Everybody seems to be piling on Penn State’s football program these days, and it’s likely we haven’t even seen the worst of it yet.
At 9 a.m. ET on Monday, the NCAA is expected to smack the Nittany Lions with a number of sanctions that should include, among other things, a postseason bowl ban and a severe loss of scholarships.
While the “death penalty” isn’t expected, the rumored punishments are so severe that Penn State might actually prefer it. And, obviously, the NCAA’s decision will come exactly a day after the school decided to get rid of Joe Paterno’s on-campus statue.
The program’s uncertainty raises the following question: Could Penn State’s loss be your gain?
5Dimes currently has Penn State’s season win total at 6.5, 7 and 7.5 with varying juice. You can find the Nittany Lions at 6.5 at three Las Vegas sportsbooks, including MGM and Cantor.
In the roughly 100-year history of college football, no coach will ever inherit a situation worse than the one Bill O’Brien will enter in 2012, and keep in mind: O’Brien has no previous head coaching experience.
If players are allowed to transfer—and many of them will—and if players don’t have any motivation to play out a season that’s going nowhere—and many of them won’t—then seven or eight wins seems incredibly likely.
Heck, it seemed unlikely before all this took place.
Penn State is a projected underdog in seven of its 12 games and will have a challenging non-conference schedule that includes Ohio, Virginia, Navy and Temple—all teams capable of pulling an upset.
If you think the program falls apart after today’s announcement, now might be the optimal time to bet the under.
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Current Penn State totals (courtesy of 5Dimes)
Over 6½ -140
Under 6½ +100
Over 7 +150
Under 7 -170
Over 7½ +200
Under 7½ -280