The Week 3 college football board offers plenty of exciting games for us all to enjoy on Saturday. One of the most interesting matchups starts at 7:30 Eastern Time on Saturday night when the Auburn Tigers travel to Happy Valley to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Auburn comes into this game with a 2-0 record and an offense that looks much more explosive under new head coach Bryan Harsin. Penn State also comes into this matchup at 2-0 and they scored a huge road win in Week 1 against Wisconsin.
Which team has the edge in this SEC vs. Big 10 battle? Keep reading to see a full breakdown of each team’s offense and defense. We’ll also provide the best bet on this game for you to consider.
Best Available Spreads and Total for Auburn @ Penn State
In what should be a highly entertaining game, oddsmakers have Penn State listed as a six to six and a half point favorite. The total is set at either 52.5 or 53 points depending on which sportsbook you check.
To find the best available odds on this and every college football game, check out our free odds tool. Here’s a live look at the best odds for Auburn @ Penn State. Clearly, BetRivers either took some considerable Nittany Lion action in PA or are expecting to, because they are currently offering Auburn at a juicy +6 spread and +170 moneyline.
Penn State fans looking to get some in-state action on their team should look to FanDuel's -4.5 number which is even offering bettor-friendly -106 juice.
Best Odds for Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Auburn Tigers - September 18, 2021
What to Expect from the Auburn Offense in Week 3
Auburn’s offense has been impressive to start the 2021 season. Junior QB Bo Nix has looked more comfortable in the pocket and he’s thrown for 383 yards and five touchdowns so far. New tailback Jarquez Hunter has been a nice surprise by averaging an insane 15.1 yards per rush and scoring two touchdowns. It’ll be interesting to see if Auburn’s offensive line can get any type of consistent push against Penn State’s defensive line.
The Tigers’ offense is currently averaging 61 points per game, but we have to keep in mind that they’ve played Akron and Alabama State. Neither one of those smaller schools put up much of a fight in either contest. Needless to say, this Penn State defense will be a huge step up in class for Auburn’s offense to deal with. Nix is going to have to take good care of the football for Auburn to have a chance at the road upset.
What to Expect from the Penn State Defense in Week 3
The Nittany Lions’ defense has looked like one of the best units in the country so far. They are only allowing 11.5 points per game and look to be playing with more intensity this season. The linebackers are super quick and know how to tackle. Brandon Smith leads the team in tackles with 15 while Ellis Brooks has 12.
Nix better be careful throwing against this athletic Penn State secondary as they already have four picks on the young season. Safety Jaquan Brisker is a ball hawk who is always looking to make a game-changing play. A key question is whether or not Penn State will decide to pressure Nix or sit back in zone coverage.
What to Expect from the Penn State Offense in Week 3
Penn State’s offense was terrible in Week 1 but that was understandable against a stingy Wisconsin defense on the road. As expected, this unit fared better in Week 2 against Ball State by putting up 44 points. Senior QB Sean Clifford comes into this game with 477 passing yards but just two touchdowns.
Tailback Noah Cain is one of the most explosive players on the Nittany Lions’ offense. The 5-10 220 pound junior has run for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Expect offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich to possibly involve Cain more in the passing game as it could be difficult to run on this massive Auburn defensive line.
With Auburn stacking the box to stop the run, Penn State will need to find a way to stretch out the defense with some deep post pattern passes. The Nittany Lions’ main deep threat is junior Jahan Dotson who has 167 receiving yards and two touchdowns. This kid is a burner who is tough to defend.
What to Expect from the Auburn Defense in Week 3
Don’t be fooled by Auburn’s defensive statistics. They gave up ten points in Week 1 to Akron and shut out Alabama State last Saturday in a 62-0 romp. This unit is pretty good but nowhere near as good as those stats suggest. Penn State has the athletes on offense to give Auburn’s defense some headaches.
Edge rusher T.D. Moultry is a beast for the Tigers’ defensive line. The 6-2 253 pounder already has 10 tackles (four for loss) and two sacks so Penn State may have to consider double-teaming him if they want to keep Clifford upright. Speaking of Clifford, he’ll have to keep an eye on Roger McCreary, an opportunistic corner who already has a pick-six on the young season!
Our Pick: Auburn Tigers +6
Get on this number fast as smart money is coming in on the Tigers and some books are moving to +5.5 or less. Happy Valley is a rough place to play so the Tigers may struggle with the loud noise in the early part of this “White Out” game. However, there’s no reason Penn State should be laying more than a field goal against an SEC team.
Look for Harsin’s new-look offense to keep this game close the entire way. If Penn State struggled with Wisconsin’s defense, they may also have a tough time with Auburn’s defense. We got Penn State winning this game by only a field goal, so take the points with Auburn!