Penn State Looking to Defy NCAA Betting Odds at Rose Bowl
As we draw nearer to the end of the year NCAA betting fans and sportsbooks alike are preparing themselves for another astounding round of bowl games. For some fans, the bowl games in early December are just fodder to help the time pass, while the real focus are the playoff games as well as the bowl games played in January. Other than the previously mentioned playoff contests, few bowl games can compete with the magnitude of the Rose Bowl.
This year’s Rose Bowl will be a contest between the 9-3 USC Trojans and the 11-2 Penn State Nittany Lions. This year’s rendition will mark the 103rd Rose Bowl Game and it will pit the Big Ten Conference champions (Penn State) against a team from the Pac-12. This pairing will be a rematch of the 1923 and 2009 Rose Bowls, both of which were won by the Trojans. With that in mind, will the college football betting lines predict another Trojans victory?
NCAAF Odds – Rose Bowl – Monday, January 2nd
USC Trojans -7½ (+120) 62 (-110) -260
Penn State Nittany Lions +7½ (-140) 62 (-110) +220
Interestingly enough, the NCAA betting odds are heavily siding with the Trojans in this contest. USC started the season with an abysmal record of 1-3 and after that disappointing start the sportsbooks began to think less and less of the Trojans. However, that trend would quickly be cut out as their Week 4 loss to No. 24 Utah would mark the last time USC would lose a contest this season. The Trojans would go on to mount an impressive 8-game winning streak that includes an upset win over No. 4 Washington to propel USC into the Top 25 rankings where they have remained ever since. The Trojans will be led by freshman quarterback Sam Darnold, a 1,000 yard rusher in Ronald Jones II, wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darreus Rogers, and Deontay Burnett. On the defensive side of the ball USC will rely on defensive end Porter Gustin as well as all-purpose player Adoree Jackson. Head coach Clay Helton has led the Trojans to a 9-3 season in his first whole season as head coach (last season Helton went 5-4 in 9 games after taking over as interim).
Oddly enough, the Nittany Lions have had a similar season. Penn State started the year off going 2-2 after losses to both Pitt and No. 4 Michigan. However, just like the Trojans, the Nittany Lions were able to bounce back after that Week 4 loss, mounting a 9-game win streak. Included among those nine wins was a crucial 4th quarter comeback win over No. 2 Ohio State that resulted in Penn State being placed within the Top 25 National Rankings for the first time since 2011. Additionally, Penn State scored another comeback win against No. 6 Wisconsin to claim the Big Ten Championship. Penn State will be led by sophomore quarterback Trace McSorley and 1,000+ yard rusher Saquon Barkley, as well as junior wide receiver Chris Godwin. Despite all their success, the sportsbooks are still pegging the Nittany Lions as the underdog in this contest. However, considering all their aforementioned success, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Penn State defy the NCAA betting odds once again.