Online college football betting picks will take center stage when the still-rebuilding Penn State Nittany Lions host the Iowa Hawkeyes in a Week 10 Big Ten battle that looks like an exciting affair just waiting to happen. Now, let’s get down to the business at hand – picking the ATS winner of this intriguing pairing.
Here’s a Closer at the Iowa at Penn State Odds & TV Info
— IowaFBLive (@IowaFBLive) July 25, 2016
When: Saturday, November 5 2016, 7 pm ET
Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
NCAAF Odds: Penn State -1
Why Bet The Iowa Hawkeyes?
The Hawkeyes have the better team, head coach and quarterback. Iowa (12-2 SU, 7-6- 1 ATS) won a stunning 12 games in 2015 to tie Big Ten rivals, Ohio State and Michigan State for victories last season. Now, the Hawkeyes will look to improve on that mark in 2016 ad I believe they very well could.
Iowa lost stating running back Jordan Canzeri and two starters on the offensive line, but the Hawkeyes return seven starters on the offensive side of the ball, including still- blossoming quarterback C.J. Beathard (17 TDs, 5 Ints). Iowa will likely go with a running back by committee approach in 2016 that features senior LeShun Daniels and junior Akrum Wadley, a pair that combined for more than 1,100 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns a year ago. Senior wideout Matt VandeBerg is back after leading the Hawkeyes in catches (65) and receiving yards (703) and big thins are expected out of talented senior tight end George Kittle after he caught six TD passes a year ago.
Defensively, the Hawkeyes ranked 19th nationally in points allowed (20.3 ppg) and they look like they’ll be at least as good in 2016. Iowa has an outstanding defense that returns three starters including 2015 Jim Thorpe award winning cornerback Desmond King. Three more players return on the defensive line with starting experience, including starting tackles Jaleel Johnson and junior Nathan Bazata, a pair of players that started every game for the Hawkeyes a year ago. Last but not least, junior middle linebacker Josey Jewell is back after leading the team with a stellar 126 tackles last season.
Why Bet The Penn State Nittany Lions?
They’re playing a home – and will almost certainly be desperate by the time this affair rolls around. Penn State (7-6 SU, 4-9 ATS) underachieved under head coach James Franklin in posting their second consecutive 7-6 record in 2015.
Now, the Nittany Lions will have a very different look with former starting quarterback Christian Hackenberg now off to the NFL. Still, Penn State returns a whopping nine starters on offense and could surprise in 2016 – if they get some solid play from sophomore signal-caller Trace McSorley, the expected starter at the quarterback position. Not only that, but the Nittany Lions will no longer use the conventional offense they’ve been using for decades as they move to a fast-paced, no-huddle spread offense under new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead.
Penn State’s offense will be led by gifted sophomore running back Saquon Barkley and junior wideout Chris Godwin after Barkley impressed as a freshman by finishing third in the Big Ten in rushing last season with 1,076 yards. Godwin finished second in the conference in receiving yards with 1,101. Last but not least, the Lions return six offensive linemen that all started at least five games last season.
Defensively, Penn State returns six starters, but they’ll have to overcome the loss of three starting d-linemen, two of whom went on to the NFL while leaving defensive end Garrett Sickels as the lone returning veteran. The linebacker unit returns all three starters from last season’s squad, but none are bringing back fond memories of former Penn State linebacker greats like Jack Ham, Tamba Hali or Sean Lee.
The good news is that the Nittany Lions are strong in the secondary with three experienced veterans returning in cornerback Grant Haley, free safety Marcus Allen and strong safety Malik Golden and another player that made an immediate impact as a freshman last season in cornerback John Reid. Even with that said, the secondary will need to pick off more than the miniscule six interceptions they recorded a year ago.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
While Iowa’s 2015 campaign ended on a downer as the Hawkeyes lost a heartbreaker against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game before getting their brains bashed in by Stanford 45-16 in the Rose Bowl, that just leads me to believe Iowa will play with even more resolve in 2016.
Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, that doesn’t bode well as they face an Iowa team that is superior to them on both sides of the ball. The Hawkeyes went 5-1 ATS on the road last season and 1-1- 1 ATS as an underdog while Penn State posted a modest 4-4 ATS mark at home and uninspiring 4-5 ATS mark as an underdog.
My online college football picks selection says that Iowa wins outright to cover the spread with room to spare.
My Pick: Iowa 31 Penn State 21