Iowa 2019 Betting Guide: Not Many Chances for Kinnick Magic

Iowa 2019 Betting Guide: Not Many Chances for Kinnick Magic article feature image
Credit:

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: AJ Epenesa

Iowa 2019 Betting Odds

  • National Title: 300-1
  • To Win Big Ten: 20-1
  • To Make the Playoff: 75-1
  • Win Total: 7.5

Iowa Schedule, Projected Spreads

What to Like about Iowa

As we discussed on the Action Network Podcast, everyone has shot in the wild wild Big Ten West division. Maybe not so much for Illinois, but for Iowa, there is always the chance to play in the conference championship game.

Quarterback Nate Stanley returns for his senior season with an offensive line that retains 32 starts across four players form 2018. With the loss of two first round NFL tight ends, look for Kirk Ferentz to rely more on the running game with Mekhi Sargent.

The defense does take its lumps in returning production, but has Bednarik watch list defensive end A.J. Epenesa in the trench. The junior had more tackles for loss and run stuffs than any other defensive player. The double digit sacks and four pass breakups add to his 16.8% of team havoc.

Look for Iowa to continually field a top defense, as the 2018 Hawkeyes were second against rush explosiveness and No. 4 in passing downs sack rate. A defensive line havoc rate of fourth in the nation will continue with Epenesa coming off the edge.

What Could Cause Problems

We all love Kinnick magic. But how much will we get this year?

Iowa has beaten Nebraska, Ohio State and Michigan at home in each of the past three years. Oct. 12 against Penn State may be our only shot at some magic on banana peel throwback uniform week.

All jokes aside, Iowa’s most winnable games are at home while the tough ones come on the road. The Hawkeyes will travel to Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska in conference play.

The home slate also includes Rutgers, Illinois and Purdue. The Big Ten West division power ratings have the smallest separation of any conference, and home field advantage will not be in the favor of Iowa in their biggest games.

Other Nugget(s)

Plenty of teams will be fresh against the Hawkeyes. Four teams will come off a bye week including Iowa State, Middle Tennessee, Wisconsin and Illinois. Rutgers will have an extra few days in prep for their Week 2 game in Kinnick.

Ferentz’s most reliable trend from the past 10 seasons is as a road favorite. Iowa is 18-7-1 against the spread in that scenario, which will be the case on Sept. 26 at Northwestern.

Bets to Watch

The Action Network projected win total is 7.9, which should indicate a case for the Over 7.5. A September chalked full of Miami of Ohio, Rutgers and Middle Tennessee give Nate Stanley time to hit new targets against defenses expected to finish outside the top 75.

The Hawkeyes should be favored in all seven home games, including a coin flip with Penn State. A road victory against Northwestern or Iowa State should get bettors to the window.

Matt Campbell has yet to cover against Iowa in his short three years at Iowa State, and his team is -4 in Game of the Year lines right now. The Cyclones will have a bye week after an opener with Northern Iowa to prepare for the Hawkeyes in Week 3.

Epenesa was able to generate two sacks in last years victory that limited David Montgomery to 2.5 yards per carry. The game of the year line is Iowa +4, and deserves investment with an estimated closing number less than 3.