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Penn State Football: Pick The Long Odds For Penn State's Season

by on April 27, 2015 1:50 PM

The Vegas odds are out. 

The smell of college football was in the air Monday morning as a few marquee games for the first week of the season were given early point spreads.

If that doesn't makes sense to you, it's essentially a projection for how many points Team A will score on Team B.

While Penn State hasn't been featured just yet, it does make you wonder what would happen if the eyes of Las Vegas bookmakers were on the Nittany Lions.

Since they aren't, here are a few bets that might tell the tale of how Penn State's season will go this year. Vote down below for which long odd event you think has the best chance of happening. 

1. A player other than Akeel Lynch rushes for over 1,000 yards:

This is set in the context of Lynch staying healthy all year. If he's injured it obviously has a much better chance of happening. Even so, if a young back behind Lynch shows something don't be surprised if he gets the carries. Lynch is clearly the clubhouse leader for the primary running back spot right now but whoever is getting the job done will play, and there isn't a lack of talent behind Lynch. Still, the odds of this happening are very long. 

2. Christian Hackenberg breaks the 3,200 yard mark:

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Hackenberg has come in just under 3,000 yards in each of his two seasons at Penn State. So nothing about breaking into the 3,000 yard hurdle would be overly surprising. Even so, an additional 200 yards could be hard to come by after having two pass happy seasons fall short of the mark. A favorable schedule does lend itself to the possibility of few good outings and Hackenberg has broken the 400 yard barrier in a single game which always means he has the potential to uncork an explosive game. It would take a special season to do it, but it's far from impossible.

3. Penn State beats Michigan and loses to Ohio State by less than 14:

Doing one of these isn't impossible to see. Doing both could be a lot harder. Michigan will visit Penn State for senior day near the season's end. Ohio State will host the Nittany Lions in Week 7. Beating Michigan is doable, but right now Jim Harbaugh and company are an unknown. The defending National Champs on the other hand are plenty capable of blowing the doors off of anybody in the conference. Penn State took the Buckeyes to double overtime last year, but that was in front of a home crowd and with an injured JT Barrett under center for Ohio State. Don't count Bob Shoop's defense out of any game, but it's a tough ask.

4. Penn State starts 6-0:

Open the season on the road against Temple and then five straight games at home against beatable teams. It would seem like a simple task, but until Penn State shows some consistency in the post-sanction era it's still a question mark. Penn State will be a better team this year, but the Nittany Lions aren't out of the woods just yet. That probably means Penn State is losing at least one game that it shouldn't this year. Add in the fact that San Diego State is a lot better than people think and starting 6-0 isn't an automatic.

5. Over/Under 9 total wins: 

If Penn State starts 6-0, the next three wins are there to be found. Once again though, the Nittany Lions are going to hit bumps in the road along the way. A 10 win season would be a huge success and it's not out of the question, but it's going to be tough to pull off. This one comes down to your individual optimism. If the offensive line is in form and the offense is moving the ball this isn't tough. If Penn State is only a bit better this year a pivotal win might come in a bowl game if the Nittany Lions are lucky.

6. Over/Under 4 DaeSean Hamilton touchdowns:

Hamilton has a lot of catches, Hackenberg has a lot of yards, but neither have tons of touchdowns. Assuming that the offense improves this summer, doubling the touchdown production for Hamilton isn't out of the question. But as is always the case, seeing is believing. 

7. Over/Under 3 Joe Julius field goals from 45+ yards: 

Assuming Julius gets the job of replacing Sam Ficken (and that seems likely) Julius' leg will be fun to watch. He hit several from beyond 50-yards at the Blue White game but didn't have anyone trying to block his kicks. There isn't any doubt the distance is there, but the trajectory is still a bit of a question mark. If nothing else, getting multiple shots at 45+ yard field goals requires a lot of optimal situations. There might only be a handful of times where it's an option and that could make Julius' first attempt his biggest for even considering trying the long ball again.

So what bets would you take? Vote below.


POLL: Pick The Odds

Over 9 Wins
9 Or Fewer Wins
Hackenberg hits 3,200
Hamilton Over 4 TDs
Hamilton Under 4 TDs
Julius With 3 From 45+
Julius With Less Than 3 From 45+
Back Other Than Lynch Hits 1000
Beat Michigan, Lose To OSU By Less Than 14
Penn State Starts 6-0

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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