Bookmakers Adjust to Penn State Penalties

As part of the university’s punishment Emmert handed down a four-year postseason ban, forced Penn State to vacate all 112 wins between 1998 and 2011,  significantly reduced total scholarships and hit the school with a $60 million sanction. All players on the PSU roster will be allowed to transfer and play immediately at other schools and the athletic department will be placed on probation for five years. This unprecedented action by the NCAA could cripple football in Happy Valley, and immediately we have seen bookmakers adjust their lines to reflect these changes.

Just a week ago, 5dimes released their college football win totals and Penn State was listed at 7 u-165/o+145. Money must have come in on the under because that total dropped to 6.5 o-140/u+100 prior to President Emmert’s announcement.

We also saw significant movement involving Penn State’s “Game of the Year” matchup with Ohio State. The Nittany Lions opened as 3-point home underdogs against the Buckeyes back on June 11th, but that line moved to 5.5 within hours. By June 28th that line had moved again to 6.5, but had yet to hit that key number of 7.

Furthermore, early Monday morning 5dimes was offering Penn State at +400 to win the Leaders division with the rest of the field listed at -600, however following this announcement those bets were taken off the board.

Lastly, we have to examine Penn State’s odds to win the national title. The Nittany Lions were listed as 100/1 longshots to finish atop the BCS standings back on May 14th but those odds have waned significantly, dropping to 150/1 as recently as Monday morning at 8AM ET.

It will be interesting to see if those odds continue to deteriorate as Penn State has been taken off the board at Bovada. Considering the school is no longer bowl eligible, it would be exceedingly difficult for Penn State to win the National Championship — although technically it is still possible. Also worth noting is that Bovada allows you to bet on the champion in each of the major conferences with the exception of the Big Ten.

There is still a great amount of uncertainty surrounding this team. Will incoming freshmen re-consider their commitment? Will star players like QB Matt McGloin and RB Silas Redd decide to transfer to a more competitive program? This ambiguity has caused sportsbooks like 5dimes to not only take all Penn State bets off the board, but also anything involving the Big Ten as they would struggle to appropriately handicap the field given the uncertainty in State College. Really bookmakers have confirmed what many already know — the Penn State football program is in serious trouble.

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