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Penn State football favored by double digits in two massive early season games

Las Vegas doesn’t expect Penn State to have much trouble with two of its biggest matchups to start the 2023 season.



Penn State Football, Iowa, West Virginia
Penn State players pose for a group photo with the Governor's Victory Bell trophy after defeating Minnesota, 45-17, in a White Out game at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in State College. Hes Dr 102222 Whiteout

The start of the Penn State football season grows ever nearer, now just 11 days away. In less than two weeks, we will begin to find out if the offseason hype around the 2023 Nittany Lions was justified, or if this team may need time to reach its full potential. Even as questions remain for portions of the roster and depth chart, Penn State is expected to handle much of its early schedule without too much trouble. While odds for many early season matchups have yet to be released, Penn State already finds itself as significant favorites in two of its biggest contests of September against West Virginia and Iowa.

Penn State football opens as heavy favorites against West Virginia and Iowa

Penn State football has an interesting schedule to start the 2023 season. Although they don’t face a murderer’s row of opponents, the Nittany Lions’ early season slate isn’t easy by any means. Penn State faces four Power Five opponents in September. This includes three Big Ten contests, two of which are on the road.

However, Las Vegas doesn’t expect the Nittany Lions to have too much trouble to start 2023, at least with two of its biggest home games in September. Penn State is currently double-digit favorites against both West Virginia and Iowa, according to the Action Network.

Penn State opens the 2023 campaign under the Beaver Stadium lights next week when the Nittany Lions host the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Week 1 contest has been highly anticipated for months. The matchup will be the first home opening night game for Penn State since 2001. Many also expect the game to be the official start to the Drew Allar era in Happy Valley. However, oddsmakers don’t expect the game to be much of a contest, as Penn State is currently a 20.5 favorite. 

Several weeks later, the Nittany Lions will welcome the Iowa Hawkeyes to Happy Valley on September 23. Iowa has quickly become a much-disliked foe among the Penn State faithful, especially following the disastrous 23-20 defeat the last time these two teams faced off in Iowa City in 2021. The Hawkeyes should expect to enter a hostile environment, as the matchup was declared the White Out game earlier this summer. According to Vegas, Penn State will get its revenge, as the Nittany Lions are already favored by 10.5 points in this late September matchup.

While obviously, the lines are subject to change, Penn State should be favored in all of its matchups in the early portion of the season. The Nittany Lions come into the year ranked as the preseason No. 7 team according to the AP and coaches polls. The hype around this season has been palpable all summer, and soon enough, we’ll find out if the Nittany Lions are College Football Playoff contenders or pretenders.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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