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Nittany Lions open as college hoops underdog vs Hawkeyes

Iowa HawkeyesPenn State Nittany Lions
18-6February 15, 2014, 01:00 | Bryce Jordan Center13-12

The Iowa Hawkeyes will look to pick up a win while covering the spread when they take on the Nittany Lions in Penn State at Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday in college basketball action.

The Hawkeyes will look to vanquish their hosts on Saturday, as they are 14-8 ATS versus the spread this season, while the Nittany Lions are 12-10 ATS. Iowa is 14-8 against the total, while Penn State is 13-9 versus the number.

View Iowa Hawkeyes vs Penn State Nittany Lions Odds and Stats.

The Nittany Lions were listed as 7.5-point underdogs at most sportsbooks tracked by Odds Shark earlier in the day. It opened first at BetOnline, where the total was expected shortly.

The power rankings show a disparity between these teams, with the Nittany Lions rated this week at No. 285 and the Hawkeyes sitting at No. 17.

In their last action, Iowa was an 85-67 winner at home against Michigan. They covered the 5.5-point spread as favorites. The Hawkeyes got a terrific 26-point effort from Roy Devyn Marble as Iowa defeated Michigan 85-67 on Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

In their last action, Penn State was a 66-65 winner on the road against Indiana. They covered the 7.5-point spread as underdogs. The Nittany Lions got 14 points from Tim Frazier as Penn State ran past Indiana 66-65 on Wednesday at Branch McCracken Court at Assembly Hall.

How They Match Up:
Rating these schools in several key categories is important for handicappers and Penn State has the nation's No. 92-rated offensive output, at 73.68 PPG. The visiting Hawkeyes defense ranks No. 76 allowing on average 67.12 PPG. The Nittany Lions FG% has averaged 43.89% so far, less than the Hawkeyes marksmen have achieved on the year, 47.25% per game.

A few Hawkeyes at Nittany Lions trends to consider:
Iowa is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games
Iowa is 18-6 SU in its last 24 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Iowa's last 10 games
Iowa is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
Penn State is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games
Penn State is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
Penn State is 4-8 SU in its last 12 games
Penn State is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games at home

Next up:
Iowa at Indiana, Tuesday, February 18th
Penn State at Nebraska, Thursday, February 20th