- No. 11 Iowa is ranked No. 1 in offensive efficiency as it hosts Penn State in Big Ten play Sunday
- Penn State has lost four of its last five games overall and all seven of its Big Ten road games
- Check the odds, analysis and betting predictions below
No. 11 Iowa (16-6, 10-5 Big Ten) has won its last three games, all by at least 13 points, entering its Big Ten home game against Penn State (7-11, 4-10) at 5pm ET on Sunday.
Penn State has played the second-most difficult schedule in NCAA Division I, according to KenPom, and has played the most difficult schedule in terms of adjusted opponents’ defense.
Penn St vs Iowa Odds
|Penn State Nittany Lions||N/A||+11.5 (-110)||157.5 (Over-110)|
|Iowa Hawkeyes||N/A||-11.5 (-110)||157.5 (Under-110)|
Odds from FanDuel on Feb 20.
Iowa 6-foot-11 center Luka Garza, a shoo-in for national player of the year, needs 14 points to pass forward Roy Marble as the Hawkeyes’ career leading scorer. Marble had 2,116 points in a four-year career from 1986-89. Garza is averaging a Division I-high 24.7 points a game.
The Hawkeyes have six victories against AP Top 25 teams, the most in Division I, and have a combined nine Quad I (five) and Quad 2 (four) victories.
Iowa Much More Than Garza
Garza, who also averages 8.4 rebounds per game, is hardly the Hawkeyes’ only threat.
Junior 6-foot-6 forward Joe Wieskamp, who is averaging 15.5 points and 6.7 rebounds, is actually rates slightly higher than Garza in effective field goal percentage, per KenPom, because of his success from deep..
Wieskamp has made 55-of-108 threes, and his 50.8% is second in Division I to Colgate’s Jack Ferguson. Wieskamp has scored 99 points on 35-of-62 shooting (56.5%) in the last five games. He has made five threes in each of the last three games and is 22-of-35 (62.9%) from distance in the last five.
Penn State Playing Through Tough Times
Penn State coach Jim Ferry, named the interim coach when Pat Chambers resigned in late October, has his team playing well even as losses mount.
The Nittany Lions’ first two losses in their current three-game streak were two points to Michigan State and one point to Nebraska. Penn State held an eight-point lead with 15 minutes remaining before falling 92-82 to No. 4 Ohio State last Thursday.
Penn State also has played Ohio State and Michigan close on the road, losing by four points in each game.
By the Numbers
Iowa has played well against the number this season, especially at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes are 13-9 ATS, 9-4 ATS as a favorite home.
While Penn State is 0-7 in straight up in Big Ten road games, it is 4-3 ATS. The Hawkeyes have covered all three games during their current winning streak after losing five straight against the number, a streak that coincided with the absence of sophomore guard and outside threat CJ Fredrick.
Fredrick missed four games and parts of two others with a lower leg injury before returning to his normal workload with 31 minutes in a 77-62 victory at Wisconsin on Thursday. Fredrick, who averages 8.2 points per game, has made 49% of three three-point attempts and has 40 assists and four turnovers.
Both Can Play From Perimeter
Iowa and Penn State are the top three-point shooting teams in the Big Ten in terms of makes per game. Iowa is averaging 10.2 per game and Penn State is at 8.7.
Iowa is shooting 40.4% from distance, which is fourth in Division I and second to Baylor among Power Six teams.
Penn State leading scorer Myreon Jones, who is averaging 15.1 points per game, is the Nittany Lions’ most effective deep threat, making 42-of-103 (41.8%). Seth Lundy and Myles Dread have made 31 apiece.
Experimenting with Small Lineups
The Nittany Lions have started four guards to go with 6-foot-9 forward John Harrar the last two games, elevating 6-foot-4 junior guard Myles Dread.
Harrar, who is averaging 9.0 points and 8.7 rebounds, is averaging a double-double in the last 11 games and leads the Big Ten with an average of 3.7 offensive rebounds per game, 10th in Division I and first among Power Six players.
The Nittany Lions have outrebounded seven of their last 11 opponents.
The pick: Penn State +11.5 (-110)