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Brutal: Bettor Wagers Absurd Amount on Northwestern to Cover Against Penn State, Does Not Win

EVANSTON, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: a Northwestern Wildcats fan reacts to a foul during the college football game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Northwestern Wildcats on September 30, 2023 at Ryan Field in Evanston, IL. (Photo by Ben Hsu/Icon Sportswire)

Penn State backup QB Beau Pribula’s touchdown pass to third-string RB Trey Potts wasn’t significant to the result of the Northwestern game.

Before the play, Penn State led 34-13 with 2:20 left, so the game was over.

But you better believe this touchdown mattered, because the spread was 27.5.

So Pribula’s bomb and the ensuing extra point meant Penn State not only won on the scoreboard, but won in Vegas, too.

Ben Fawkes, a self-described “sports betting free agent” who has worked for outlets such as VSiN, DraftKings and ESPN, reported that a Cesars Sportsbook bettor— in Pennsylvania, of all places— put $90,000 on Northwestern to cover 27.5. When the game was tied at 10 going into the second half, that looked like a solid bet. But it didn’t turn out to be.

Hindsight is 20-20 but perhaps the bettor should have used better judgement based on this year’s Penn State team’s track record. Penn State came into Saturday’s game 4-0 against the spread, with one backdoor cover under its belt. Penn State was a 20.5-point favorite in the season opener against West Virginia at Beaver Stadium, and covered it on the game’s last offensive play. This play also involved Pribula, who scored a short rushing touchdown.

Per Fawkess, Penn State’s one of six teams in the country that’s undefeated against the spread, joined by Oklahoma, Oregon, UNLV, Liberty and Rutgers. Of those other five, Oklahoma, Oregon and UNLV are 5-0 ATS.

PSU plays Rutgers (4-1 overall, 4-0-1 ATS) on Senior Day at Beaver Stadium Nov. 18.

The moral of this story is that this PSU team is very good overall, and very good against the spread. Franklin’s old school, Vanderbilt, is 2-4 overall and 0-6 against the spread.

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