USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jonathan Taylor and Nate Stanley
Wisconsin at Iowa Betting Odds
- Odds: Wisconsin -3
- Over/Under: 43.5
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: FOX
>> All odds as of 7 p.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
There’s nothing in college football like Kinnick Stadium under the lights.
Iowa will scrape out an ugly victory against Minnesota, then throttle Ohio State the next week. The Hawkeyes will lose to North Dakota State at home early in the season, then spoil Michigan’s national title hopes to end it.
It’s just what Iowa does.
But this one feels a little different. Despite its preseason top-five ranking, Wisconsin is 0-3 against the spread, and bettors are jumping off the Badgers as fast as they can.
Weird things happen at Kinnick when no one expects them. When they do expect them… we’ll see. It’s almost uncharted territory.
Market Moves for Wisconsin-Iowa
Following Wisconsin’s loss to BYU, bettors have bailed on the Badgers. Wisconsin has drawn 44% of bettors accounting for only 33% of dollars, and as a result, this line has fallen from -3.5 to the key number of -3.
The under has been a popular play, picking up 66% of bets and 89% of dollars. Still, this total has risen from 42 to 43.5.
>> Check out Sports Insights’ Bet Signals to track sharp action for college football’s entire Week 4 slate.
Battle in the Trenches
We knew coming into the season that the Badgers would have an excellent offensive line. And we knew that Iowa’s defensive front would be good, but not this good.
The Hawkeyes’ 12 sacks rank third in FBS, and they’re sixth in sack rate, which is defined as the number of sacks relative to opponents’ dropbacks. Wisconsin’s offensive line surprisingly ranks only 101st in sack rate.
Trends to Know
By John Ewing
Wisconsin was upset by BYU in Week 3 as 23.5-point favorites. History is not on the Badgers’ side to cover against Iowa.
Since 2005, teams that lost the previous week as favorites of 20 or more points have gone 29-45-4 (39%) ATS, and ranked teams after a loss are 228-276-15 (45%) ATS.
By Evan Abrams
Iowa enters this game undefeated against the spread at 3-0, while Wisconsin is not only coming off a loss to BYU, but has started the season 0-3 against the spread.
Since 2005, when a team is listed as a home underdog in conference and is undefeated ATS — facing an opponent that does not have a cover yet that season (defeated ATS) — the home dog is just 3-13 straight-up and 6-10 against the spread.
Prior to Syracuse defeating Florida State this past Saturday, it had been five years since the last home dog won straight-up in this spot.
Wisconsin hasn’t allowed more than 4 yards per play in any of its last three games against Iowa. The Hawkeyes have scored a combined 33 points in those contests.
Bet to Watch for Wisconsin-Iowa
By Ken Barkley
Do bettors feel like they’re buying low on Wisconsin and getting value, or that the BYU game exposed weaknesses to the public that were there all along?
It’s a similar situation to what we see at USC right now actually — a high-profile team that can’t cover the spread and is now an extremely small favorite in a conference game. Is this the buy signal or not? Both the Badgers and Trojans actually have laundry lists of injuries too, so throw that in there.
A lot is made of historical series results, which can sometimes be misleading. Coaches change, coordinators change, and obviously players change. With these two teams, Paul Chyrst and Kirk Ferentz have faced off each of the last three years, and their staffs have remained pretty intact (Wisconsin’s Jim Leonhard wasn’t DC 3 years ago but he was on staff), so I think tendencies are actually very well-known between the teams.
The first two meetings were incredibly low-scoring — 10-6 Iowa the last time they played in Iowa City, and 17-9 in Madison in 2016.
Last year, the game flew over the total, 38-14 Wisconsin, but Iowa had only 66 total yards and five first downs. How did that game fly over? Seven combined turnovers!
Josh Jackson (now with the Packers) had two interceptions returned for touchdown. Don’t let the scoreline fool you — this was the same game as the two years prior, just with fluky big plays mixed in.
The total is already incredibly low at 43.5, but I would still lean under. If Iowa has shown anything so far, it’s an incredible defensive front. The Hawkeyes are No. 1 in the country in defensive S&P+ through three games, and I think avoiding turnovers will be emphasized even more than usual for each team coming into this year’s game.
This will be as grindy as football games get, between two teams that know each other extremely well.
Barkley’s Pick: Under