Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Odds & Game Pick (2021)

Oct 7, 2021 - 1:42 PM

Kinnick Stadium hosts a Top 5 clash between BIG10 foes on Saturday afternoon with College Football Playoff implications. Penn State travels west rolling after a shutout victory over Indiana, while the home team, Iowa, awaits and is equally as hot posting a 51-14 stomping of Maryland last week. The two national powers bring incredible defenses to the contest. Neither is averaging more than 13 points per game against them in 2021. 

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Pags’ NCAAF Picks YTD: 16-5-1 (+10.3 units)


  • Opening Line: Iowa -1.5
  • Current Line: Iowa -1.5
  • Over/Under: 41.5
  • Location: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
  • Start Time: 4:00 PM ET
  • Last Meeting: Iowa 41, Penn St 21


Iowa’s defense has allowed an average of 271.4 yards per game to opposing offenses in 2021, ranking 7th in the nation. Their 12 interceptions lead all of college football. There is no discussion about the Hawkeyes that doesn’t mention their knack for creating turnovers and giving their offense short fields to work with. That has been their path to victory all five games this year, if it continues on Saturday, the Nittany Lions will be just another victim of Iowa’s ball-hawking defensive unit.

Penn State is no slouch on defense either, especially in the red zone. They’ve allowed just 5 TDs in 15 opponent trips inside their 20-yard line. On those other 10 occasions? The Nittany Lions have given up just 3 field goals! Bend, don’t break has been the Penn State way. So, even if Iowa’s defense hands the ball to their offense in great field position, PSU is built to clamp down and minimize the damage. Points by either side will be premium.

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  • Penn St is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall
  • Totals have gone UNDER in each of PSU’s last 4 games
  • Favorites are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between PSU and Iowa
  • Totals have gone UNDER in 5 straight Iowa games at HOME
  • Penn St leads the all-time series 17-13

Bottom Line

Trusting Iowa’s offense to score 20 points (the implied team total) is difficult. They’ve scored so many points off turnovers in 2021 that if Penn St can just secure the ball, they might shut out the Hawkeyes. UNDER 41.5 is our favorite play in this contest. Leaving Penn St +1.5 or Iowa ML -124 as the great debate. Since this is mostly an “eye test” lean, the wager will only be 0.5 units. Penn State “looks better” on tape, so we will take the +1.5, but don’t be surprised if a 17-16 Iowa victory cashes the ML and the underdog play.

Prediction: Iowa 17, Penn St 16

Picks: Penn St +1.5 | 0.5 units, UNDER 41.5 | 1.0 units 

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Aaron Pags is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Aaron, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyTriage.

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