Point spread for top-10 matchup of Penn State-Ohio State carries historical significance
Heading into Saturday’s big-time matchup, Ohio State remains a heavy favorite at home against Penn State.
The Buckeyes are currently favored by -18, a particularly high number for a top-10 matchup. It is true that Ryan Day’s squad has looked impressive against all comers and is playing at home, but the Nittany Lions maintain a healthy resume.
When it comes to games between top-10 opponents, the 18-point spread is actually historically significant. According to College GameDay’s Chris “Bear” Fallica, it is just the eighth top-10 showdown in the past 40 years to have a spread that high.
How did the previous seven games with that criteria work out? The favorites are 7-0 outright and have gone 5-2 against the spread. The last such matchup was between Alabama and Texas A&M in 2016 with the Crimson Tide barely covering the spread in a big win.
Penn State is currently an 18-point underdog vs Ohio State. In the last 40 years, only seven Top 10 matchups have had a point spread this big. All seven favorites won outright and they went 5-2 ATS. Last was Alabama -18 vs A&M in 2016, won by 19.
— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) November 20, 2019
What does that mean for Saturday’s matchup? Well, most analysts were likely to pick the Buckeyes to win at home anyways. However, for Penn State, the best way to look at it is this game provides a chance to set a bit of history.
Saturday’s kickoff is set for 12 pm EST on FOX.