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Iowa-Penn State Pick & Prediction: Saturday’s Favorites a Safe Bet (Sept. 23)

The No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions will host the No. 24 Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday evening in a massive Week 4 matchup. It’s one of six games between ranked opponents. Every week, we’ll post our top college football picks starting on Monday and provide an update before each game — you can check out all of our college football Week 4 picks here. Let’s dig into today’s Iowa-Penn State odds as we make our predictions and pick the best college football Week 4 bet!

Looking for more 2023 college football predictions? OddsShopper’s experts are here to break down this college football season — make sure to check out the rest of our college football articles, including our best bets for Week 4. If you still need more picks, our market-based betting model might just be for you — you can even try it out now!

Iowa-Penn State Pick & Betting Prediction | College Football Week 4

Iowa-Penn State Betting Odds

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Iowa: +500 | Penn State: -720
Iowa +14.5: -110 | Penn State -14.5: -110
Over 39.5: -110 | Under 39.5: -110
Expert: Ben Rasa

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Iowa-Penn State Pick & Prediction

It’s still early in the college football season, but anytime we get two ranked undefeated teams squaring off, we have to take notice. That’s the theme around the entire Week 4 slate, including in Happy Valley, where the No. 24 Iowa Hawkeyes head to take on the unbeaten No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions. This game will absolutely have Big Ten title implications, and, with the way Penn State looks, it could even impact the championship landscape. We have a bunch of different angles to analyze from a betting perspective, but one play stands out amongst the rest.

Let’s start with Iowa, who is unbeaten on the year and looking to pull the upset here. The current spread has them as a 14.5-to-15-point underdog. The Hawkeyes have beaten three subpar opponents in Utah State, Iowa State and Western Michigan. Like all Iowa teams, this one struggles to do much of anything offensively, even though they somehow hung 41 points on Western Michigan’s defense. Through three games, quarterback Cade McNamara has four passing scores to go along with three interceptions and anti-dual threat ability with -45 yards rushing. If Iowa is going to pull off this upset, they are going to need improved quarterback play, especially if they fall behind early.

For Penn State, everything is going according to plan so far. They have racked up three straight wins, including a road victory over Illinois. They destroyed FCS Delaware by 56 points and opened the season against a decent West Virginia team that proved no match for the Nittany Lions. Quarterback Drew Allar has stepped in nicely so far with no interceptions on the season and an impressive command of this offense. It doesn’t hurt to have two elite running backs, a top-end wide receiver, and a big-time offensive line to join you on offense. Going against Iowa’s defense will be a challenge, and this is the strength-against-strength portion of the game. Defensively, Penn State is getting healthier, and now gets Iowa’s struggling offense to contend with.

Looking at OddsShopper’s tools,  we find can Penn State as low as -14.5 priced at -108 via DraftKings. The total sits at just 39.5 points, which speaks to just how bad Iowa’s offense might be in this spot. I actually have an interest in laying the points despite the low total. I trust Allar and this offense to put together quality drives and eventually wear down this Hawkeyes defense. On the flip side, I have zero faith that Iowa can put together anything even remotely threatening to this Penn State defense, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them finish with 10 or fewer points. At home, at night, it doesn’t get better for Penn State, and I’ll call for them to get a statement win early in the season with a big-time showing against Iowa.

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Iowa-Penn State Week 4 Pick: Penn State -108 at DraftKings

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