College football Penn State Nittany Lions vs Ohio State Buckeyes Same Game Parlay picks: Nittany Lions can pull upset at +794 odds

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Caleb Wilfinger


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Deputy Editor for Pickswise with years of experience handicapping and giving out winning picks. Lover of all US sports and Southampton FC. For Caleb Wilfinger media enquiries, please email

We’re in for what should be a terrific Big Ten matchup this week when the Penn State Nittany Lions head to Columbus for a date with the Ohio State Buckeyes. There are Big Ten and College Football Playoff implications as the winner will have the inside track on both fronts. This is a spot where the underdog is certainly barking in a rivalry game, and that’s where I’m looking in this contest.

Here is my Penn State vs Ohio State Same Game Parlay for Saturday’s matchup, which will be televised starting at 12:00 pm ET on FOX. Also, be sure to check out our full Ohio State vs Penn State predictions.

Penn State ML (+164)

Under 46.5 (-110)

Cade Stover over 42.5 receiving yards (-110) 

Same Game Parlay odds: +794

One of the benefits of Same Game Parlays, of course, is that you can use non-correlating plays to boost the odds. That is some of the plan here, as a Penn State win doesn’t necessarily correlate with Cade Stover going over his yards. Therefore, we’re getting a bit of extra value. Let’s get into it. 

Penn State Nittany Lions ML over Ohio State Buckeyes (+164)

I’ve already written about this game extensively this week, but as I’ve said before, the Nittany Lions have historically kept things close in this matchup, with Penn State having covered in 6 of the last 7 meetings against Ohio State. James Franklin has a quarterback in Drew Allar that can be trusted, as Allar has 15 total touchdowns and zero interceptions over the first 6 games of the campaign, so his decision-making and game-managing skills are rock solid.

However, this upset pick is all about Penn State’s defense. Manny Diaz’s group is 1st in the nation in EPA per pass defense, 1st in passing success rate, tops in early downs EPA and 4th in net points per drive (CFB-Graphs). While the Ohio State offense has shown flashes of brilliance this season, I still have major concerns about Kyle McCord’s ability to produce in a big game, especially against a defense of this caliber. Ohio State has also been banged up at the skill positions, so it’s no guarantee that some key pieces in the offense will be playing at full strength on Saturday. Given that McCord and this offense were also ineffective for large stretches against Notre Dame and Maryland, this should also be a close, low-scoring affair. Let’s take the ‘dog for our first leg.

Under 46.5 (-110)

This line has been getting steamed down in the market, but I still can’t get there with an over play. I have clear reservations about both of these offenses, but both of these defenses are very good and will look to make life miserable for the inexperienced quarterbacks on the other side. Penn State’s defensive unit is terrific, both up front and especially against the pass. Well, it just so happens that Ohio State can’t really run the ball consistently (105th in rush success rate). That will make life a lot tougher on McCord and company if the Buckeyes are playing behind the chains and need to convert 3rd downs consistently.

There hasn’t been enough talk about how quietly impressive Ohio State’s defense has been, as the Buckeyes are 15th in rush success rate and 7th in net points per drive on defense in Jim Knowles’ second year as defensive coordinator. Penn State’s downfield passing game still has some major questions, with Allar and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich mainly resorting to keeping the ball short and limiting any mistakes. To make matters worse on both offenses, there is a decent chance of rain in the forecast, to go along with cooler temperatures and 15 mph winds on Saturday afternoon.

We have NCAAF picks for all the biggest games this week

Cade Stover over 42.5 receiving yards (-110)

There will undoubtedly be a ton of attention on Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka this week as the top 2 Ohio State wideouts should be on the field a ton for this high-stakes matchup. However, this leaves tight end Cade Stover as the target who is most likely to receive the least amount of attention from the defense, despite being a security blanket for Kyle McCord. Stover has tallied 23 receptions over the Buckeyes’ first 5 games this season, and he has also cleared this number every time he’s taken the field in 2023. Even against an excellent Penn State defense, I don’t see McCord’s chemistry with the veteran tight end changing on Saturday. There’s a reason why this prop isn’t plus-money after all, but it provides us with plenty of value as a third leg of our parlay.

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