Just as it is in life, the old adage that nothing stays the same forever certainly applies to college football – and in this case – the Penn State Nittany Lions. You see, after losing one of the biggest stars in program history two years ago, the Big Ten title hopefuls are in for even more change as they gear up for the quickly approaching 2019 NCAA regular season.
“We’ve got a lot of question marks, obviously, with some of the guys we’ve lost,” head coach James Franklin said recently. “But I also think there’s a lot of excitement for the upcoming season.”
The good news is that the Lions aren’t exactly shying away from the new era that will kick off once the regular season gets underway in a mere matter of weeks. If you’re a college football betting enthusiast or Nittany Lions fan that plans on betting on or against Franklin’s squad this coming season, then you’re going to be able to maximize your chances of cashing in on Penn State over the course of the coming 2019 campaign thanks to the insightful betting guide that you’re about to get.
Now let’s get started.
Penn State Nittany Lions 2019 College Football Season Betting Guide
2018 Betting Statistics
- ATS: 9-4 (W-L) / 7-6-0 (ATS) / 5-3-0 (Home) / 2-3-0 (Away) / 6-2-0 (Grass) / 1-4-0 (Turf)
- O/U: 8-5-0 (W-L) / 4-4-0 (Home) / 4-1-0 (Away) / 4-4-0 (Grass) / 4-1-0 (Turf) / 54.3 (Total)
Not only did the Nittany Lions play some solid football by going 9-4 last season despite losing do-it-all, superstar running back Saquon Barkley to the NFL Draft last season, but Penn State also managed to post a winning 7-6 ATS mark, mostly because they covered the chalk five times at home. The Nittany Lions went 8-5 against their Over/Under total odds while topping their total an identical four times at home and on the road.
2018 Team Leaders
- Touchdowns: Trace McSorley (12)
- Rushing: Miles Sanders (1274)
- Passing: Trace McSorley (2530)
- Receiving: KJ Hamler (754)
- Interceptions: Amani Oruwariye (3)
Last season, senior quarterback Trace McSorley capped off his career at Penn State by scoring a dozen rushing touchdowns while passing for 2,530 yards with an additional 18 TD tosses. Now, senior running back Miles Sanders did a great job of picking up where Barkley left off by rushing for a team-high 1,274 yards and nine score while now, sophomore wide receiver KJ Hamler hauled in 42 passes for a team-high 754 yards and five touchdowns. Last but not least, senior cornerback Amani Oruwariye led the team with three interceptions.
- Total Yards: 423.2 / Rank 45
- Passing Yards: 218.1 / Rank 77
- Rushing Yards: 205.2 /Rank 29
- Points Scored: 33.8 / Rank 32
- Field Goal %: 66.7 / Rank 98
Penn State was solid, if not necessarily explosive on offense in ranking 45th overall, a modest 77th in passing, an encouraging 29th in rushing and 32nd in scoring (33.8 ppg).
- Total Yards: 350.5 / Rank 34
- Passing Yards: 181.5 / Rank 15
- Rushing Yards: 169 /Rank 72
- Points Allowed: 20.5 / Rank 23
- Field Goal %: 56.2 / Rank 14
The Nittany Lions were rock-solid on the defensive side of the ball in finishing 34th in total defense, a stellar 15th against the pass, 72nd against the run and a fine, 23rd in points allowed (20.5 ppg).
While Penn State looks like they’re going to be very good on the defensive side of the football for the second straight season, the fact of the matter is that, until we see projected starting quarterback Sean Clifford no one knows just what we should expect out of the Nittany Lions on offense. If Clifford, a redshirt sophomore takes over and plays like a wily veteran right from the outset, then Penn State could surpass everyone’s expectations. However, if the inexperienced signal-caller struggles early on, then the Nittany Lions almost certainly will too.
I like the Nittany Lions’ combination of defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos and defensive tackle Robert Windsor as well as linebacker Micah Parsons and the team’s two returning veterans in the secondary (cornerback John Reid and strong safety Garrett Taylor). Still, all of the question marks and inexperience on offense lead me to believe that an eight-win season is about the max that the Big Ten residents can hope for in 2018.
Losses against Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State look like virtual certainties from where I’m sitting and the Nittany Lions will need to play well to avoid losses against other conference rivals like Iowa and Minnesota if they want to have any shot at playing in a big-time bowl game. I’m feeling a big step backwards in 2019 for Penn State and you should be too!