After losing two of the biggest and best performers in program history the last two years, the Penn State Nittany Lions are going to look a lot different in 2019 than they have at at time during the James Franklin era. If you’re looking to cash in big on Penn State’s value-packed NCAAF win total odds in the online sportsbook and you want to find out whether the Nittany Lions can thrive following the departures of superstar running back Saquon Barkley and star quarterback Trace McSorley, then consider your ticket punched.
“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.”
Thanks to the expert collegiate gridiron analysis and predictions that you’re about to get, you’re going to have a great idea of just how many games the Big Ten title hopefuls are going to win in 2019 and whether they’ll challenge for the national championship.
Now, let’s get started.
Penn State Nittany Lions 2019 Season Win / Loss Total Odds & Betting Predictions
2018 Team Leaders
- Touchdowns: Trace McSorley (11)
- Rushing: Miles Sanders (1223)
- Passing: Trace McSorley (2284)
- Receiving: KJ Hamler (713)
- Interceptions: Garrett Taylor (3)
Why Will Top Their Win Total Odds?
The best reason to back Penn State to top their win total odds would be because the Nittany Lions look like they’re going to be rock-solid on the defensive side of the ball of the second straight year after finishing 23rd in points allowed nationally in 2018 (20.5 ppg).
Penn State led the FBS in sacks per game (3.6) and was fourth in tackles for a loss (8.2 per game). Defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos was outstanding in recording a team-high eight sacks and 20 TFLs last year. Defensive tackle Robert Windsor was a force as well with 7.5 sacks.
At linebacker, former five-star prospect Micah Parsons looks like he’s ready to take another step forward after racking up a team-high 83 tackles a year ago. The Lions also return two veterans in the secondary in cornerback John Reid and strong safety Garrett Taylor. While there are question marks all over the place on offense, Penn State does have a trio of returning starters on the offensive line.
Why Won’t Top Their Win Total Odds?
Penn State will have a new quarterback under center following the record-setting three-year run by McSorley. Projected starting quarterback Tommy Stevens is gone via the transfer portal route and now the Nittany Lions are hoping that redshirt sophomore Sean Clifford can hold down the starting spot, though that remains to be seen.
In addition to having a new starter under center, there’s little experience at the wide receiver position outside of sophomore KJ Hamler who recorded 42 catches for 754 yards last year. The Nittany Lions feel they have a future star on their hands in young tight end Pat Freiermuth, but again, that remains to be seen.
Not only that, but the Nittany Lions also failed to answer their questions at running back a year ago following the departure of standout running back Saquon Barkley following the 2017 season. Sophomores Ricky Slade, Journey Brown and C.J. Holmes are in a battle with true freshmen Noah Cain and Devyn Ford, so at least there are options at the position until someone emerges.
Right now, I’ve got Penn State suffering three sure-fire losses against Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, but who knows, they could beat the Spartans and Buckeyes seeing as how both of their rivals also have plenty of question marks entering 2019. If the Nittany Lions can avoid upset defeats against teams like Purdue and Maryland they could reach nine wins this coming season. However, since I failed to mention their road date at an Iowa team that won nine games last season, I’m going to say that Penn State comes up short of nine victories. There’s too much uncertainty right now to make what looks like a long shot wager for the Nittany Lions to reach nine victories.
Pick: 8 Wins