Betting website (Black Heart) Golden Nugget released several early betting lines for 2014 college football games -- and a handful of Iowa games are featured.
|9/13/2014||Iowa||Iowa St||Iowa -9.5|
The standard caveats apply, of course -- these are lines being set in mid-June for games that won't actually be played for (at the earliest) another three months. A lot can (and will) change before these games are actually played, I'm saying.
But right now Iowa is a strong favorite over Iowa State (9.5 points), a slight favorite over Nebraska (1 point), and an almost-touchdown underdog against Wisconsin (6 points). They're also a toss-up on the road against Minnesota. Lines were not released for any other Iowa games.
Those lines seem... fair? Four of Iowa's last five wins over Iowa State have come by 10 or more points (and last year's win arguably should have been by 10+, if not for a few late defensive breakdowns) and, on paper, they appear much stronger than Iowa State. Iowa thrashed Minnesota in Minneapolis a year ago, but a pick 'em on the road is essentially saying that Iowa is the slightly better team, but Minnesota has a slight home field advantage. Iowa's game with Wisconsin last year was perhaps slightly closer than the 28-9 final scoreline indicated and making Wisconsin 6-point favorites in Iowa City suggests that they might be around 9 to 10-point favorites over Iowa on a neutral field, which might be high... but I'm also a bit biased. And finally, Iowa is a very slight favorite over Nebraska, which... I mean, this should be worth three points alone, right?
Anyway, what say you? Do these lines seem about right? Any too high? Too low? What are your predictions for Iowa's other games this season? Hit up the comments.