Iowa vs. Northwestern Betting Odds, Picks, Preview: Your Guide for Saturday’s CFB Game (November 6)

Iowa vs. Northwestern Betting Odds, Picks, Preview: Your Guide for Saturday’s CFB Game (November 6) article feature image
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Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: The Iowa Hawkeyes.

Iowa vs. Northwestern Odds

Saturday, Nov. 6
7 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Iowa Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-12
-105
40.5
-110o / -110u
-490
Northwestern Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+12
-115
40.5
-110o / -110u
+360
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Coming in at No. 22 in the initial CFP rankings is probably not what the Iowa Hawkeyes had in mind after they were ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll only three weeks ago.

However, back-to-back losses to Purdue and Wisconsin have sent the Hawkeyes tumbling. The loss to the Badgers is particularly damning, as Iowa is no longer in control of its own destiny in the Big Ten West.

The Hawkeyes will now look to rebound at Northwestern.

Northwestern is coming off a 41-14 loss to Minnesota. The Wildcats sit at 3-5 overall and 1-4 in Big Ten play. They have dominated this series in recent years, winning four of the last five meetings.

Usually, when Iowa and Northwestern get together, not a lot of points are scored. There might be another low-scoring battle brewing.


Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa has been a mess offensively all season, but its struggles have been magnified in the last two weeks. Iowa has managed only a single touchdown in each of the last two games and is averaging 214.5 yards of total offense in that span.

Quarterback Spencer Petras has particularly struggled. In the last two games, he’s completing 50.9% of his passes with zero touchdown passes and four interceptions.

The season-long numbers are not pretty for the Hawkeyes, either. Iowa ranks 112th in Finishing Drives, 120th in Havoc allowed, and 117th in Passing Success Rate. The Hawkeyes also sit 130th in Line Yards and 128th in Rushing Success Rate.

Northwestern’s defense can be vulnerable in the run game, so this may be a week to get running back Tyler Goodson going.

During the Hawkeyes’ 6-0 start, they owned a +15 turnover margin. The Hawkeyes defense has forced just one turnover in the last two games and are -6 in turnover margin in that span.

Turnover regression was bound to hit the Hawkeyes at some point, especially as they’ve been without standout corner Riley Moss and Moss’ replacement, Terry Roberts. Both are expected to sit this week out as well.

Iowa’s defense has been the best in the country at limiting big plays. It still ranks fourth in the FBS in scoring defense, allowing  16.1 points per game.

The Hawkeyes have been particularly difficult to run on, ranking 17th in Rushing Success Rate and 12th in rushing yards allowed (99.3).

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Northwestern Wildcats

The Wildcats have a few talented skill players, led by running back Evan Hull and wide receiver Stephon Robinson Jr.

Hull leads Northwestern and sits fifth in the Big Ten with 750 rushing yards. Robinson leads the Wildcats with 30 receptions for 425 yards and two touchdowns. However, the two have not been enough to sustain a struggling offense that’s averaging 19 points per game.

Northwestern has been playing musical chairs at quarterback all season. Ryan Hilinski has been the starter of late, but he was replaced last week by Andrew Marty. It is unclear at this point who will get the start, but Marty offers a dual-threat ability that Hilinski can’t provide.

Northwestern is typically hard-nosed and stingy on defense, but not this year. It’s played six Power Five teams and allowed five of them to run for 200 yards. The Wildcats rank 110th in Rushing Success Rate and 126th in Rushing Yards Allowed at 231.4 yards per game.

Iowa has allowed the most sacks in the Big Ten with 24 thus far. Northwestern defensive end Adetomiwa Adebawore leads Northwestern with 19 quarterback hurries, seven tackles for loss, and is second on the team with 3.5 sacks. Adebawore is the team’s best pure pass rusher, and he will have a good opportunity to take advantage of Iowa’s porous pass protection.


Iowa vs. Northwestern Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Iowa and Northwestern match up statistically:

Iowa Offense vs. Northwestern Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 128 110
Line Yards 130 119
Pass Success 117 74
Pass Blocking** 110 94
Big Play 125 54
Havoc 120 114
Finishing Drives 112 113
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Northwestern Offense vs. Iowa Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 73 17
Line Yards 89 13
Pass Success 101 27
Pass Blocking** 81 83
Big Play 97 1
Havoc 99 60
Finishing Drives 110 48
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 30 81
Coverage 2 42
Middle 8 61 53
SP+ Special Teams 4 125
Plays per Minute 106 28
Rush Rate 55.4% (65) 54.6% (70)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Iowa vs. Northwestern Betting Pick

Iowa needs a get-right game after its past two games, and Northwestern provides a solid opportunity for just that. However, I can’t back Iowa as a double-digit favorite with its struggling offense. Instead, I have my eyes on the under.

Northwestern will likely look to establish the running game, particularly if Marty starts. However, the Wildcats are scoring 12 PPG in the last four games and will struggle to move the ball against Iowa.

While Northwestern doesn’t have a good defense, it will face an equal in the Iowa offense. The Hawkeyes have topped 34 points just twice this season, and it was fueled by turnovers in both games. If Northwestern doesn’t give the Hawkeyes short fields, I don’t anticipate a breakout performance from the Iowa offense.

The last four meetings between these teams have seen an average of 28 points, and the under has hit each time.

The under will be 5-for-5 after Saturday. I foresee an Iowa win somewhere around 20-10. That would clear under 40.5 with ease.

Pick: Under 40.5

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