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Penn State Football

Will Penn State Make the College Football Playoff? Here are the Odds

Photo by Matt Lynch, Nittany Sports Now: James Franklin leads the Nittany Lions out of the tunnel ahead of the blue white game.

Penn State has never made the College Football Playoff.

But there’s good reason to believe this season will be different from coach James Franklin’s first 10 in Happy Valley.

Starting in 2024, the playoff will be three times bigger, with 12 teams qualifying compared to four.

If this format had started in 2016, Penn State would have made the playoff every season but two from then until 2023. That, combined with Penn State returning several key players— such as QB Drew Allar, RBs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen and DE Abdul Carter— from a team that went 10-3 bode well for Penn State’s playoff chances in 2024.

At least one major betting outlet agrees.

FanDuel Sportsbook has Penn State at -145 to make the College Football Playoff.

These odds are the sixth-best in the country, behind Notre Dame (-170), Texas (-230), Oregon (-280), Georgia (-550) and Ohio State (-650).

Two of those five teams are in the Big Ten, with Ohio State being one of the league’s flagship programs and Oregon starting play this season.

Penn State doesn’t play Oregon this year but hosts Ohio State Nov. 2 in a game that could help decide the Big Ten depending on the way things go.

Ohio State is likely the only game Penn State won’t be favored to win but there are some games that could trip PSU up, starting in the season opener at West Virginia.

Although Penn State beat West Virginia fairly easily 38-15 to start last year, the venue will be different. Instead of a night game at Beaver Stadium, Penn State will play a noon game in the friendly confines of Morgantown. WVU also won nine games last season and has plenty coming back, led by QB Garrett Greene. That game could set a tone for Penn State, for better or worse.

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