CFB Betting – Auburn Tigers at Penn State Nittany Lions

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

Coach Bryan Harsin eased his way into his new gig with the Auburn Tigers with comfortable wins against overmatched Akron and Alabama State by a combined score of 122-10. He’ll get a test of big-time ball this week with a trip to Happy Valley for a tilt with the 2-0 Penn State Nittany Lions. PSU has a signature win on its resume with a season-opening triumph on the road against Wisconsin. And the way things are shaping up in the Big Ten West the Nittany Lions could be a darkhorse contender. This will be only the third meeting between the Power 5 schools with the last coming in 2003. Penn State hit the board as a 6-point favorite and has covered the spread in its last six games dating back to last season.

Auburn Tigers at Penn State Nittany Lions
Date and Time: Saturday, September 18, 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
CFB Odds: Penn State -6, O/U 53
Auburn at Penn State TV Coverage: ABC

Odds Analysis

At least Auburn did what it was supposed to do against its first two opponents. The Tigers blasted Akron 60-10 and thumped FCS Alabama State 62-0 covering the lofty spread in both games while reaching the total on their own. It’s easy to praise a new culture when things are going well and they certainly are so far. The competition is what it is and the Tigers are now facing a bigger, stronger opponent on the road in a hostile environment, so we’ll see just how the program has changed since the inconsistent tenure of the previous regime.

Their road win over Wisconsin has the Nittany Lions pegged as solid home favorite this week. PSU went into Madison and escaped with an outright 16-10 verdict as a 5.5-point dog. Not fazed by their accomplishment, the Lions were up to task last week taking down Ball State 44-13 as a 23-point favorite. They’ve been good to backers dating back to last season going 6-0 SU and ATS in their last six games.

Auburn Tigers

It’s hard to say Auburn football is back, though it does look good after wins over lesser opponents by a combined score of 122-10. Akron has just one victory since 2019 and FCS Alabama State hasn’t posted a winning season since 2015, so take the results with a grain of salt. We will see if Auburn is truly on the mend with this week’s showdown. Hopefully for Auburn the play of quarterback Bo Nix has him comfortable and confident to take on a much stiffer defense. Nix was 20 of 22 for 275 yards and three TDs in one half against Akron. He wasn’t nearly as sharp last week going 9 of 17 for 108 yards. He has thrown five touchdown passes without an interception.

Auburn will attempt to stifle the crowd and its opponent by running the football. Jarquez Hunter and Tank Bigsby each had over 120 yards last week and the Tigers amassed 364 yards on 39 carries. It wasn’t just the offense that got going against the Hornets. Auburn got a special teams and defensive touchdown to add to the rout. Leading 13-0 midway through the third quarter, a blocked field goal was returned 80 yards for a touchdown opening the flood gates. Roger McCreary had a pick-six as part of a 35-point third quarter.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State is enjoying a much better start to this season than they had last year. The Lions lost their first five games of the 2020 season before finishing with four straight wins and covers. They extended their winning streak to five games with an impressive win at Wisconsin in Week 1 scoring the final 10 points in the fourth quarter. And the defense came up huge with three takeaways to prop up a sputtering offense that managed just 43 yards in a scoreless first half. But PSU won the game and in the end, that’s all that matters.

Fast forward a week and things looked much different. The offense got a boost from Sean Clifford, who completed 21 of 29 for 230 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 66 yards and another score. It was the kind of performance the team envisioned when hiring Mike Yurcich as its offensive coordinator with 14 different players touching the ball for an offense that amassed nearly 500 yards. And the defense was strong again holding Ball State to 295 yards while forcing a pair of turnovers. The Lions are now plus-5 in turnover margin through two games.

Bet Auburn at Penn State at BookMaker.eu

This is a big deal for Penn State which doesn’t often host a SEC team. The atmosphere will be electric and the Lions amped after a pair of wins. They’ll put a defense on the field that Auburn has yet to see and that will prove to be the difference as the home team gets a cover home win.

CFB Score Prediction: Penn State 30, Auburn 23

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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