Exclusive: Here are our best bets for Penn State, Big 10, college football week 4

This year Jon Sauber and Josh Moyer will be doing a weekly betting advice column with their picks and analysis on the world of college football with one Penn State-related pick, one Big Ten-related pick and one NCAA-related pick. The picks will be made at one of four sportsbooks — FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM or Caesar’s — with recommendations on bet sizing based on units, along with the analysis.

Penn State best bet

Jon Sauber: Iowa u12.5 (-108 FanDuel)

If this number seems low, it’s because it is. But that’s just because the Iowa offense continues to be one of the worst Power-5 units in college football. The Hawkeyes have struggled in recent years offensively and adding Cade McNamara hasn’t really changed things for them. It helps this bet that they’re going to want to limit each team’s possessions because they’re going to be running the ball early and often against Penn State.

There is a world where the over hits entirely on the back of defensive touchdowns — more possible than you’d think — but I would be fairly surprised if Iowa is able to find the end zone twice this game on offense. Bank on the unlikeliness of the defense scoring and the likelihood of the offense struggling all game. (Bet 1 unit to win 0.93 units).

Josh Moyer: Iowa-Penn State u40.5 (-115 FanDuel)

During Penn State’s run of 10 consecutive games of scoring 30-plus points, it’s faced only one top-20 defense in the SP+ Rankings. And Iowa just so happens to rank as the nation’s top such defense.

I think there’s a good chance Penn State fails to score 30 this week. (Heck, Penn State needed five turnovers to manage 30 points last week against Illinois.) And, between Iowa’s offensive injuries and offensive ineptitude, a shutout would surprise no one — so there’s still wiggle if PSU does keep that scoring streak alive.

You can wager elsewhere for -110 and lose the hook, but I’ll keep it. (Bet 1 unit to win 0.86 units.)

Big Ten best bet

Jon Sauber: Rutgers o9.5 team total points (-110 DraftKings)

Asking Rutgers to score 10 points against a Michigan defense that is second in SP+ could seem like a stretch, but the Scarlet Knights have had more success this season on offense than in recent years. The Scarlet Knights are led by quarterback Gavin Wimsatt, who’s a dynamic athlete. He’s opened up the running game for the rest of the offense, creating a rushing attack that has been able to do damage through three weeks.

A lot of that is Wimsatt, and a lot is Kyle Monangai and his 6.2 yards per carry. The Scarlet Knights are being underestimated at this point in the season and while I don’t think they’re going to win many conference games, I do think they’re good enough to score double digits every week — including this one. (Bet 1 unit to win 0.9 units).

Josh Moyer: Minnesota-Northwestern u39.5 (-110 DraftKings)

If you’ve watched either of these offenses play, you really don’t need me to explain this one. (And, if you haven’t, consider yourself fortunate to have missed the prior pillow fights.) Minnesota hasn’t surpassed 25 points yet this season and, based on the SP+ rankings, Northwestern’s defense will be the second-best the Gophers have so far faced.

Even if you don’t put a lot of stock in those rankings, the fact is neither of these offenses is very good — while Minnesota’s defense is arguably a top-15 unit and Northwestern’s D ranges somewhere between mediocre and below average. To me, that’s a recipe to hit the under. Some books already have the over/under at 38 points, so I wouldn’t wait on this one. (Bet 1 unit to win 0.9 units.)

NCAA best bet:

Jon Sauber: Ole Miss o23.5 team total points (-125 DraftKings)

Lane Kiffin vs. Nick Saban in Week 4? Yes, please. I look forward to this matchup every year and I don’t think this one is going to disappoint. Kiffin remains a brilliant offensive mind and this time around he’ll be facing an Alabama defense that is great rather than elite — oh, the horror. Jaxson Dart is the signal caller in the Kiffin offense again this year and should be able to play even better with a full year in the system. He was able to lead Ole Miss to 24 points last season against an even better Alabama defense.

I was tempted to pick he and the Rebels outright to win, but I have much more belief in their offense than their defense, so we settled here. Look for Kiffin to pull out all of the tricks in the book against his old boss and do whatever he can to light up the scoreboard. (Bet 1 unit to win 0.8 units).

Josh Moyer: Florida State (-2.5) vs. Clemson (-110 DraftKings)

Sure, Clemson is playing in Death Valley and has won seven straight against the Seminoles. I haven’t forgotten that. But I also haven’t forgotten how lost Clemson QB Cade Klubnik looked against Duke in a 28-7 loss (25.8 QBR), nor how Klubnik fumbled twice and tossed two picks in the first two games.

Klubnik is not ready for this Florida State defense. His offensive coordinator acknowledged earlier this week that Klubnik’s early struggles were because he “hasn’t played jut a whole lot yet at this level.” Color me skeptical, but I don’t think a good performance against Florida Atlantic erased all that either. It’s not too late to jump aboard the FSU QB Jordan Travis Heisman Hype Train. (Bet 1 unit to win 0.9 units.)