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Penn State Big Early Favorite Over Illinois

Photo by Matt Lynch, Nittany Sports Now: James Franklin

Penn State is a significant favorite in Saturday’s Big Ten opener.

According to OddsShark, Penn State’s an early 13.5 favorite at Illinois.

This is a significant spread considering Penn State’s on the road playing a Big Ten team that went 85 last season but it shouldn’t be surprising.

No. 7 Penn State’s thought by many to be a Big Ten and College Football Playoff contender.

Coach James Franklin’s team’s 2-0 with wins over West Virginia and Delaware. Although Illinois should be Penn State’s toughest challenge to date, coach Bret Bielema’s team hasn’t been impressive so far. It needed a last-second field goal to beat Toledo in Week 1, and in Week 2, Illinois lost to Kansas 34-23 in a game that could have been worse.

The last time Penn State played Illinois ended up being one of the worst regular-season Saturday’s in program history.

PSU came in as 24.5-pont favorites… and ended up losing, 20-18, in an absurd nine overtimes.

So that, along with the cliche “anything can happen” mindset, will have Penn State fans wary going into Week 3.

Last season, PSU had another big road matchup against a team that wears almost a year to next Saturday’s date.

It ended up being a laugher in Auburn.

Penn State slaughtered Auburn, 41-12, and many see this as the catapult for what turned into a memorable season. Penn State finished 11-2 and No. 7 in the country, ending with a Rose Bowl win over Utah.

The PSU-Illinois game was originally supposed to be Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff, but Deion Sanders and Colorado will be occupying that slot against Colorado State. It’s not clear what channel Penn State-Illinois will be on. In any case, Penn State’s generally expected to win and head into Sept. 23’s White Out game against Iowa undefeated.

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