2023 Peach Bowl Odds: Ole Miss Rebels vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Preview

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The Ole Miss Rebels and Penn State Nittany Lions did not win their conference, their division, or a spot in the College Football Playoff this season. They did, however, get a New Year’s Six bowl bid. A number of teams view it as a disappointment when they make a New Year’s Six game and not the playoff. To a certain degree, Penn State is in that boat, but the Nittany Lions know it will be hard to reach that playoff standard with Michigan and Ohio State in the Big Ten. Ole Miss is a little happier to make a New Year’s Six game. It has been hard for the Ole Miss program to rise to the very top of college football over the past 50 years. Making an NY6 bowl is a very good result for the Rebels.

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The larger reality of this game is that whereas some teams have a lot of players who opt out for the bowl game, this is not one of those cases. The 2023 Peach Bowl odds are tight because the opt-out lists are very short. That’s an indication that both teams are happy to be at the Peach Bowl and will try really hard to win. This is therefore a bowl in which grading the two teams on the merits might actually offer an indication of which team will win the game. Let’s take a look at the betting strategy in this one.

Ole Miss Rebels vs Penn State Nittany Lions

Date: Saturday, December 30th, 2023 – 12:00 PM ET

Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

2023 Peach Bowl Odds: Penn State -3.5

*Odds courtesy of BetOnline. Check the full BetOnline review for more.

Ole Miss Rebels

Ole Miss kicker Caden Costa, safety Rayf Vinson, tight end Kyirin Heath, and safety Isheem Young are in the transfer portal. They will not play in this game.

The Rebels had a very good year. They did not beat Alabama, the SEC champion and a team which is playing in the College Football Playoff. They did not beat Georgia, the two-time defending national champion and the SEC runner-up which finished 12-1 this season. The Rebels defeated everyone else on their schedule, beating LSU and Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels in a shootout. They won the rest of their SEC games and also defeated a very good Tulane team which won 11 games this season.

The Rebels have become a good team under head coach Lane Kiffin because they play solid defense. Ole Miss struggled on defense before Kiffin arrived, but the Rebels have been very good on defense under his watch. This season, Ole Miss allowed more than 21 points in just one of its last seven games. This team caught fire because it never allowed opposing offenses to get comfortable in the stretch run of its season. It won’t be easy for Penn State to score on Ole Miss.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State running back Cristian Driver and defensive tackle Alex Bacchetta are in the transfer portal and will not play. Star defensive lineman Chop Robinson has opted out and will prepare for the NFL draft. He also won’t play in this game.

Penn State measures itself by how it plays against Michigan and Ohio State. The Nittany Lions came up short this year with an offense which struggled to score against both opponents. The hope for Penn State is that Ole Miss, by comparison, will be a much easier team to go against. Penn State and Ole Miss are similar in that their only losses were to teams ranked in the top 10. They beat everyone else. Penn State will need to find enough offense, however, if it wants to win this game.

Ole Miss vs. Penn State Prediction:

Ole Miss 20, Penn State 17