One of Oskeim Sports’ Free Football Picks for Saturday, September 23 involves the Big Ten Conference game between Penn State and Iowa. Keep reading for at least three free football picks for Saturday.
Both teams take the field with identical 3-0 records, although I have been more impressed with Iowa’s resume, which includes a double-digit win over Wyoming and a road victory at Iowa State.
The Hawkeyes are averaging 33.0 points and 398 total yards per game at 5.3 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.2 yards per play to a mediocre attack to they are just slightly above average offensively.
However, Iowa possesses an outstanding defense that has been 0.8 yards per play better than average (5.3 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 6.1 yards per play), especially at home where the Hawkeyes have yielded just 8.5 points and 269 total yards per game at 4.6 yards per play and 31.6 yards per point.
Overall, I rate Iowa 0.9 yards per play better than average from the line of scrimmage in 2017.
Penn State has amassed eye-opening statistics by beating up on Akron (52-0) and Georgia State (56-0), while actually being outgained in its 33-14 win over Pittsburgh.
The Nittany Lions’ aerial attack has been mediocre despite averaging 282 passing yards at 9.6 yards per pass attempt with a 64.8% completion rate.
Specifically, the 9.6 yards per pass play has come against three teams that would combine to allow 9.6 yards per play to an average quarterback.
Meanwhile, Iowa’s defensive backfield has been spectacular this season, allowing 6.2 yards per pass attempt to a group of quarterbacks who would average 7.5 yards per pass play against a mediocre secondary).
Rating 1.3 yards per pass play better than average gives the Hawkeyes a significant advantage over Penn State’s grossly overrated passing attack.
Iowa will have a difficult time moving the chains against an elite Penn State defense that is 1.0 yards per play better than average. However, the Hawkeyes play at an excruciatingly slow pace that allows them to dominate time of possession (averaging 35:35 per game this season), thereby making them solid investments when getting points.
From a technical standpoint, Iowa is 9-3 ATS with conference revenge (lost 41-14 last year), 5-1 ATS as a home underdog of 4+ points and 8-2 ATS in Game Four of the season.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is a profitable 9-2 ATS as a conference home underdog of more than seven points, including 7-1 ATS with revenge and 4-0 ATS at home with triple-revenge.
Ferentz is also an incredible 19-5-1 ATS when playing with revenge with the Hawkeyes, including 10-0-1 ATS over the last eleven circumstances.
Finally, Iowa is 22-8 ATS as an underdog of more than a touchdown, including 17-3 ATS versus an opponent off a straight-up win (defeated Michigan as a 21.5-point underdog last season).
Grab the points with Iowa as one of Oskeim Sports’ Free Football Picks for Saturday, September 23.
Oskeim Sports’ Free Football Picks for Saturday:
- Iowa (+12.5) over Penn State
- Appalachian State (+5)
- Florida Atlantic (+2.5)
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