A top-25 Big Ten vs. SEC showdown is set for Week 3 as No. 10 Penn State (2-0) plays host to No. 22 Auburn (2-0) Saturday at Beaver Stadium. Picked as the whiteout game for the Nittany Lions, it is sure to be an electric atmosphere as the two squads go to battle under the lights, and the Cover 3 Podcast crew is here to offer some picks to make for those looking to put a wager on the game.
Entering Friday afternoon, the over/under for the matchup between the Tigers and Nittany Lions stood at 53 points. Ask Chip Patterson, and the safe play is taking the under given some of the reputations that the two starting signal-callers, Auburn's Bo Nix and Penn State's Sean Clifford, have established on the field during their collegiate careers.
"I am not prepared to lay points with Sean Clifford," Patterson said. "And I am not prepared to take Bo Nix on the road. So, with a very simple explanation, I figure we can get our Auburn-Penn State conversation with 'It's Sean Clifford vs. Bo Nix.' I'm taking the under."
Danny Kanell, however, believes that a prolific start to the year for Auburn's offense combined with the momentum Clifford has built in his recent outings for Penn State could be enough for the two schools to hit the over on Saturday in Happy Valley.
"Auburn scored 60+ points in back-to-back weeks for the first time since 1932," Kanell said. "A big part of that was the run game. Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter going off last week. Sean Clifford has been playing better. He really has. He's gone over 230 yards passing in his last four games ... and has zero interceptions. He's taking better care of the ball.
"There's a piece of me -- this is very much a contrarian play because I think the majority of people are going to think like ... 'We're going to get a reenactment of Graham Mertz vs. Sean Clifford.' But I'll remind you, in that game, Mike Yurcich dialed up some big plays. Clifford missed on some of those. I think we're going to see an incredible atmosphere. I think you're going to see more offense than the 53 (points). So give me the over for the total."
But is the over/under even the safest bet to take in the game? Not according to Tom Fornelli, who is confident that Penn State at -4.5 is a lock given Nix's splits between home and road games.
"I don't know why you two guys are so obsessed with the total when the play here is incredibly obvious," Fornelli said. "You are taking about it being the battle of Bo Nix vs. Sean Clifford. Who the hell wants to bet on Bo Nix on the road? Like ... here's Bo Nix, who has been, through his career, pretty good at home. He's been 63% (completion rate), 7.7 yards per attempt, 15 touchdowns and one interception.
"On the road, his completion rate drops to 54.5%, his YPA plummets to 5.7, and he has thrown more interceptions, 10, than touchdowns. He's not good on the road. This is going to be his first road start of the season in front of a 100,000 people all wearing white and going crazy because this is the big primetime game ... They are going to be loud and they are going to be raucous. I can get Penn State -4.5. So I'm taking Penn State -4.5."
Auburn and Penn State kick at 7:30 p.m ET Saturday. The game airs on ABC.
Source : https://247sports.com/college/penn-state/Article/auburn-vs-Penn-State-football-cover-3-podcast-reveals-game-predictions--171113741/711