Iowa vs Penn State Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Nittany Lions Roll Unproven Hawkeyes

Despite both teams boasting undefeated records heading into Week 4, the Nittany Lions boast a much superior roster, and the odds certainly reflect that ahead of Saturday's contest in University Park. Read more in our Iowa vs. Penn State betting picks.

Ed Scimia - Betting Analyst at
Ed Scimia • Betting Analyst
Sep 23, 2023 • 16:59 ET • 4 min read
Draw Allar Penn State Nittany Lions NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Two ranked and undefeated Big Ten squads collide on Saturday when the No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions host the No. 24 Iowa Hawkeyes at Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions (3-0) have dominated their first three opponents, most recently toppling the Illinois Fighting Illini 30-13 on the road. That has led to Penn State being favored heavily over Iowa (3-0) in this week’s college football odds, even though the Hawkeyes are also perfect on the season.

These two teams may both be undefeated, but their pedigrees and prospects for the season are very different. We’ll break down who has the edge in our free college football picks and predictions for Iowa vs. Penn State on September 23. 

Iowa vs Penn State best odds

Iowa vs Penn State and predictions

The Penn State Nittany Lions have already established itself as a contender thanks to some impressive performances that have put the country on notice.

Penn State boasts one of the better and more dynamic offenses in the Big Ten, as the Nittany Lions are averaging 43.7 points per game so far this year. Sophomore quarterback Draw Allar has been nearly mistake-free, tossing four touchdowns without an interception. Running back Nicholas Singleton already has five touchdowns on the season, while Kaytron Allen is averaging five yards per carry.

Penn State is stout on defense as well, having allowed just 11.7 ppg on the season. While the Iowa Hawkeyes will certainly represent a step up in competition, it’s worth asking just how good the Hawkeyes really are based on what we’ve seen this year.

Yes, Iowa is 3-0, but the quality of its opposition has been lacking. Both Utah State Aggies and Iowa State played Iowa to within 10 points, and even Western Michigan trailed just 14-10 at halftime against the Hawkeyes.

Iowa may be ranked, but that’s only because voters don’t tend to punish teams too harshly in the rankings as long as they keep winning. In reality, there are several unranked and undefeated teams with far better resumes than Iowa at this point in the season. The Hawkeyes haven’t played like a Top 25 team so far this year, and I don’t expect them to stay in the rankings for long.

Penn State should outclass an Iowa team that hasn’t shown the ability to outclass poor opponents and hasn’t yet faced a good team this year. The fact that the Nittany Lions are playing at home should allow them to run up the score even further.

I’m willing to lay the points in what should be a comfortable win for the Nittany Lions.

My best bet: Penn State -14.5 (-108 at DraftKings)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.

Not intended for use in MA.
Affiliate Disclosure: Covers may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook or betting site

Iowa vs Penn State same-game parlay

Penn State -14.5

Over 40.5

Iowa team total Under 14.5

I’m predicting an easy day at the office for Penn State, and my same-game parlay reflects this. I’m starting out by taking the Nittany Lions to cover the spread, then adding a couple of score-based bets that indicate the kind of blowout I expect.

This begins with taking the Over at 40.5 points, as the Nittany Lions offense provides a massive step up from the previous programs that Iowa has faced. I'm also going to take the Under on Iowa’s point total at an alternate line of 14.5 points.

Iowa won’t get shutout — even last year, they scored some consolation points against Michigan and Ohio State — but I can’t see them repeatedly threatening this overpowering Penn State defense. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Best Iowa vs Penn State bonuses

FanDuel All Users
Get a 50% profit boost on one Week 4 CFB parlay! Claim Now

DraftKings All Users
Get a 50% profit boost on one Week 4 CFP parlay! Claim Now

Eligible USA locations only. Also, see our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Iowa vs Penn State spread and Over/Under analysis

Penn State opened Saturday’s matchup as a two-touchdown favorite. That line has since moved up to Penn State -14.5 at most sites, with some making a further jump to 15 points. 

So far on the year, Penn State is a perfect 3-0 against the spread. Meanwhile, Iowa is 2-1 ATS, as the Hawkeyes failed to cover against Utah State in their opener.

This looks like a completely one-sided matchup in favor of the Nittany Lions. The Iowa defense is solid, but not the kind of shutdown unit that should regularly slow down Penn State.

Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes are going to try to lean on former Michigan QB Cade McNamara to score points. McNamara has only completed 53.5% of his passes and thrown three interceptions against inferior competition, so that doesn’t promise much against Penn State.

The total in this game opened at 41.5 points. However, that number has come down to around 40 at most books, with equal -110 odds on both sides of that line.

With the total coming down this low, I’m leaning towards the Over. The problem here is that Penn State should be able to score at least 31 points, and I don’t expect the Nittany Lions to shut out Iowa. That makes it hard to see these teams hitting an Under that doesn’t require much offense to bust.

Even garbage-time points might make the difference for the Over, so that’s my play.

Iowa vs Penn State betting trend to know

Penn State is 10-0 against the spread in its last 10 games overall. Find more college football betting trends for Iowa vs Penn State.

Kentucky: Sports betting is coming!

Kentucky sports betting will launch on September 28 — but you can pre-register now!
Check out the best Kentucky sports betting apps, as well as the best Kentucky sportsbook promos!

21+ and present in KY. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Iowa vs Penn State game info

Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

Iowa vs Penn State latest injuries

Iowa vs Penn State weather

Monitor gametime conditions with our College football weather info.

Google News
Stay updated with the latest picks, odds, and news! Tap the star to add us to your favorites on Google News to never miss a story.

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo