[7:30 PM] Iowa @ #12 Penn State

Who will WIN this matchup?

Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3)

@ #12 Penn State Nittany Lions (6-2)


Current odds:

Iowa Hawkeyes: (+218)

Penn State Nittany Lions: (-250)


ESPN simulations have Penn State as 78.8% favorites to win the game.

55% of sports bets are currently on Penn State to win as (-250) favorites.

The line for this game is Penn State by 6.5.

Penn State coach James Franklin’s long-term survival at Penn State seemed ominous at best three weeks ago, but a big win over then-No.2 Ohio State followed by its highest scoring game since 2008 has the pollsters taking note and fans in Happy Valley back on the bandwagon. The 20th-ranked Nittany Lions, who debuted at No. 12 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday, seek a fifth straight win Saturday when Iowa visits.

Senior quarterback C.J. Beathard has thrown for 1,380 yards with 11 TDs and four interceptions but his numbers are down across the board from last season when the Hawkeyes opened the season with 11 straight wins. Backs Akrum Wadley (636 yards) and LeShun Daniels Jr. (624), who rank seventh and eighth, respectively, in the Big Ten rushing chase, will look to exploit a run defense that surrenders 183 yards per game. Cornerback Desmond King (the only Big Ten Player in the last 20 years with 12 career interceptions and 1,500 kickoff/punt return yards), linebacker Josey Jewell (16 tackles against Wisconsin) and defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson (tied for fourth in Big Ten with 5.5 sacks) lead a defense that yields 154 yards per game on the ground.

Barkley has a conference-high 888 yards rushing, averaging six yards per carry, and he leads the Big Ten with 111 rush yards per game to go with 11 total TDs. McSorley (55.2 completion rate, 12 TDs, three interceptions), who threw a career-high three touchdowns last week, is averaging over 15 yards a completion in each of the last four games. The defense, led by safety Marcus Allen as well as linebackers Brandon Bell and Jason Cabinda (both playing their third game back after missing several games with injuries), has allowed just 81 points after halftime and has held two teams scoreless.

Penn State leads the all-time series 13-12 and has won two straight, but the schools have not met since 2012.

The Hawkeyes have scored points on 26-of-28 trips to the red zone, including 20 touchdowns and six field goals. Their 92.9-percent success rate is second in the Big Ten and No. 12 in FBS.

Penn State is 5-0 at home this season and has won 11 of its last 12 home games.


StreakSmarts Pick: Penn State Nittany Lions

Confidence: 7/10

StreakSmarter Pick