[3:30 PM] Minnesota @ Penn State

Who will WIN this matchup?

Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-0)

@ Penn State Nittany Lions (2-2)


Current odds:

Minnesota Golden Gophers: (+125)

Penn State Nittany Lions: (-145)


ESPN simulations have Penn State as 55.5% favorites to win the game.

60% of sports bets are currently on Penn State to win as (-145) favorites.

The Nittany Lions were without all three starting linebackers against No. 5 Michigan last week. lost one replacement to a targeting foul and another to a season-ending injury in the 49-10 demolition.

Minnesota enters averaging 228 yards per game on the ground and having scored 30 or more points in the first three games of the season for the first time since 2008. Three-year starting quarterback Mitch Leidner completed 16-of-20 passes for 174 yards and Minnesota ran for 243 yards in last week’s 31-24 home victory over Colorado State.

Thanks to Leidner (64.5 completion percentage, 599 yards, 135 yards rushing, seven total touchdowns), who is healthy entering October for the first time in three years, the Golden Gophers are averaging nearly 40 points and 430 yards under new offensive coordinator Jay Johnson. Rodney Smith leads the ground attack with 298 yards and five scores; Shannon Brooks, last year’s leading rusher (709 yards), returned from an ankle injury to gain 85 yards last week in his 2016 debut; and Drew Wolitarsky leads all receivers with 17 receptions for 252 yards and two scores.

The Lions gave up 326 yards rushing and six TDs against the Wolverines, suffering their worst margin of defeat during Franklin’s tenure and the school’s largest since getting pounded 63-14 at Ohio State in 2013. Freshman linebacker Cameron Brown took advantage of all the injuries, registering 10 tackles to become the first Penn State true freshman linebacker to total double-digit tackles since 2010.

Minnesota is converting 55.8 percent on third down, 75 percent on fourth down, has yielded just one sack and scored on all 14 trips inside the red zone.


StreakSmarts Pick: Penn State Nittany Lions

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick