In 2007, Appalachian State made a name for itself by going to Top 10 team Michigan in the season opener and shocking the Wolverines in maybe the greatest upset in NCAA football history. The Mountaineers were an FCS team then but are now a good FBS program and they could give trouble to No. 10 Penn State on Sept. 1 in the season opener for both. The Nittany Lions are solid MyBookie Sportsbook favorites, though.
Appalachian State vs Penn State 2018 NCAA Football Week 1 Spread
- When: Sept. 1, 3:30 PM ET
- Where: Beaver Stadium, State College
- TV: Big Ten Network
- Stream: BTN To Go
- Radio: TuneIn
- NCAA Football Spread: Penn State -23 (Total 54)
Why Bet on Appalachian State?Almost literally overnight, Appalachian State has become the class of the Sun Belt Conference. They have won the conference the past two seasons and are favored to again. The Mountaineers enter a new era with the departure of quarterback Taylor Lamb, a four-year starter who completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,737 yards and 27 TDs and rushed for 584 yards and five touchdowns last season. Coach Scott Satterfield remains in Boone but has to replace not just Lamb but ace defensive coordinator Nate Woody, who’s now at Georgia Tech. He promoted longtime cornerbacks coach Bryan Brown to the DC job. The last non-Lamb start occurred on Sept. 6, 2014, and sophomore Zac Thomas emerged from spring practices as the first-team quarterback. Quarterbacks coach Frank Ponce has noted the arm strength and speed that are assets for Thomas. Star running back Jalin Moore is back. Moore, the 2016 Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year, will be healthy after battling injury in 2017. Because of injuries, he missed the equivalent of four more quarters, but Marcus Williams Jr. and Daetrich Harrington combined for three 100-yard games as freshmen. Moore still managed 1,037 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 183 carries last fall. Moore’s 3,170 career rushing yards are second-most among returning FBS players. A receiving corps that had to lean heavily on freshmen last year now gets to lean on sophomores. Thomas Hennigan’s seven touchdown catches in 2017 ranked second nationally among true freshman receivers at the FBS level, and Jalen Virgil’s 18.2 yards per reception over the course of a full season ranks seventh in program history for a player with at least 20 catches. Corey Sutton, another outside threat, is eligible this season after sitting out 2017 as a Kansas State transfer from Charlotte. All-conference left tackle Victor Johnson is back, and while there are a few pieces to replace in the defensive front seven the secondary should be excellent.
Why Bet on Penn State?The Nittany Lions said goodbye to one of the nation’s best running backs and maybe the best in school history in Saquon Barkley. However, former top recruit Miles Sanders is ready to take over. Sanders, who has been Barkley’s heir apparent for two years, gets a chance to prove that his 6.2 yards-per-carry average last season wasn’t padded late in games. Sanders, who was a higher-ranked recruit than Barkley in high school, certainly has the potential to become an all-Big Ten back. He also hasn’t carried more than seven times in a game and has rushed for more than 50 yards once (85 against Rutgers in 2016). Trace McSorley is one of the top returning QBs in the nation. He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 28 straight games, dating back to the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl, extending his Penn State record, which was previously held by Kerry Collins at 14 straight games from 1993-94. His streak will enter the 2018 season as the longest active streak in the FBS. McSorley sits atop the career completion percentage (61.8) and career passing efficiency (152.9) lists. He is the only quarterback in Penn State history with 50-plus touchdown passes, topping the all-time ledger with 59 scoring tosses and besting Christian Hackenberg’s mark of 48 (2013-15). He’s also the only Penn State quarterback with multiple 3,000-yard passing seasons and his 77 touchdowns responsible for are the most in Penn State history, passing Daryll Clark’s (65; 2006-09) career total. McSorley ranks No. 2 on Penn State’s all-time passing yardage list (7,369), chasing Hackenberg (8,457) for the top spot. McSorley is the career leader in total offense (8,268). On defense, safety John Reid is finally back from an injury that kept him out the entire 2017 season. Two seasons ago Reid had 36 tackles, five for loss, and broke up nine passes during his sophomore season. He was expected to have a big junior year when an ACL injury forced him to take a medical redshirt instead. Up front, Shareef Miller was selected as 3rd Team All-Big Ten after the 2017 season. Miller recorded 11 tackles for loss, five sacks, and nine hits on the quarterback a season ago. Miller paired with Shaka Toney should cause havoc.
NCAA Football Betting Trends for Appalachian State vs Penn State
- Mountaineers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall
- Nittany Lions are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
- Nittany Lions are 10-2-2 ATS in their last 14 home games
- Appalachian State is 16-6 SU in its last 22 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Appalachian State’s last 8 games on the road
- Penn State is 20-3 SU in its last 23 games
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Penn State’s last 7 games