Iowa vs. Penn State Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Sunday, Jan. 1)

Iowa vs. Penn State Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Sunday, Jan. 1) article feature image

Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick McCaffery (Iowa)

  • Things have gotten ugly for Iowa over the past two games, and the Hawkeyes looking to bounce back on Sunday vs. Penn State.
  • Iowa lost to Eastern Illinois as a 30+ point favorite and then got mauled by Nebraska to go to 0-2 in the Big Ten.
  • Matt Cox breaks down this matchup below and provides a best bet.

Iowa vs. Penn State Odds

Sunday, Jan. 1
5:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Iowa Odds
-110o / -110u
Penn State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

From a blissful start to an irreversible nightmare, Iowa's season was tipped on its head over the last two weeks. It all started with an historically bad loss at home to Eastern Illinois as a 30-point favorite.

Then, a ripe opportunity to right the ship arose in a Big Ten tilt against Nebraska. Again, the Hawkeyes faltered against Nebraska — albeit, a much improved Huskers squad.

Iowa gets another shot at redemption this evening against another feisty Big Ten opponent, Penn State, which is looking to improve to 2-1 in league play.

The key note for the Nittany Lions is the timely return of star wing Seth Lundy, who missed the game prior against Quinnipiac.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa also welcomed back key reinforcements last time out, Kris Murray and Patrick McCaffery — though, to no avail.

Collectively, the duo was far from prime form against Nebraska. The Hawkeyes badly need them to shift into to high gear.

In the last two losses, Iowa has posted 1.02 and 0.76 points per possession on offense against EIU and Nebraska, respectively, ghastly figures compared to the Hawkeyes' standards.

The key could be big man Filip Rebraca, who's quietly blossomed into a reliable interior scoring outlet. Penn State's interior vulnerability lies up front, which is where Iowa may look to attack in the half court.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Shockingly, Iowa is not the best shooting team in this contest — not even close. Penn State is torching the nets at a blistering clip from downtown this season, making 38.4% as a team on a hearty volume.

Micah Shrewsberry's offense can run-and-gun with the best of them, though the Nittany Lions usually prefer a more moderate tempo.

The pace tug-of-war will be a fascinating one.  Both teams are potent enough offensively to thrive in any lane, but the fast lane may favor the Hawkeyes.

For that reason, look for Jalen Pickett to dictate the game on his terms, and he's best when he can pick apart set defenses from the point of attack.

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Iowa vs. Penn State Betting Pick

Both teams carry similar handicapping DNA, which makes this a tricky handicap.

Penn State and Iowa both flourished against low-major competition early on, but looked mortal against power-league opponents. Pinned against each other, that strength of schedule angle is likely a wash.

The slight differentiator is the second full game back for Murray and McCaffery. Bet on a better outing from this tandem to carry the Hawkeyes towards a desperate victory on the road.

Iowa should open as a short dog, and is worth a spread or ML wager at anything down to +2. Below a deuce, it's probably prudent to pass.

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