Penn State vs. Iowa Prediction
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Penn State is the favorite on the road in this game, as the Nittany Lions are getting odds of -11 points against the Hawkeyes. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 52.5 points. Penn State has won and covered the spread in three straight meetings with Iowa. Tonight’s game will take place from Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa and air live on ABC.
Iowa is off to a 3-0 start as well with wins over Wyoming, Iowa State and North Texas. The Hawkeyes are just 1-2 against the spread and are an underdog for the first time this season. Iowa has always been known for being a physical football team and it brings a respectable defense to the field tonight. Iowa is allowing just 19.3 points and 335 yards per game this season. The run defense has been really good, allowing just 97 yards per game on the ground. Offensively, Iowa is averaging 33 points and 398.3 yards per game. Nathan Stanley has thrown for 655 yards and 10 touchdowns this season while Akrum Wadley has run for 258 yards and a score. He is dealing with a leg injury, but expect to play Saturday. James Butler, who has run for 158 yards, is out until late October with an elbow injury.
Penn State has looked about as good as anyone three weeks into the season. The Nittany Lions have beaten Akron, Pitt and Georgia State by a combined score of 141-14. Penn State is also 2-0-1 against the spread in those games, yet it hitting the road for the first time tonight. The Nittany Lions are holding opponents to just 273.7 total yards through three games. On offense, PSU is putting up 469 yards per game. Trace McSorley has thrown for 753 yards and nine touchdowns while also rushing for 137 yards and two scores. Saquon Barkley is adding 307 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
If this game was during the day, I may be more inclined to take Penn State and the points, but night games add another dimension. The crowd will be alive at Kinnick Stadium for what should be a physical football game. Both teams pride themselves on being able to control the line of scrimmage, but Iowa is a tough out at their place. I don’t think Penn State will be able to move the ball as easily as it has. Going on the road for the first time is an added challenge for the Nittany Lions, as they are just 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 road games against a team with a winning record at home.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: IOWA +11