By Jordan Horrobin | | 5 mins
Michigan vs Iowa Predictions & Picks For Big Ten Championship Game
The Michigan Wolverines stand one game shy of their first berth to the College Football Playoff. In their way are the Iowa Hawkeyes, who Michigan will see in the Big Ten Championship on Saturday night in Indianapolis (8 p.m. ET kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium).
Michigan punched its ticket with a heart-pumping rivalry win, while Iowa needed a four-game win streak and some outside help. The Wolverines are double-digit favorites according to the current college football odds.
Is it possible for a conference title match to be a trap game? Michigan sure hopes not. Our preview and college football picks for this game are in the article below.
Odds subject to change.
5 Keys to Michigan vs Iowa
Goliath, conquered: After a decade of defeat, Michigan finally knocked off chief rival Ohio State last weekend with a convincing 42-27 win at home. While that win meant a lot to fans (and the job security of head coach Jim Harbaugh), the Wolverines need to refocus for the Hawkeyes if they want to advance to the College Football Playoff.
Backdoor division winner: Iowa has P.J. Fleck and the Minnesota Golden Gophers to thank. The Hawkeyes needed Minnesota to beat Wisconsin, as a seven-point underdog, in order to punch their ticket to the Big Ten title game. Not the prettiest way to clinch a division, but hey, the process matters less than the result.
Haskins’s record day: Michigan’s offense runs through senior tailback Hassan Haskins, and that’s never been more clear than last weekend when he became the first player ever to rush for five touchdowns against Ohio State. The Wolverines’ protection at the line was incredible: Ohio State failed to record a tackle for loss in a game for the first time this millennium.
Hawkeyes putting best to the test: So, Iowa, you think you’ve got a stout run defense? The 105.8 yards allowed per game (and 3.0 yards allowed per carry) would back that up. But a Michigan rush attack that just went for 297 yards and six touchdowns last week poses the Hawkeyes’ toughest test to date.
An ugly one last time out: Playing in opposite Big Ten divisions means Michigan and Iowa don’t face each other every year. Their only matchup of the past five years came in 2019, a 10-3 win for the Wolverines. All the points were scored in the first half, and Hassan Haskins (then a sophomore) carried just twice for 22 yards.
Michigan vs Iowa Moneyline
After a season-defining win over Ohio State last week, is Michigan really going to crumble now? We don’t think so.
The Wolverines have earned our confidence as -470 college football betting moneyline favorites. The Hawkeyes, meanwhile, needed a huge comeback against three-win Nebraska - plus an upset win for Minnesota over Wisconsin - just to get here. Add Michigan’s moneyline to a parlay this weekend.
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Michigan vs Iowa Point Spread
The spread can be looked at in two ways: First, Michigan doesn’t need style points to get into the College Football Playoff, so maybe a close, grind-it-out game is in store; second, Michigan just beat Ohio State by 15 points, so why on earth wouldn’t they do that against a lesser Iowa team?
We prefer the latter argument, paired with Michigan’s impressive 10-2 record against the spread (Iowa is 7-5 in that regard). We’ll take Michigan to cover the 11.5-point line at sportsbooks. You can get Michigan -11.5 (-108) at FanDuel.
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Michigan vs Iowa Totals
With a pair of tough defenses squaring up, betting apps have given this game an unsurprisingly low point total. Given how the 2019 matchup went between these teams, we’re tempted by the under - but recent trends actually work in favor of the over.
Iowa has seen the over hit in its past three games. Michigan has seen the over hit in its past two, and the Wolverines have scored 101 points on their own in that span. We expect enough scoring to see the over hit again. Grab Over 43.5 (-110) at BetMGM.
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