Edwards likes play on the side for PSU at Iowa

Edwards likes play on the side for PSU at Iowa

As of this morning, most betting shops had Iowa installed as a nine-point home favorite for tonight’s Big Ten battle vs. Penn State. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on the Big Ten Network.

Penn St. (14-14 straight up, 14-14 against the spread) has won back-to-back games both SU and ATS, including a 90-89 win over Illinois as a 7.5-point home underdog and an 83-74 win over Indiana as a 2.5-point home favorite. First-year head coach Mike Rhoades is demonstrating his coaching chops here late in the season, as he dismissed leading scorer Kanye Clary earlier this month when it was clear the team was better off without him.

Why, you ask? Well, Clary demanded the ball a lot, was a high-volume shooter and took the ball out of point guard Ace Baldwin’s hands too often.

Without Clary for most of this month with the exception of limited playing time in three games, Baldwin has thrived and looked like the guy who won Atlantic-10 Player of the Year honors and led Rhoades’s VCU squad to the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

Baldwin had 23 points, nine assists, four rebounds, four steals and one blocked shot in Saturday’s win over the Hoosiers. He had 10 points, 12 assists, two steals, two rebounds and one block in the win over the Fighting Illini.

PSU is 5-3 SU and 6-2 ATS in its last eight games, including an 89-79 win over Iowa as a 1.5-point home underdog, an 85-71 win at Indiana as a seven-point road underdog and a 61-46 win at Rutgers as a 7.5-point road underdog.

Baldwin torched the Hawkeyes for 22 points, six assists and four steals. He had 22 points, eight assists and two steals in the win at Indiana.

In the win over the Scarlet Knights at The RAC, Baldwin produced 15 points, 10 assists (compared to only two turnovers), five rebounds, five steals and one blocked shot.

Iowa (16-12 SU, 11-17 ATS) is 12-3 SU and 6-9 ATS in 15 home games, while PSU is 2-6 SU and 5-3 ATS in eight road assignments. The Hawkeyes have lost six of their last 11 games, limping to a 3-8 ATS record in the process.

They’re 4-7 ATS when favored by five points or more this year. On the flip side, Penn St. is 8-3 ATS with five outright wins in its last 11 games as an underdog of five points or more.

PSU has won three straight head-to-head meetings in this rivalry both SU and ATS. The Nittany Lions are 6-4 SU and 5-3-2 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings, but only one of the Hawkeyes’ four wins has been by more than nine points.

PREDICTION: Penn St. +9 at Iowa.