Week 4 of the college football season is set to provide a number of high-profile matchups, Top-25 games, and conference rivalries. And when No. 24 Iowa heads to face No. 7 Penn State on Saturday, it gives us a little bit of everything. A Top-25 battle, Big Ten conference matchup and a game that could have implications on the College Football Playoffs if things don’t go to plan for the Nittany Lions.
The Iowa vs. Penn State matchup comes in as one of the many college football free picks we have on the board, and could prove to be a test for both teams, but specifically Penn State as they attempt to parlay a strong start to the season with home field advantage to get the job done against a Hawkeyes team that’s had some close victories, but got the job done in each of their firs three games.
Will Iowa Keep Penn State QB Drew Allar and Team’s Rushing Game in Check?
Through three games, Penn State has averaged 467.3 yards per game (259 through the air, 208.3 on the ground). Iowa has done well defensively to start the year, giving up just 179.3 passing yards per game and 106.7 rushing, but have yet to face an offense with the firepower and upside that Penn State has.
Nittany Lions running back Kaytron Allen has totaled 208 yards and two scores on 42 carries this season, and on paper, should be primed for a big day. Nicholas Singleton will also get his fair share of work out of the Nittany Lions backfield and has totaled an impressive five touchdowns on 36 carries along with 154 yards. Penn State’s dynamic duo is going to be a problem for Iowa, but I’m even more curious to see if Allar can put up big numbers against the Hawkeyes.
Drew Allar’s Breakout Performance To Set Tone for Impressive Penn State Win
Over Penn State’s past two games, a 63-7 win over Delaware and a 30-13 victory over Illinois, Allar has had some impressive moments. His completion percentage was down against Illinois (48.5) while it topped 72% in each of the two prior games. Allar has all the talent in the world, and I envision this Top-25 matchup potentially being his “breakout” performance.
Iowa allowed 200-plus passing yards to both Utah State and Iowa State, and the Penn State rushing attack should open things up a lot for the passing game. I’m buying stock in Allar for this week’s free college football picks, and offensive weapons on Penn State’s side are just too much to overlook.
Predicted Score: Penn State 28 Iowa 10
Iowa vs Penn State Game Information
• Game: Iowa (3-0) at Penn State (3-0)
• Date/Time: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
• Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
• Iowa vs Penn State Live Stream: ESPN
Iowa vs Penn State Best Bets
The college football lines on this game are in the exact spot to create a bit of a headache. Realistically, Penn State should cover the 15-point spread, but if there’s value in targeting a teaser that sets up a great spot for either the over/under and one team, I have no issue going that route.
That’s the path here, although Penn State -15 is a decent lean, teasing that number down to just below 10 and taking the over on an adjusted total from 40 down to 33 or 34 is a good target for this matchup.
College Football Pick: Penn State six-point teaser to -9 and over 34 (-115)
Although I think the 28-10 prediction above was being somewhat cautious with the Penn State total points, we’d clear the total of 40 with one more score there (on either side), or even a field goal. I’m more optimistic that there’s more scoring than what’s above than less, and think the over on 40 is the lean here, but it’s less a favorite play in comparison to the teaser option.
College Football Pick: Over 40 (-110)