Penn State vs. Kent State odds: 2018 college football picks, predictions from expert who's 7-1 on Nittany Lions games

Penn State and Kent State each routed the competition in Week 2. Now the two familiar non-conference foes face off on Saturday at Happy Valley at noon ET. In the latest Penn State vs. Kent State odds, the Nittany Lions are favored by 35 points. The Over-Under, or total points Vegas oddsmakers expect to be scored, is 64. A game with this large a spread can be tough to predict, so before you make any Penn State vs. Kent State picks, listen to what SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh has to say. He's on an amazing streak picking PSU games.

Oh, co-founder of AccuScore, specializes in sports simulations, projections and advanced statistical analysis. He is a consistent winner for SportsLine in every sport and now has turned his attention to college football

More importantly, Oh has had a keen eye for the tendencies of the Nittany Lions -- he's 7-1 picking their games against the spread the past two years. Now, he has analyzed Saturday's showdown at Happy Valley and released a confident point-spread selection, which he is only sharing over at SportsLine.

The Nittany Lions survived a 45-38 scare against Appalachian State in Week 1, but rebounded in a big way last Saturday, routing rival Pittsburgh 51-6.

Penn State's defense, which returned just three starters from last year's unit that allowed just 16.5 ppg, especially bounced back. After allowing 437 yards to ASU, it allowed just 291 against Pitt.

Trace McSorley, who ranks just 713 yards behind Christian Hackenberg for the all-time passing lead at Penn State, has 375 yards on 35-of-66 passing with three touchdowns. A big key has been the play of junior Miles Sanders. Sanders, who replaced current pro Saquon Barkley, has gained 209 yards (6.0 average) and two TDs.

But just because Penn State has a prolific offense doesn't mean it will cover a nearly five-touchdown spread.

These two teams have faced off twice in the past five years, and both went Penn State's favor, 34-0 in 2013 and 33-13 in 2016. A similar score Saturday and the Flashes cover. Kent State returns 13 starters from last year and opened the season with a 31-24 loss at Illinois before cruising past Howard 54-14. 

Quarterback Woody Barrett, a former Auburn recruit, proved he can compete against Big Ten competition in his first game for the Flashes. Against Illinois, he went 28 of 41 for 270 yards and two touchdowns and ran 18 times for 117 yards and a score. Penn State had issues against Appalachian State dual-threat quarterback Zac Thomas.

We can tell you Oh is leaning toward the under, but his analytics have unearthed a critical x-factor that will determine which side of the spread hits hard, and he's only sharing it over at SportsLine. 

So who covers Penn State-Kent State? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump all over Saturday, all from a data scientist who is a blistering 7-1 picking Nittany Lions games.

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