Big Ten Best Bet: Penn State at Iowa Pick

October 9, 4:00 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Penn St +1.5/Iowa -1.5

Iowa owns an 11-game winning streak, Penn State a nine-game winning run, heading into this big Big Ten inter-divisional battle slated for Saturday afternoon in Iowa City. Both these teams are 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in Big Ten play, and it wouldn't be totally surprising to see these teams meet again in December in the conference championship game.

The Hawkeyes opened as three-point home favorites for this game, but early betting action shaved that line in half. Which way are we going here with our free Week 6 pick?

Penn State-Iowa Betting Odds

This week's college football betting lines opened Iowa as a three-point home favorite for this game, with an over/under of around 42.5. Early betting action then dipped the Hawkeyes to -1.5 at BetOnline.

Penn State Betting Preview

One season after starting 0-5, the Nittany Lions are 5-0, following last week's 24-0 blanking of Indiana. Penn State took the lead for good with an 80-yard touchdown drive midway through the first quarter, led 14-0 at the half, then put the game away with another score midway through the third, on its way toward the victory and the cover as a 12-point favorite. The Lions out-gained the Hoosiers 408-264, out-rushed Indiana 209-69, and won the time of possession by a 35:25 split. Penn State opened this season with a 16-10 victory over Wisconsin, although that win doesn't look as good now as it did then, with the Badgers struggling this season. A couple of weeks later, the Lions beat Auburn, which is 4-1 on the season, 28-20, and covered at -4. So Penn State is 3-0 both SU and ATS vs. its three toughest opponents so far.

Iowa Betting Preview

The Hawkeyes, meanwhile, are also 5-0 after mugging Maryland last week 51-14. Iowa actually trailed the Terrapins 7-3 after one quarter but scored the next 41 points of the game on its way toward the convincing victory and easy cover as a three-point favorite.

The Hawkeyes out-gained Maryland 428-271, dominated time of possession by a 39:21 split, and won the turnover battle 7-0!

Iowa opened this season with a convincing 34-6 win over Indiana, covering at -3.5, then won at rival Iowa State 27-17. So the Hawkeyes are also 3-0, both SU and ATS vs. their three toughest foes so far.

More Picks: Georgia at Auburn Point Spread Winner

Penn State-Iowa Recent History

The Nittany Lions beat the Hawkeyes six times in a row from 2011-19, but last year Iowa went into Happy Valley and won 41-21. The Hawkeyes led that game 31-7 in the third quarter, let Penn State get within 31-21 put pulled away from there.

Also, that game played over a total of 46.

College Football Betting Trends

In games matching two ranked teams, this season, the higher-rank outfits are only 8-9 SU, 7-10 ATS.

Totals Report

The Under is 4-1 in Lions games this season, which are averaging 42 total points. The Under is also 4-1 in Hawkeyes games this season, which are averaging 45 points. Overs are 4-2 over the last six meetings between these two teams.

PSU/IOWA Pick Against the Spread

These two defenses are pretty darn close, but we give Penn State the edge on offense, averaging almost 100 yards more per game. Also, against their only common opponent so far this season, the Nittany Lions out-gained Indiana by 144 yards while Iowa out-gained the Hoosiers by 70 yards. And while we don't consider revenge a reliable handicapping factor, it might come into play here. We like Penn State to win this one outright.   

Free Pick: 
Take the Nittany Lions + 1.5