It’s the time of year when just enough information about the college football season is available that prognosticators can start prognosticating, and Golden Nugget become one of the early betting outlets to do so today.
According to Golden Nugget’s bookmakers, Penn State is a 2.5-point favorite in its season opener against UCF, but is a 7-point underdog at Michigan and 9-point dog versus Ohio State. Golden Nugget only released early point spreads for the season’s more attractive games, as is customary this time of year, but expect those numbers to be similar to the other spreads released this summer. For reference, when it played those three teams last year, Penn State opened at about a 6-point favorite against UCF, 3-point dog against Michigan and 14.5-point dog at Ohio State.
The UCF spread sounds pretty fair. Though the Knights are coming off a 12-1 year that included a 34-31 win in Happy Valley and Fiesta Bowl title, they’ve lost star quarterback Blake Bortles to the Jacksonville Jaguars along with three offensive linemen. It should be a good game — in fact, it made Sports Illustrated’s top 10 list of non-conference games for the 2014 season.
Opining on the Michigan and Ohio State numbers is probably fruitless, since those spreads are subject to such change, but they’re both fairly steep for a Penn State team that Athlon Sports ranked No. 22 in the nation.
Comment away below if you’ve got a point to make on these spreads. By the way, as of this writing, Penn State kicks off in 74 days, 21 hours, 16 minutes, and 46 seconds, which at least means that number is lower as you read this!