Iowa vs. Michigan Betting Odds & Picks: How to Play the Over/Under
Jeffrey Becker, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Ihmir Smith-Marsette
- The Michigan Wolverines are betting favorites against the Iowa Hawkeyes (spread: -3.5). The over/under for the noon ET kick sits at 47.5.
- Our betting experts analyze the matchup from top-to-bottom, giving their betting picks on the spread and total.
Iowa vs. Michigan Betting Odds & Picks
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Iowa at Michigan Line Movement
Prior to the season, I don’t think anybody would expect that we’d see a 50-50 split from bettors on this matchup, but here we are. As of Friday afternoon, Iowa is holding the slightest of edges at 51% of tickets, but this line has actually come down from its opening number of Hawkeyes +5.5. Iowa is now just a 4-point dog despite the balanced ticket count.
The total has also seen some interesting movement, going from 47 to 48 despite a hefty majority of bettors (74%) on the under. — Danny Donahue
Collin Wilson: Will Be Points Be at a Premium?
In one of the more odd scenarios this season, both Iowa and Michigan have two common opponents. Middle Tennessee State and Rutgers were no match for either team in their home stadiums.
While Iowa cruised to a 78-3 combined score against MTSU and Rutgers, Michigan won both contests by a combined score of 92-21.
The three touchdowns from Middle Tennessee against Michigan are a bit deceiving, as two drives started in Michigan territory thanks to sloppy ball protections.
Even though Rutgers is one of the weakest teams in Power 5 football, it could have given us a good look at the type of offense Michigan can be when its clicking.
The Wolverines reached the endzone on four lightning quick offensive scores. This is the explosiveness Jim Harbaugh was looking for when hiring offensive coordinator Josh Gattis.
That will be crucial for the Wolverines against Iowa, as the Hawkeyes can be exposed on defense. Iowa ranks 105th in Havoc, 118th in power success rate and 99th in sack rate. The Hawkeyes are not getting any penetration into the offensive backfield, and that should help Shea Patterson keep a clean box score.
Michigan’s defense has also struggled to create any chaos, ranking 124th in Havoc with just nine passes defensed 16 tackles for loss through four games.
Do not expect that to change in Ann Arbor on Saturday, as Iowa is the number one team in the nation in Havoc Allowed thanks to an offensive line that has allowed just 15 tackles for loss.
The Action Network projections make this game Michigan -3.5, so this number is spot on. If the Wolverines were to fall to a field goal, they would be worth a small investment.
I think there is value backing the Over, as our projected total, which is powered by yards per play, players per game and adjusted pace, is 57.5.
Considering both defenses will make this a havoc-less game, the Michigan offense should be explosive and the Iowa defense should have minimal resistance.
The Pick: Over 47.5
Stuckey: Has the Michigan Hate Gotten Out of Hand?
Iowa is starting to get healthier, as it will likely add tackle Alaric Jackson to the mix this week to give them two future NFL tackles on an already dominant offensive line. That could pose problems for a Michigan defense that has been bullied so far this year.
And while I think the Michigan defensive front has improved personnel wise since the Wisconsin game, the Hawkeyes should still be able to methodically move the chains throughout this game.
Iowa is also getting some secondary relief in the form of corner Julius Brents and safety Kaevon Merriweather. The Hawkeyes are still not 100% healthy in the defensive backfield but they’re getting closer. With Brents and Merriweather back, Iowa may be able to play more of its staple 4-2-5 defense, which they haven’t been able to do with a thin secondary. But it’s hard to say how much either can really contribute this week.
Because of those injuries in the defensive backfield, Iowa has had to instead rely on a base 4-3 defense. I don’t expect Michigan to get much on the ground. The Wolverines are only averaging 3.5 yards per carry, which ranks outside the top 100 nationally.
But maybe Michigan can carry over its offensive momentum from the Rutgers game. The Wolverines do now have a healthy Donovan Peoples-Jones and Iowa doesn’t cause much Havoc on defense, so Shea Patterson should have some time to get the ball downfield where I think he can have some success.
The market’s view on Michigan seems to be bottoming out. This line would’ve been closer to two touchdowns before the season started. Yes, Michigan deserved a significant downgrade for its performances against both Army and Wisconsin but the hate may have gone too far.
If this gets to 3, I will have to play Michigan. And I’m also in agreement with Collin on the total as I think it’s over or nothing.
This is a game that Harbaugh has historically been able to win. A big game at home but not a huge game. He’s 6-0 against teams ranked between 14-25 with an overall margin of 206-51. Jim also owns a perfect 27-0 record at the Big House against teams not named Michigan State or Ohio State.
The Pick: Michigan -3 or better, Over 47.5