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Minnesota vs Iowa Predictions, Picks & Betting Preview

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 6 mins

Minnesota vs Iowa Predictions, Picks & Betting Preview

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Struggling quarterbacks, stalled offenses, and inconsistent results - Iowa and Minnesota could be mirror images of one another entering their Big Ten clash Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.

The Hawkeyes, once in the running for the College Football Playoff, crashed back to earth after back-to-back losses, and are now without starting quarterback Spencer Petras. The Golden Gophers had a four-game winning streak sandwiched in between incomprehensible losses to Bowling Green and Illinois. But somebody has to win the Big Ten West, and the winner of this game takes the inside track.

It’s a vexing one for those in college football betting, for certain, complicated by potential personnel moves on both sides. And then there’s the fact that Minnesota hasn’t won in Iowa City since 1999.

Odds subject to change.

Minnesota vs Iowa Key Matchups

Alex Padilla vs. Minnesota’s defense: With Petras out with a shoulder injury, Padilla will make his first career start. The sophomore tossed for 172 yards in relief against Northwestern, and faces a Gophers defense allowing 194 pass yards per game.

Tanner Morgan vs. Iowa’s defense: It’s been a pedestrian season for a Minnesota QB who’s thrown seven interceptions to six touchdowns, and now faces a defense allowing just 5.8 yards per pass.

Chris Autman-Bell vs. Matt Hankins: Minnesota’s top receiving threat, Autman-Bell, goes up against a veteran corner in Hankins who’s made 36 straight starts and owns three of the Hawkeyes’ 19 interceptions.

5 Key Minnesota vs Iowa Stats

6: Consecutive wins for Iowa against Minnesota; the Hawkeyes haven’t even trailed to the Gophers in a game since 2016.

15.7: Average number of points per game allowed by Iowa’s defense, which ranks fifth nationally.

18.3: Average number of points per game allowed by Minnesota’s defense, which ranks 15th nationally.

23: Number of turnovers generated by the Iowa defense, second-best in the country.

3-1: Minnesota’s record this season as a spread underdog, with the lone loss coming in the opener to Ohio State.

Minnesota vs Iowa Weather Forecast

Forecasts early in the week call for a typical November day in Iowa City: Grey, overcast and cold. Temperatures are expected to be in the high 30s around the 2:30 p.m. local time kickoff. Although no rain is forecast for the latter part of the week, those making college football picks on this game might want to keep abreast of the wind, which could blow at 15 mph or more.

Minnesota vs Iowa Moneyline

Iowa is a -280 moneyline favorite, according to top sportsbooks, while Minnesota is a +220 underdog. The Hawkeyes were exposed in recent losses to Purdue and Wisconsin as a squad whose great defense couldn’t make up for lapses on the other side of the ball.

Minnesota’s been all over the place as well, down to its fifth and sixth-string tailbacks due to injuries and with a quarterback who’s thrown more picks than TDs. The constant is Iowa’s defense, which is capable of dominating a mediocre Gophers attack, leading us to lean toward the Hawkeyes and eschew these college football odds altogether.

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Minnesota vs Iowa Point Spread

The Hawkeyes are a 5.5-point favorite, according to the best betting apps in the US. Minnesota had covered five of six until it was upset at home by Illinois as a two-touchdown favorite. Iowa has failed to cover in three straight, in which it’s managed a total of 31 points.

Last weekend, backup QB Padilla closed out an ugly victory at Northwestern. Both these offenses turn the ball over a lot, and 5.5 just seems too large a number in a matchup between two squads trying to find themselves. This was a four-point game two years ago in Iowa City, and we expect something similar Saturday with the Gophers covering the spread. You can get Minnesota +6 at DraftKings.

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Minnesota vs Iowa Totals

The total is 37.5, according to top betting sites in the United States. Oh yeah, that’s low. But Iowa has gone under in all but two games this year, including against totals of 35.5 and 40.5 the last two weekends. Minnesota had gone under in five of seven until it managed six points against Illinois, falling way under the total of 44.5 in the process.

Iowa’s defense is too good for Minnesota to put up tons of points like it did against the likes of Maryland and Northwestern, and neither team seems capable of blowing the other out. We’re expecting a low-scoring grinder, and given recent trends sticking with the under. You can get Under 37.5 (-115) at BetMGM.

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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.