College Football Week 4 Picks: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
Saturday, 9/20/14, 12:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Pittsburgh -4.5
Current Betting Line:  Pittsburgh -7
Opening Total:  48
Current Total:  47
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Pittsburgh Panthers are 5-3 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 10 points since 2012
The Pittsburgh Panthers are 5-3 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 10 points since 2012

Iowa had its two-game win streak to start the season snapped last Saturday, as it dropped a 20-17 decision to the Iowa State Cyclones as 13.5-point home favorites, while going UNDER the betting total for a second consecutivecontest.  The Hawkeyes own a 3-2 advantage in this series, which is important to consider when making your Week 4 college football picks, as they earned a 31-27 victory as three-point home favorites in the last meeting on Sept. 17.  Iowa is 3-7 SU and 6-4 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 6-4 in that situation.

The Hawkeyes rank first in the Big Ten Conference and seventh nationally in rushing defense, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football odds, as they allow just 65.7 rushing yards per game.  Iowa has allowed one red zone touchdown on its opponents’ seven red zone trips.  Running back Mark Weisman is one of the more important players to handicap in this matchup, as he’s on the verge of becoming just the sixth player in school history to surpass 2,000 career rushing yards and 20 career rushing touchdowns.

Pittsburgh is eyeing its first 4-0 start for the first time since the 2000 campaign, as it ranks 15th nationally in averaging 44.7 points per game, but Iowa is yielding just 18.7 points per contest.  The Panthers will certainly look to establish running back James Conner, who leads the country with eight rushing touchdowns and sits behind just one player in gaining 544 yards on the ground.  Pittsburgh is 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 10 points the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 5-2-1 in those eight opportunities.

The Panthers are fielding one of their youngest rosters in memory, as they began camp with 81 underclassmen—the highest total of any FBS team in the country.  Pittsburgh has the ability to move the football through the air as well, especially with Tyler Boyd’s talent after catching 85 passes for 1,174 yards and seven touchdowns.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 5-1 in the Hawkeyes’ last six games versus teams with a winning record.

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