(4-1, 3-2 ATS)
(5-1, 3-3 ATS)
The Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan Wolverines are bitter Big Ten rivals. They’ll meet up in college football betting action in a crucial conference tilt on Saturday afternoon in the Big House in Ann Arbor.
Iowa is every bit as good as every team in the nation right now, and it has the statistics and the results to prove it. Last week’s 24-3 domination of the Penn State Nittany Lions showed just how badly this defense wants to pitch shutouts every single time it is on the field. So far this year, four of the five foes have been held to single digits worth of scoring, including games against teams like the Iowa State Cyclones, who have the potential to drop 50+ on solid teams. No, we don’t really expect to see the Hawkeyes hold Michigan in single digits in points this week, but we do think that they hold the fort well enough for the offense to the do the rest. This unit has been consistent all year long, scoring at least 24 points on all of its foes. Last week’s win proved that QB Ricky Stanzi and company can beat up even some of the best defenses in the country, something that the Wolverines certainly don’t have. HC Kirk Ferentz has a team that ranks between 30 and 45 in every major offensive category. Iowa doesn’t try to be flashy, but it does do enough to frustrate you.
This is an all or nothing week for HC Rich Rodriguez and his Wolverines. With a win, the Rose Bowl is still legitimately in sight and QB Denard Robinson can keep his Heisman Trophy campaign going. A loss will suddenly have this team wondering whether there is another win on the schedule or not. This is about what last season looked like, as Michigan was in the Top 25 and looked set to go bowling for the first time in the Rich Rod era. But now, it’s easy to just shake your head at the upcoming slate. Happy Valley is hellacious to play in. Illinois already has a win there this year and is clearly up and coming. Purdue beat Ohio State in Lafayette last year. Wisconsin might be one of the best teams in the land. Ohio State is Ohio State… Yikes. What we found out last week was that this Michigan defense isn’t good at all, and when the offense can’t score at least 30 points, the Wolverines are just dead in the water. This unit ranks No. 119 in the nation in pass defense at 304.3 yards per game allowed and No. 112 in total defense at 450.7 yards per game. If the Wolverines allow 450 yards to Iowa this weekend, they’re going to lose by three TDs.
And that’s exactly what we think is going to happen. The book might be out there now on how to stop Robinson. If Iowa does that, it has stopped the entire Michigan effort. Watching Robinson is like watching QB Vince Young from his days with the Texas Longhorns… except Texas had a defense… and Robinson is no Vince Young. Go with the Hawkeyes in a laugher in the Big House.
College Football Free Pick: Iowa Hawkeyes -3