College Football Picks

Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Best Bets and Prediction

The Michigan Wolverines are up to the #4 spot in the national rankings and are looking to prove their worthiness as they march toward the college football playoff.

Next up on the NCAAF schedule is a showdown with the unranked Iowa Hawkeyes, who have struggled offensively this season but will provide one of the toughest defensive tests.

Kickoff is at noon eastern on FOX. The game is a rematch of the 2021 Big Ten Title Game.

NCAAF Previous Scoreboards

Michigan is 4-0 on the season with nonconference wins over Colorado State, Hawai’i, and UConn. They also beat Maryland 34-27 in their Big Ten opener.

Iowa is 3-1, winning nonconference games against South Dakota State and Nevada but losing to fierce rival Iowa State. The Hawkeyes also won their Big Ten opener, trouncing Rutgers 27-10 on the road.

Michigan Wolverines vs Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Analysis

Michigan Wolverines

Pegged a playoff contender at the start of the year, while untested, the #4 Michigan Wolverines have taken care of business.

The relatively close 34-27 victory over Maryland in the Big House does give some a pause for concern but the Wolverines outgained their opponents by 66 yards.

The Michigan offense has been stellar trough four games, as they rank second nationally in points per game (50.0) and 23rd overall in rushing yards (234.4).

Wolverines Come from a Good Place

This Michigan football team comes in hot, having won 16 of its 17 last regular season contests. Wolverines are 9-3 away from home in last three seasons and Saturday’s game will be their first road test of 2022.

Now the full-time starter, sophomore JJ McCarthy has completed 80% of his passes and thrown five touchdowns against 0 interceptions.

Michigan Wolverines Stats

On the season, Michigan runs it 57.1% of the time on an average of 65.3 offensive snaps per game. As has been the case in year’s past, the strength of Jim Harbaugh’s team is up front, with four of five starters returning. 

Sophomore Blake Corum has benefitted behind that line, rushing 64 times for 478 yards, which ranks him seventh nationally in NCAAF player stats, but in what is a true testament to Big 10 football, he’s only fourth-best in the conference.

Defensively, the Maize and Blue surrender just 135.8 yards through the air, which ranks them 12th nationally.

If there is a weakness to this Michigan football team when taking part in Michigan vs. Iowa betting, it is the passing game that ranks just 84th nationally.

McCarthy/McNamara Position Battle

The McCarthy/McNamara position battle at the start of the season has now been settled with McNamara’s injury.

The Wolverines have always had and continue to possess strong outside weapons. Given the lack of depth now at the QB position, reports have indicated that Harbaugh will limit McCarthy’s designed runs to protect him from going down. 

Big 10 Play Starts

Michigan was picked by many to return to the college football playoff given the absence of a really tough non-conference game before Big 10 play starts and the fact that they get two of the three toughest teams on their schedule, Penn State and Michigan State, at home.

Of course, they will need to make the trip to Columbus where the Buckeyes will have revenge on their mind after last season’s 42-27 UM win, a game that many making NCAAF picks got wrong. In its next seven games, Michigan figures to be a touchdown or more favorite before going to OSU.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Coming back to Kinnick, Iowa looks to build off the momentum of a 27-10 thrashing of Rutgers last week in Piscataway.

The offense, which has been inept all season, showed some signs of life while the defense scored once and held RU in check in the Big 10 opener for both sides.

Iowa’s Season Early

The story of Iowa Hawkeyes’s season early was their inability to score points. Whether facing FCS power South Dakota State or their archrival Iowa State, the Hawkeye offense was unable to generate any momentum.

The team scored just 14 points in its first two and many supporters of the Black and Gold called for a change at quarterback.

However, veteran coach Kirk Ferentz stuck with junior Spencer Petras. After the 10-7 loss at Kinnick to the Cyclones, the offense woke up, putting up 27 points in wins over Nevada and Big 10 doormat Rutgers.

Offensive Struggle

While much has been made of the Iowa offensive struggles, the defense has been rock solid. They rank amongst the nation’s top in yards allowed (16th, 251.5 yards) and passing yards (32nd, 163.2), and they allow just 73.0 yards on the ground, good for 13th in the country.

When engaging in Michigan vs. Iowa betting, bettors have to ask themselves just how bad is the Iowa offense.

Averaging Numbers

The team ranks below a bevy of FCS teams in total offense (251), passing yards (240) and rushing yards (214).

The team averages a paltry 59.8 offensive snaps per contest and is pretty even when it comes to run/pass (51.5% to 48.5% in favor of running).

NCAAF Standings

A quick look at the Iowa football standings shows the Hawkeyes tied atop the Big 10 West just one game into the season.

Hawkeyes have gone bowling 9 years in a row and 18 times in Ferentz’s 24 years in Iowa City. With the exception of their game at Ohio State and today’s matchup, Iowa’s defense should keep them in most of their games and a 8-9 win season seems very realistic.

NCAAF Injury Report

For Michigan, quarterback Russell Bellomy, running back Drake Johnson, and DT Ondre Pipkins are all out for the season with knee injuries. Punter Will Hagerup is suspended and will miss the season.

On the Iowa side, running back Michael Malloy (illness) defensive lineman Dominic Alvis (back) are both listed as questionable.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Preview

After the first two weeks of the season, many fans and bettors of college football were prepared to take the under in Iowa games the entire 2022 season.

However, when it comes to Michigan vs. Iowa betting, gamblers must consider that the Hawkeyes, although its been inferior competition, have put 27 points on the board in their last 2.

Iowa is 2-2 ATS this season and for his career as a home underdog, Ferentz is 18-12-2. The team has not been a double-digit home dog since the 2017 season when they were +18 against then-No. 3 Ohio State.

Big 10

In the Big 10, there are land mines aplenty and tough road spots week after week. Iowa City is known as a tough place to play (The Hawkeyes are 48-22 in past 10-plus years) and this is one of those spots where records are thrown out.

Yes, Iowa offensively has struggled, but they’ve come alive the last two weeks. Their defense is stout, especially against the run, which is Michigan’s bread and butter. 

Who to Bet On?

Michigan is also 2-2 ATS and Harbaugh is 22-17 ATS as a road favorite. At Michigan, he is 21-11 SU away from the Big House. 

The Wolverines hold a dominating 43-15-4 SU edge in the series. Ferentz is 7-7 SU when facing Michigan and Harbaugh is 2-1 when playing his West division foes.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Prediction

NCAAF Pick: Iowa +11 (-110)

NCAAF Pick: Michigan (-425)

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