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Iowa vs. Penn State odds, line: Picks, predictions from expert who’s 9-2 on Nittany Lions games

One of the most anticipated games on the Week 9 college football schedule is the top-20 battle between No. 17 Penn State and No. 18 Iowa in State College, Pennsylvania. The Nittany Lions are 6.5-point home favorites in the latest Penn State vs. Iowa odds, with the over-under for total points set at 52.5. After Penn State lost two consecutive games and then followed that up by barely defeating Indiana, figuring out which Penn State you’ll get against Iowa could be a challenge. That’s why, before making any Penn State vs. Iowa picks, you’ll want to hear what SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh has to say.

The renowned co-founder of AccuScore, Oh simulates each game 10,000 times using the SportsLine projection model.

Oh is crushing college football in 2018, and he heads into this week with a 3-1 run on his point-spread picks. More important, he has had a keen eye for the tendencies of Penn State, as he boasts a 9-2 mark on against the spread picks involving the Nittany Lions. Now he has run the numbers for this Big Ten clash and locked in another strong play. 

Oh knows that Penn State is at its best when the pass defense is giving its opponents problems. Unfortunately for Penn State fans, the defense has faltered in that department the past three weeks.

In those two aforementioned losses and the scare against Indiana, the Nittany Lions gave up just under 300 yards per game through the air and six passing touchdowns. Meanwhile, Iowa can be surprisingly explosive with their passing attack, throwing for 634 yards and 10 touchdowns in their two road wins in the Big Ten over Minnesota and Indiana this year.

However, don’t assume Penn State’s recent struggles means they can’t cover on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes are 6-1, but they haven’t defeated a ranked team this year and failed to cover against Wisconsin at home in the only game they’ve played against one this season. In that game, the Iowa defense gave up 210 yards on the ground to the Badgers, and that’s exactly how Penn State will hope to attack on Saturday.

James Franklin’s bunch is averaging over 240 yards rushing. The 1-2 punch of running back Miles Sanders and quarterback Trace McSorley could make things extremely hard on the Iowa defense.

We can tell you Oh is leaning toward the under, but his much stronger play is on the side. He has crunched the numbers and discovered a crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-play Saturday.

Who covers Iowa vs. Penn State? And what crucial x-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump all over Saturday, all from the data scientist who’s 9-2 on his spread picks involving Penn State.

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