Iowa vs Penn State Odds and Picks

Penn State

Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith (12) celebrates after tackling Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) in the second half of their NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. Penix was injured on the play and left the game.Penn State defeated Indiana 24-0. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

  • Penn State travels to Iowa in Week 6 on Saturday, October 9th at 4:00 PM EST
  • Both teams are undefeated entering the big showdown at Kinnick Stadium
  • Read below for the odds, spread and betting prediction

It’s a top-five showdown in the Big Ten when No. 4 Penn State and No. 3 Iowa faceoff at Kinnick Stadium in Week 6 on Saturday, October 9th. Kickoff is set for 4:00 PM EST on FOX.

The Hawkeyes are listed as small home favorites in Iowa City. Kirk Ferentz’s team has one of the best defense in the nation and will look to shutdown a dangerous Penn State pass attack.

Can the Nittany Lions pull off the upset on the road?

Penn State vs Iowa Odds

Penn State Nittany Lions+1.5 (-108)-104O 41.5 (-102)
Iowa Hawkeyes-1.5 (-112)-120U 41.5 (-120)

Odds as of Oct 6th at FanDuel

Hawkeyes Are Defensive Monsters

Iowa brings an 11-game winning streak into its Week 6 clash with Penn State. The team is undefeated through five games this season primarily due to its excellent defense. The Hawkeyes rank second in the FBS in points allowed (11.6), seventh in total defense (271 yards) and 11th in rushing defense (87 yards).

Iowa is coming off an impressive 51-14 victory over Maryland in which they forced six interceptions and seven turnovers against the Terrapins. Turnovers have been the team’s calling card this season, as the Hawkeyes lead the nation with 16 takeaways and a plus-12 turnover margin. 68 of the Hawkeyes’ 166 points scored this season have come off turnovers.

Iowa’s defense is stifling, but their offense isn’t exactly lighting the country on fire. The Hawkeyes rank 118th in the FBS in total offense at 324 yards per game and 100th in rushing offense at 126 yards per contest. They do average over 30 point per game, but that’s mainly due to the defense putting them in great field position.

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Nittany Lions Can Sling It

Penn State (5-0) is also undefeated entering Week 6 against the Hawkeyes. The Nittany Lions haven’t been quite as good defensively as their upcoming opponent, but they do have the more explosive offense. Penn State is averaging over 400 yards per game thanks to a dynamic passing attack led by QB Sean Clifford and WR Jahan Dotson.

Penn State is coming off a 24-0 win over Indiana in which they kept Michael Penix Jr. and the Hoosier’s high-powered offense out of the end zone. Nittany Lions running back Keyvone Lee had a breakout game with 74 yards on the ground, while the defense forced eight punts, two turnovers and blocked a field goal attempt.

Penn State ranks third in FBS in points allowed (12) and second in red zone defense (.533). The Nittany Lions also hold an offensive edge over Iowa, but they need to find a way to get their ground game going consistently. In key matchups against Wisconsin and Auburn, James Franklin’s team was held to under 100 yards rushing.

Penn State vs Iowa Best Bet

Penn State vs Iowa features two of the nastiest defenses in college football. Iowa is winning games by creating turnovers, while the Nittany Lions are coming up with key stops and also forcing takeaways. With both teams boasting elite defenses, this game could be determined by which team can establish the dominant ground game.

Penn State has won three straight games in Iowa City primarily due to their ability to dominate the run game. It’s still not where it needs to be for the Nittany Lions entering the 2021 showdown, but it’s a positive they picked up over 200 yards last time out. Keyvone Lee and Noah Cain could be key to Penn State walking out of Iowa City with a victory.

Penn State committed four turnovers in a 41-21 loss to the Hawkeyes last season. The Nittany Lions have only committed three turnovers total this season and won’t make those same mistakes. As long as they continue to take care of the football, Iowa won’t be able to capitalize on the opposition mistakes that have won them games all season.

Considering the elite defenses and struggling run games of both units, it’ll be a big play or two that determines the outcome of this game. The Clifford-Dotson connection is just that much better than what Iowa QB Spencer Petras has to offer. Look for the two playmakers to connect on a big play late in the game to spur a Penn State upset in Iowa City.

  • Pick: Penn State ML (+105)

Brady Trettenero

Sports Writer