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Iowa Sports Betting

Fully online betting in Iowa is officially here as of Jan. 1, 2021! Legal betting has been around in the Hawkeye State since 2019, but prior to 2021, bettors had to sign up in person at a casino. But no longer: Iowans can register, deposit and bet online from anywhere within state lines now. Here's what you should know about Iowa sports betting.

Sportsbook Offers

Key Takeaways

Is online sports betting legal in Iowa? Yes
When did online sports betting become legal in Iowa? August 2019
What online sportsbooks are available in Iowa? DraftKings, BetMGM, PointsBet, FanDuel, theScore Bet, BetRivers, William Hill, WynnBET and Unibet.
What sports can you bet on in Iowa? No sports are off-limits (relative to other legal U.S. markets). The only bet type that’s not allowed is college player props.

Highlights

Iowa Becomes a Fully Online Sports Betting State

For nearly two years, Iowans had to register for a sports betting account in person at a casino. As of the new year, however, that rule has been lifted, and anyone within state lines can sign up, deposit and bet online.

Remote Registration to Begin on Friday, Jan. 1

Iowa sports betting will start the new year with an easier online registration process and a brand-new sportsbook.

Record Sports Betting Handles in Iowa for November

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission on Monday reported a record-breaking $87.2 million in wagers accepted. Historically, around 70% of this has been driven by mobile sports betting.

Iowa sports betting is live--with some hurdles

Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved the final rules, and sports betting went live in Iowa on Aug. 15, 2019. Sports bettors must register in person, then they can bet online and via mobile. Wes Ehrecke, president and CRO of the Iowa Gaming Association, said it was a necessary compromise to get the bill through: “This just gave that comfort level for legislators, as well that there’s going to be this time frame to get things established.” The Iowa Gaming Association plans to lift the registration condition after 18 months.

Iowa News

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Teams

No Teams 

Iowa Sports Betting Timeline

  • January 2021

    Online registration is now possible, making signing up for new sportsbooks much more accessible for Iowans.

  • February 2020

    DraftKings launches in Iowa at three Wild Rose locations.

  • November 2019

    PointsBet and Q Sportsbook launch in Iowa.

  • August 2019

    Retail and online betting is live. William Hill and Elite Sportsbook launch.

  • May 2019

    Iowa legalized sports as of May 2019 with Gov. Kim Reynolds' signature on May 13.

  • April 2019

    SF617, which would legalize sports betting, is introduced to the senate and has bipartisan support: the bill made it through the Senate on a 31-18 vote, and through the House on a 67-31 vote.

Locations

Wild Rose Jefferson

You can register with DraftKings Sportsbook at a few Wild Rose locations in Iowa. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-midnight.

Wild Rose Emmetsburg

DraftKings Sportsbook. Friday and Saturday 10 a,m.-2 a.m.; Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-midnight.

Wild Rose Clinton

DraftKings Sportsbook. Friday and Saturday 8 a.m.-3 a.m.; Sunday-Thursday 8 a.m.-midnight.

Catfish Bend Casino

Sign up with PointsBet Sportsbook at the Catfish Bend Casino. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-midnight.

Hard Rock Sioux City

You can register for Hard Rock’s betting platform at this casino. It is operated by Gaming Innovation Group (GIG).

Q Casino sportsbook

Register for the Q casino sportsbook in Dubuque, Iowa.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Register with Elite sportsbook here.

Prairie Meadows Casino

Register with William Hill. Open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-midnight; Saturday 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-midnight.

Lakeside Casino

Register with William Hill. Open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-midnight; Saturday 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-midnight.

Isle Casino Bettendorf

Register with William Hill. Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-midnight; Friday 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-midnight.

Isle Casino Waterloo

Register with William Hill. Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-midnight; Friday 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.- 1. a.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-midnight.

Rhythm City Casino

Bet.Works Sportsbook. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Riverside Casino

Bet.Works Sportsbook. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Grand Falls Casino

Bet.Works Sportsbook. Monday-Friday noon-midnight; Saturday 8 a.m.-midnight; Sunday 10 a.m.-midnight.

Iowa stadium

Available Sportsbook Apps for Iowa Sports Bettors

With fully online betting now here as of Jan. 1, 2021, Iowans can have their pick of sportsbooks and register from home.

DraftKings Sportsbook Iowa

Read our full DraftKings review

DraftKings Sportsbook is available to Iowa sports fans 21+ as of February 2020, after in-person registration at any of the three Wild Rose Casinos (located in Jefferson, Clinton, and Emmetsburg).

App Highlights:

DraftKings has a fantastic selection of NFL player props. It is also the first book in most U.S. states to post college football lines for the following week and has one of the best mobile apps in the market.

BetMGM Sportsbook Iowa

Read our full BetMGM review

Pointsbet Sportsbook Iowa

Read our full PointsBet review

Iowa sports fans can sign up for PointsBet at Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington, an upscale, state-of-the-art sports bar and casino with an odds display wall, slot machines, and blackjack tables. 

App Highlights:

PointsBet's app and site stand out as one of the best in the U.S. with its sleek mobile design. They offer great promotions and daily boosters, including some of the best odds for the popular spread and over/under bets.

FanDuel Sportsbook Iowa

Read our full FanDuel review

In partnership with Boyd Gaming, FanDuel Sportsbook has added Iowa as a newly available state. To activate an online FanDuel Sportsbook account, sports fans will need to visit a FanDuel Sportsbook location at Diamond Jo Casino in either Dubuque or Northwood, Iowa to complete their registration.

App Highlights:

FanDuel offers one of the easiest start-to-finish registration and deposit experiences in the sportsbook market. Its biggest downsides are usability-related — it can be difficult to find smaller markets like props because they're buried so far in each game.

theScore Bet Sportsbook Iowa

Read our full theScore Bet review

William Hill Sportsbook Iowa

Read our full William Hill review

William Hill US is expanding its footprint in Iowa through its partnership with Caesars Entertainment. Sports fans who visit any of the following locations can register today:

  • Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona
  • Lakeside Casino in Osceola
  • Isle Casino Bettendorf in Bettendorf
  • Isle Casino Waterloo in Waterloo

Once registered, bettors can log into the mobile William Hill app and place bets from anywhere in the state via their mobile app.

App Highlights:

William Hill has a strong live betting experience, They also offer interesting in-game markets in their app, which are becoming more and more popular in U.S. betting. 

Unibet Sportsbook Iowa

Read our full Unibet review

Unibet Sportsbook's land-based partners in Iowa are Harrah’s Council Bluff and Horseshoe Council Bluff.

How to Place a Sports Bet in Iowa

It's easy to get started sports betting in Iowa. Here's how:

Step 1: Select your Online Iowa Sportsbook

Before Jan. 1, 2021, Iowa bettors had to physically step into a casino in the state to register for a sportsbook. However, mobile/online registration is now here. Major books like DraftKings, FanDuel and William Hill will be options on the market for online sign-up near term. Pick one, then follow the process for the book. 

Step 2: Sign Up & Verify

Fill out all the required fields for new sports bettor in the state: name, email and date of birth. Your book of choice may ask you for a driver’s license or social security number to verify your identity. These questions and details are all measures sportsbooks take to protect you, the sports bettor.

Step 3: Deposit with Preferred Payment

Many books will take you right to the deposit screen once you’ve put in your personal information.

Select your payment method, then click deposit.

Our preference is direct deposit via a bank account.

That way when you cash out, the money will be accessible in your checking account right away instead of being credited back to a card.

Step 4: Place an Online Bet in Iowa

Here’s how to place your first wager. Remember: apps will geo-locate you to confirm you’re truly in Iowa before you’re able to bet.

Depending on your book of choice, the betting process will look something like this:

  • Navigate to "Sport" and click the line you want to bet
  • Head to your bet slip
  • Enter your bet amount
  • Submit

Congrats! You’ve just placed your first legal sports bet in Iowa.

How Iowa Sports Betting Compares

In Iowa, sports betting is legal — with some extra in-person steps sports bettors must take to register at a new sportsbook. Here's what we know so far:

Iowa Sports Betting Grading Card:

New Jersey Grading Card

Though Iowa has reached nearly $100 million in a monthly handle, it was not reaching its full potential due to the in-person registration requirement. Since the requirement "sunset" on Jan. 1, 2021, Iowa's sports betting market has grown significantly. There is an increasing number of top national and local brands with ample options to deposit funds and place bets — all without having to leave home. Iowa's easy registration and impressive sportsbook lineup should continue making it one of the country's larger per capita markets.

Mobile Betting Options: B+

Mobile betting is live in Iowa, and bettors no longer have to register in person at the retail casino partner. Top national betting brands such as DraftKings, PointsBet, FanDuel and William Hill are available mobile apps, meaning there are diverse options — always better for the sports bettors. Additionally, more locally-focused brands such as the Q Casino sportsbook and the Hard Rock Sioux City sportsbook are available.

Deposit: A-

All legal sportsbooks in Iowa have multiple deposit options (e.g., bank account, debit card, etc.), most of which are familiar to bettors in other states. Once the mobile registration mandate is lifted in 2021, customers can complete a first deposit and wager from the comforts of home.

Fair Pricing: B+

The competitive market helps ensure Iowa's customers will have industry-standard lines. Reasonable taxes and fees also allow legal sportsbooks to offer lines without having to juice certain teams one way or another. With a low tax rate and diverse sportsbook options, so far so good in Iowa.

Sport Offerings: A-

Iowa bettors have a full array of mobile betting options, excluding individual prop bets on college games. This is a minor part of sportsbooks' total offerings and hasn't stopped top Iowa books from offering bets on hundreds of leagues and thousands of games. There are also plenty of parlays, teasers and other options. The only limits are on certain college player prop bets, so overall the offerings are among the best in the country.

Iowa's Sports Betting Finance Breakdown

Some states, like Tennessee, make the bar quite high to offer sports betting. Iowa is much simpler. Under Iowa law, licensed casinos:

  • Must pay a $45,000 license fee with an annual $10,000 renewal fee
  • A 6.75% tax will be imposed on the casinos' hold

Iowa's low tax rate is tied with Nevada for the lowest in the country. The money will benefit the state by funding infrastructure improvement, environmental initiatives, job creation, and more.

From what we've seen so far, sports betting is healthily contributing to Iowa's gaming market growth. In their annual casino industry report, the American Gaming Association found:

"In 2019, total statewide commercial casino gaming revenue was $1.49 billion, up 1.3%. The year-over-year increase came after the launch of sports betting in August."

- American Gaming Association, 2020 State of the States

New Jersey positive factorsTHE GOOD

  • Mobile sports betting is available now without in-person registration
  • Taxes are low to operate - this results in a more competitive offering for sports bettors
  • The state boasts a wide selection of sportsbooks with physical locations near major cities in bordering states
  • Early In-person registration commitment meant some books now offer full-service lounges and kiosks
  • Iowa steered clear of the controversial league "integrity fees"

New Jersey negative feedbackTHE BAD

  • No wagering on individual players from Iowa’s in-state college teams or on players playing against an in-state team for that game -- known as "prop bets." 

Sportsbooks are tied to physical casinos, and only 15 Iowa counties have state-sanctioned casinos. Many gamblers come from the other 84 counties, but there are concerns about having less financial benefit for their home counties. This is perceived as unfair in many Iowan circles.

Iowa Sports Betting Tips

Sports Betting for Iowa Beginners

If you’re new to sports betting in Iowa, you likely have questions. Our 11 sports betting tips for beginners can help you make savvier decisions come game time. Ready to get in on the action in the Hawkeye state? Check out our comprehensive educational hub for all a new Iowan sports bettor needs to know.

Sports Betting Glossary 

Sports betting comes with its own language and terminology.  It can all be a bit overwhelming and intimidating for newer betting enthusiasts, so be sure to consult our sports betting glossary for detailed definitions of all the main terms.

Sports Betting Mistakes to Avoid in Iowa

Sports betting isn't easy. It’s important to stay disciplined and not overextend yourself, even if you are betting on favorite teams like the Cyclones.

There will always be ups and downs, but if you stay true to our nine mistakes to avoid, your sports betting experience will be a much more enjoyable one.

 

Iowa Teams to Bet on

Pro Sports Teams

Minnesota vikings players

NFL Betting in Iowa

In the same 2019 study mapping football fans across the United States, SeatGeek says that NFL fandom in Iowa is pretty evenly split between the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs. There are a few counties that favor nearby Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, as well.

In the 2021 conference championships, the Iowa Hawkeyes sported the most players on active NFL rosters between the four teams competing with nine. There were at least two athletes on each of the Chiefs, Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills.

Here are a few recommended resources to help you bet with insight on the NFL in Iowa:

NBA Betting in Iowa

NBA fans in Iowa are diverse when it comes to favorite teams, but the majority of fans are split between the three major nearby franchises: Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls. While there aren't any professional NBA franchises in the state, the Iowa Wolves, G-League affiliate of the Minnesota Timberwolves play their home games in Des Moines.

The Wolves won the 2011 championship and have four division titles since its founding in 2007. They were known as the Iowa Energy until the Timberwolves purchased the team and rebranded in 2017.

Here is a recommended resource to help you bet on the NBA in Iowa:

MLB Betting in Iowa

While there are no MLB teams based in Iowa, there are plenty of franchises located in bordering states. Among those include the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals. A 2019 study conducted by SeatGeek found that the Royals have the largest fanbase in Iowa followed by the Cubs.

There will be a professional baseball game played in the state of Iowa in 2021! MLB announced that on August 12, the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees will play one another in the Field of Dreams game. The stadium is on the same Dyersville, Iowa farm where the movie was shot.

Here is a recommended resource to help you bet on the MLB in Iowa:

NHL Betting in Iowa

Like all other professional sports, hockey fans in Iowa favor teams in nearby cities. The two closest teams from the state are the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks.

Similar to the NBA, while there are no professional hockey franchises in Iowa, the state does have a minor league affiliate. The Iowa Wild's inaugural season as part of the American Hockey League came in 2013. They are owned by the Minnesota Wild and play home games at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Here is a recommended resource to help you bet on the NHL in Iowa:

College Sports Teams 

Iowa has proud sports traditions and longstanding rivalries inside and outside the state. We expect big bets to be placed on these Iowa college games in the future.

Iowa college football players

College Football Betting in Iowa

Iowa Hawkeyes Football

Iowa Hawkeyes | Schedule | Roster

Hawkeyes football is the most storied athletics program and most followed in-state sports team in Iowa. Claiming five National Championships and 13 conference titles, Iowa has experienced its fair share of success since its inaugural season in 1889. The Hawkeyes are a perennial bowl contender, having not qualified just twice since their 2001 Alamo Bowl win. Their 2021 matchup was canceled due to COVID-19.

Iowa is coached by Kirk Ferentz who will begin his 23rd season at the helm in 2021 and currently has an all-time wining percentage of .613. He is currently the longest-tenured head coach in college football. The Hawkeyes compete in the West Division of the Big Ten Conference and play home games at Kinnick Stadium, which has a current capacity of 69,250.

Iowa Hawkeyes Rivalry: vs. Iowa State Cyclones. This in-state rivalry dates back to 1894 and has been held annually since 1977. Each season, the two programs compete for the Cy-Hawk Trophy, named after the teams' mascots. The home site alternates each year with Iowa hosting even years and Iowa State odd. The Hawkeyes have won five straight Cy-Hawk Trophies, edging out the Cyclones 18-17 in their most recent 2019 matchup. Last year's rivalry game was canceled due to COVID-19.

Iowa State Cyclones Football

Iowa State Cyclones | Schedule | Roster

The only other FBS program in the state of Iowa, the Cyclones have not found as much success as its in-state counterpart. Iowa State has a sub-.500 win percentage and has just two conference titles — in 1911 and 1912 — prior to their move to the Big 12. The Cyclones have made 16 bowl games and did win a division title back in 2004.

Iowa State is currently coached by Matt Campbell who has turned things around over the last five years. Since taking over in 2016, Campbell has slowly made the Cyclones a perennial Top 25 team. They have made four bowl games and after a 9-3 season capped off with a 34-17 Fiesta Bowl win over Oregon in 2020, finished the year ranked ninth in the country. Iowa State plays its home games at Jack Trice Stadium with a current capacity of 61,500.

Iowa State Cyclones Rivalry: vs. Iowa Hawkeyes. Despite competing in different conferences, this rivalry has become an annual staple for both squads. Iowa State took home the first meeting in 1894 but has been largely unsuccessful all-time. In 67 total meetings, the Hawkeyes lead, 45-22.

College Basketball Betting in Iowa

Iowa Hawkeyes Men's Basketball

Iowa Hawkeyes | Schedule | Roster

Though not as successful as its football program, the Iowa Hawkeyes has eight Big 10 regular season conference championships and 27 NCAA Tournament appearances. The Hawkeyes have made the championship just once — a 1956 loss to the San Francisco Dons — but have made three Final Fours. Since 2000, Iowa has made eight postseason appearances but has yet to make it past the Round of 32.

The Hawkeyes are led by 11-year head coach Fran McCaffrey, the second-winningest coach in program history. Iowa is coming off its most successful season since 2005, finishing 22-9 with a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes play home games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a capacity of 15,400

Iowa Hawkeyes Rivalry: vs. Illinois Fighting Illini. These two Big Ten Conference rivals not only play twice a season but compete against one another while recruiting. There have been plenty of heated moments between the programs as well, most recently coming in 2020. Iowa's Joe Wieskamp elected not to run the clock out and dunked with 12 seconds left to extend the Hawkeyes' lead to double digits. After words were exchanged between Illini assistant coach Ron Coleman and Iowa head coach Fran McCaffrey, the latter pulled his players from the handshake line and into the locker room. Illinois swept the 2021 series and is currently on a three-game win streak. They lead all-time, 88-76.

Iowa State Men's Basketball

Iowa State Cyclones | Schedule | Roster

Iowa State's men's basketball program has experienced its fair share of success despite never winning a National Championship. The Cyclones have made 20 NCAA Tournaments and five Sweet Sixteen appearances, its best postseason coming in a 1944 Final Four run.

The Cyclones have won six regular-season Big 12 championships and have six conference tournament wins — four coming since 2014 — under its belt as well. Iowa State named T.J. Otzelberger the program’s new head coach ahead of the 2021 season. He had been an assistant within the program a decade ago before leaving to coach South Dakota State and most recently, UNLV. The Cyclones play its home games on campus at Hilton Coliseum.

Iowa State Cyclones Rivalry: vs. Iowa Hawkeyes. Like in football, the in-state rivalry between Iowa State and Iowa occurs annually in nonconference play. This has been fueled by proximity above all else, with the two programs first meeting in 1909. Iowa has dominated the all-time series, 47-27, but it's Iowa State with a one-game edge since 2010.

Drake Bulldogs Men's Basketball

Drake Bulldogs | Schedule | Roster

Since Darian DeVries took over Drake's men's basketball program in 2018, the Bulldogs have quickly risen to mid-major stardom. They won the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title in DeVries' first season and would make the 2021 NCAA Tournament as the last four in. They began the season a flawless 18-0. The No. 11-seeded Bulldogs would beat Wichita State before falling to USC in the Round of 64.

Drake's rise back to relevance comes nearly 50 years since their stretch of dominance where the program made three straight Elite Eights from 1969-71. The Bulldogs made just one Final Four in five NCAA Tournament appearances. Drake plays home games at the Knapp Center on campus in Des Moines.

Drake Bulldogs Rivalry: vs. Northern Iowa Panthers. The only two mid-major programs in the state of Iowa, Drake and Northern Iowa both compete in the Missouri Valley Conference. Fueled by proximity, this rivalry has taken a step up since Drake's recent string of success. The Bulldogs and Panthers host one another in a home-and-home series each season. Drake swept the 2021 series and is on a current three-game win streak.

Northern Iowa Panthers Men's Basketball

Northern Iowa Panthers | Schedule | Roster

Northern Iowa quickly became one of the perennial contenders in the Missouri Valley after its 2004 conference championship. The Panthers would make seven of the next 13 NCAA Tournaments and pick up five MVC championships along the way. Their most successful postseason run came in 2010 as a No. 9 seed, where they would take down No. 1 Kansas in the Round of 32.

The Panthers are led by longtime head coach Ben Jacobson who is entering his 16th year at the helm. He is the winningest head coach in program history. Northern Iowa plays its home games at McLeod Center on campus in Cedar Falls.

Northern Iowa Panthers Rivalry: vs. Drake Bulldogs. This in-state rivalry takes place twice a season and is fueled by both proximity and Missouri Valley Conference ties. Northern Iowa has long dominated the series and even won 16 of 18 from 2010-18. These games have been competitive in recent years, however, with Drake even pulling off a huge upset in the 2020 MVC Conference Tournament before COVID-19 canceled the postseason. It put a bitter end to a 25-5 season out of the Panthers. Northern Iowa leads the all-time series, 48-26.

Other Events

Iowa has a range of 'other' sporting events that draw local and national interest:

  • The Drake Relays. Drake Relays are a track and field event held annually in April. Many Olympic Gold medalists have competed in this relay.
  • Iowa Shrine Bowl. The Iowa Shrine Bowl is an all-star football game featuring Iowa’s most talented high school/pre-college football players. It's held every July in Cedar Falls.

These are a few of many events held throughout Iowa annually. 

Check our resource links for local sports coverage to find more events of interest.

cross-country runners

More Reading on Iowa

Iowa's Sports Betting Legalization Bill

Senate File 617 (SF617). Introduced to the state Senate in April of 2019, SF617 legalized sports betting in Iowa.

Sports Betting Legal Bill Review

A legal perspective on the sports betting bill from a local lawyer: "Sports Betting is Almost Here in Iowa – Here’s What We Know " from BrownWinick attorney, Matt McKinney.

Sports Bettor Protections in Iowa

Iowa is committed to protecting sports bettors through self-exclusion programs in the state (Pursuant to Iowa Code 99D.7(23) and 99F.4(22)), making sure they also address common FAQ questions.

Local Iowa Sports Coverage

Check out local sports coverage from Des Moines Register, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

Iowans Aren't All Fans of Sports Betting

52% of Iowans opposed legalizing betting on professional sporting events, and 69% opposed legalizing betting on college sporting events. Learn more about local opinions from the Des Moines Register's poll.

State-Led Sports Betting Fiscal Analysis

Christin Mechler, a Fiscal Legislative Analyst II at the State of Iowa, and Angel Banks-Adams, another fiscal Legislative Analyst, prepared an overview of sports betting legislation. The presentation emphasized the taxation and structures that have been proposed nationwide, including in the State of Iowa.

Iowa Sports Betting FAQ
Are there taxes on sports betting winnings in Iowa?
When did sports betting become legal in Iowa?
Can you bet on college sports in Iowa?
What types of bets can I place in Iowa?
Can I bet on sporting events with my mobile phone in Iowa?
Who is in charge of sports betting in Iowa?
How old do you have to be to bet in Iowa?
What sports can you bet on in Iowa?
Steve Petrella is a senior editor for The Action Network covering college football, among other things. He’s a Penn State grad now based in Atlanta who enjoys great punting, clock-killing drives and turnovers in the red zone.