Minnesota vs Iowa Prediction | College Football Betting Picks for Week 12

Minnesota vs Iowa Prediction | College Football Betting Picks for Week 12 article feature image

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured from left: Brevyn Spann-Ford #88, Ky Thomas #8, Axel Ruschmeyer #65 and Nathan Boe #66 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Minnesota vs Iowa Odds

Nov. 19
4 p.m. ET
Minnesota Golden Gophers Odds
-110o / -110u
Iowa Hawkeyes Odds
-110o / -110u
Updated odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Iowa Hawkeyes travel to Minnesota for a massive Big Ten West clash for the Floyd of Rosedale in a game that could ultimately decide which team wins the division.

Iowa has turned its season around and now finds itself in pole position to win the Big Ten West after a 24-10 win over Wisconsin in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes defense has kicked it to a new level and is one of the best defenses in the country.

With Illinois playing Michigan and the Hawkeyes owning the tiebreaker over Purdue, this could be the game where they take possession of first place in the division.

Minnesota is currently on a three-game winning streak after beating Rutgers, Nebraska and Northwestern. It's also tied for the lead in the division.

However, Illinois and Purdue hold the tiebreaker over the Gophers, and if they lose to Iowa, their hopes of winning the Big Ten West are effectively gone.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Golden Gophers Offense

Tanner Morgan didn't play in Minnesota's win over Northwestern last weekend, but it didn't seem to matter as the Gophers ran the ball for 302 yards and four touchdowns.

Morgan is questionable to play on Saturday, but the sentiment is that he's played his last game for Minnesota after suffering his second concussion of the season.

That means it will most likely be freshman Athan Kaliakmanis under center. Kaliakmanis has not been effective as a passer this season. He started games against Penn State and Northwestern and had under a 63 PFF passing grade in both starts.

However, Minnesota is one of the most rush-heavy offenses in the country, carrying the rock on 67.6% of offensive plays, which is the highest average for a non-triple option offense in the country.

It's a good thing the Gophers boast one of the best running backs in the Big Ten in Mohamed Ibrahim.

Ibrahim is the only running back in college football to rush for 100 yards or more in every game played this season. He's averaging 5.3 yards per attempt and has 38 rushes of over 10 yards, per PFF.

Minnesota RB Mohamed Ibrahim puts the Illinois defender in the spin cycle. Mo has some deceptive elusiveness. Makes defenders miss in tight spaces. pic.twitter.com/SFAXBqqCuc

— Ryan Roberts (@RiseNDraft) October 19, 2022

However, this is the best run defense he has faced this season. If Iowa can keep him in check, it's hard to see how Minnesota moves the ball effectively.

Golden Gophers Defense

Minnesota has a decent front seven that's top-25 in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.

However, the defensive line has been a weakness for the Gophers. They rank 80th in Stuff Rate, 122nd in Power Success Rate Allowed and 35th in Defensive Line Yards. Going up against an improved Iowa rushing attack might prove fatal for this Minnesota defense.

The Gophers do have an outstanding secondary that's allowing just 6.0 yards per attempt and ranks 12th in Passing Success Rate Allowed with the fifth-best coverage grade in the country, per PFF.

They have two of the best safeties in the Big Ten in Tyler Nubin and Jordan Howden, who both sit inside the top 15 nationally in coverage.

Tyler Nubin jumps the route, INT! Nubin and Minnesota’s defense can to play today! pic.twitter.com/0pt302Wf36

— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) October 1, 2022

They should be able to slow down Petras and the Iowa passing attack.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Hawkeyes Offense

Iowa's offense is one of the worst in the Power Five but has shown improvement over their last three games.

The Hawkeyes averaged 4.5 yards per play against Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin after averaging under four yards per play in the three games before that.

Spencer Petras has been bad this season, but it's not like he has been terrible in every single game. He put up a PFF passing grade above 82 and averaged over 7.2 yards per pass attempt against Rutgers, Michigan and Northwestern.

However, the reason Iowa's offense has struggled is not because of Petras. Iowa's biggest Achilles' heel has been the offensive line.

The unit ranks 130th in pass blocking and Petras has been under pressure on 37.8% of dropbacks, which is the eighth-highest mark in college football for quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks. The good news for Iowa is Minnesota has no pass rush to speak of, so Petras may actually have some time to throw.

Iowa's run game has come alive in the past few weeks with the emergence of freshman Kaleb Johnson. Johnson has averaged 6.1 yards per carry in the last three games and ran for 200 yards against Purdue a few weeks ago.


— SuperHawkeyeFan (@superhawkeyefan) November 5, 2022

Hawkeyes Defense

Iowa has the best defensive grade in college football at 93.9, per PFF. The Hawkeyes are one of only two teams in college football that are allowing under 4.0 yards per play.

If a team is going to beat Minnesota, it has to be able to stop the run, and Iowa has one of the best run defenses in the country. Iowa is allowing only 3.4 yards per carry while ranking eighth in Defensive Line Yards, first in rushing explosiveness allowed and fourth in EPA/Rush.

It helps when a team has one of the best linebacking duos in the country in Jack Campbell and Seth Benson, who are both in the top 10 for defensive grades among linebackers, per PFF.

If Iowa can stop the run and force Minnesota to throw the ball more often, the Hawkeyes should be in a solid spot. Iowa boasts the best secondary in the country, as the unit allows only 5.3 yards per attempt to opposing quarterbacks and owns the No. 1 coverage grade in the nation, per PFF.

Cooper DeJean has had a fantastic year for the Hawkeyes

Iowa’s defense continues to be its best offense👏


— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 12, 2022

In a game like this with a total set at 32.5, it's essential to have a good punter who can flip the field. That's one of the main reasons Iowa beat Wisconsin last weekend.

Tory Taylor has downed 28 punts inside the 20-yard line (third most in FBS), and opposing returners are averaging just 3.9 yards per punt return.

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Minnesota vs Iowa Matchup Analysis

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

Minnesota Offense vs. Iowa Defense
Rush Success1048
Line Yards128
Pass Success216
Pass Blocking**3539
Finishing Drives128
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Iowa Offense vs. Minnesota Defense
Rush Success12016
Line Yards12735
Pass Success11612
Pass Blocking**130105
Finishing Drives12513
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling184
PFF Coverage51
SP+ Special Teams2110
Seconds per Play31.4 (129)28.9 (111)
Rush Rate67.6% (4)56.3% (50)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Minnesota vs Iowa Prediction

Even though Minnesota is one of the most rush-heavy offenses in the country, not having Morgan under center is a big blow to the offense given his ability to conduct the unit.

If Minnesota can't run the ball against one of the best front sevens in football, it will be forced to throw the ball more than it wants in expected 16 MPH winds.

This is also a good public versus pros game on the moneyline. Sixty percent of the tickets have landed on Minnesota, but a whopping 98% of the money lies with Iowa.

I like the Hawkeyes to prevail in this low-scoring affair with their improved run game and elite defense at +120.

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