Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Villanova Wildcats Odds & Game Pick (2021)

Sep 22, 2021 - 1:57 PM

Penn State last beat Villanova on November 9, 1912. To put things in perspective, that’s the same year the Titanic sank. That will change this year, with No. 6 Penn State ranked as one of the country’s best. The Nittany Lions are far and away the toughest team the Wildcats will play this season.

That said, this game gets a bit interesting when it comes to the betting lines. These squads have been phenomenal against the spread ⁠— both have covered in every game this year. Bettors will want to limit the number of units they place on this game for that very reason. Any other week, you would take both of these teams against the spread. Here are some things that bettors need to know heading into this Week 4 matchup. 

Get a sign-up bonus up to $1,000 at DraftKings Sportsbook >>

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook


  • Opening Line: Penn State -29
  • Last Game: September 24, 1949, Villanova 27-6
  • Winning Streak: Villanova (1)
  • Villanova is 5-0 against the spread in their last five games as an underdog
  • Penn State is 7-0 against the spread in their last seven games.
  • Visitor underdogs against the spread cover 51.8% of the time


Penn State has been a betting dream this year. They have covered the spread and hit the under every game. Penn State has one of the best defenses in the nation, even after playing No. 22 Auburn and No. 12 Wisconsin this year. Still, they are only allowing 14 points per game. Penn State is a balanced defense that can stop the run and the pass well, forcing six turnovers through three games, which shows that they can take away the ball from opposing offenses. Turnovers will prove crucial to determining who will cover the spread here, especially since Villanova has turned the ball over three times this year against lesser defenses. 

Offensively, Penn State has been efficient. Sean Clifford has a 71.3% passing completion percentage. Clifford has the only turnover for Penn State with an interception against No. 22 Auburn last week. The Nittany Lions must be efficient against a Villanova defense that has only allowed 11 points per game. Running back Noah Cain has been struggling to generate yards on the ground. Because Villanova’s defense has only given up 88 yards rushing this year on 69 carries, Sean Clifford will have to throw the ball frequently. 

Villanova has not played the same caliber of teams that Penn State has played, but they have been great against the spread. They are 5-0 in their last five games as an underdog. Penn State has played some of the top teams in the nation, while Villanova has played two of the worst teams and a decent Richmond team that they beat 34-27. Offensively, Villanova has been able to put up points this year, but they are going to struggle against a lights-out Penn State team. Expect both of these teams to be pushing to cover the spread. 

Check out all of our college football game previews and picks of the week >>

Bottom Line

Statistically, Villanova has the advantage in this game. As a road underdog, they are more likely to cover the spread. However, Penn State has just been too good. Turnovers and Sean Clifford will be critical. Villanova has turned the ball over this year, and Penn State has been excellent at causing turnovers and taking advantage of it. Sean Clifford has been great at throwing the ball and will have plenty of opportunities to do so this week. I would keep your unit sizes low for this game since both squads are great at covering the spread. 

Pick: Penn State -29 (-110)

Join the BettingPros Discord Chat for Live Betting Advice >>

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RadioPublic | Breaker | Castbox | Pocket Casts

Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategies — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.

Cameron Lynch is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Cameron, check out his archive and follow him @captron26.

The post Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Villanova Wildcats Odds & Game Pick (2021) appeared first on BettingPros.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!