Lions defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini this past weekend, but the Nittany Lions needed extra time to get it done.  Penn State started off strong against Illinois, taking a14-3 lead into the locker room at the break, but the Illini came back strong after the break, tying things up.  The freshman quarterback, Hackenberg for the Nittany Lions was solid against the Illini defense, completing 20/32 for 240 yards and a score, giving Hackenberg a QBR on the day of 81.0.  The Nittany Lions also were solid on the ground against Illinois, racking up 250 yards on the day, averaging 5.2 per carry.  The offense has been good all season for the Nittany Lions, especially the passing attack which is ranked 34th in the nation with 272.4 yards per game.  The defense has been a whole other issue for the Nittany Lions.  Penn State is giving up nearly four touchdowns per game on average this season, and their rush defense is ranked 49th in the nation currently, which could be an issue come Saturday when facing these Gophers.

The Nittany Lions are 2-4 against the spread in their last six games, and the total has gone over in 12 of the last 16 games for Penn State.  The Nittany Lions are also 4-1 overall in their last five games against Minnesota.  The Gophers are 4-1 overall in their last five home games, but the Gophers are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games against Penn State. 

I’m giving a slight edge here to the Gophers.  And I mean a slight edge.  Where the line currently sits, I’ll back Minny, but if the number jumps up to a FG or better, I think Penn State has the value.  The thing that concerns me about backing the Gophers is that if Penn State is able to get up on them early, Minnesota might be forced to the air more than they would like, which is definitely not their strength.  I think that Minnesota’s ground game should be able to control things however as the Nittany Lions struggle in defending the run. 

Small play for me, but as the number sits now; I’ll be on the Gophers this Saturday.

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