College Football in Flux for 2020: What It Means For Pennsylvania Teams and Betting

Written By Katie Kohler on July 23, 2020 - Last Updated on August 31, 2020
Penn State and other PA college football teams plan to play in September

Coronavirus has caused major sports to readjust their schedules. College football is following suit, but not in a uniform way.

So far, only two (the Big Ten and Pac-12) of the Power 5 conferences have decided to play a conference-only schedule. The rest plan to decide by the end of July.

What does it mean for college football in Pennsylvania? Fewer games, obviously.

Here’s a breakdown of where plans for a college football season for PA-based teams stand and current early-season betting lines and futures bets.

Penn State football plans for conference-only 2020

The biggest program in the commonwealth got news early about its upcoming season. The Big Ten was the first FBS conference to reveal its plans for playing games in a pandemic. Penn State and its Big Ten brethren will only play nine scheduled conference opponents this season.

What it means for Penn State betting

Penn State’s first three games — Kent State, Virginia Tech and San Jose State — are canceled. The Nittany Lions start their season at home on Sept. 26 against Northwestern.

But in the words of ESPN’s College GameDay analyst Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend.” It’s worth noting that Penn State’s website does not list a schedule for the 2020 season. It skips to 2021.

Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren gave a somber statement on July 10:

“One thing we have to realize is that this is not a fait accompli that we’re gonna have sports in the fall. We may not have sports in the fall. We may not have a college football season in the Big Ten.”

Still, PA sports gambling apps are offering futures and some single-game wagering.

Penn State Nittany Lions 2020 National Championship odds

Penn State Heisman odds (via FanDuel)

  • Sean Clifford : +6,000
  • Journey Brown: +10,000
  • Micah Parsons: +20,000

Big Ten Conference winner odds at Fox Bet

  • Penn State: +700

Penn State early 2020 betting lines (via FanDuel)

Week 5:

  • Michigan vs. Penn State (+1)

Week 8:

  • Penn State (+4.5) vs. Ohio State

Pittsburgh Panthers 2020 season plans

In a statement on July 10, ACC Commissioner Jim Swofford said the conference has prepared numerous scenarios related to the fall athletics season. They anticipate making a decision in late July.

According to CBS SportsDennis Dodd, the ACC is considering a conference-only schedule.

What does it mean for Pitt Panthers betting?

For now, nothing. But if the Panthers play a conference-only season, their first three games, against Miami (Ohio), Marshall and Richmond, would be wiped from the schedule. They would begin their season by hosting Duke on Sept. 26.

Pittsburgh Panthers 2020 National Championship odds

  • FanDuel: +23,000
  • DraftKings: +25,000
  • Fox Bet: +27,500

ACC Conference winner odds at Fox Bet

  • Pitt: +5,000

Pitt Panthers early 2020 betting lines (via FanDuel)

Week 3:

  • Pittsburgh (-9.5) vs. Duke

Week 10:

  • Pittsburgh (-1) vs. Virginia Tech

Week 11:

  • North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh (+7)

Temple Owls 2020 season plans

The American Athletic Conference, home of the Temple Owls, made an announcement on July 22 about fall sports. However, it will not impact the start of football season. The rest of the fall Olympic sports will be pushed back.

What it means for Temple football betting:

Temple’s full 11game slate starts Sept. 5 in Miami.

Temple Owls 2020 National Championship odds

  • FanDuel: +75,000
  • DraftKings: +25,000
  • Fox Bet: +30,000

American Athletic Conference winner odds at Fox Bet

  • Temple: +4,000

Temple early 2020 betting lines (via FanDuel)

  • UCF Knights vs. Temple (+18.5)
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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist and Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania. Katie especially enjoys creating unique content and on-the-ground reporting in PA. She is focused on creating valuable, timely content about casinos and sports betting for readers. Katie has covered the legal Pennsylvania gambling industry for Catena Media since 2019.

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