Hey kids, you like betting on other kids playing sports? No? Well you better start adding more unnecessary stress to your Saturday afternoons, because it’s about to be legal in a town near you!
And while we’re on the subject: let’s talk about the odds that... oddsmakers are giving Iowa football this upcoming season in terms of wins, losses, postseason success and so on.
Stay with me here, it’s gonna be OK.
So for starters: just like last year, Brent Musberger’s Friends in the Desert are setting Iowa’s win total at 7.5 on the regular season. For the uninitiated, that means Iowa’s gotta win eight or more games to cash that winning ticket for a wager on the over.
Before you steal the greenbacks outta your roommate’s pillow case, let’s revisit Iowa’s schedule for a moment:
The Stone Cold Locks
Nothing is a lock in Iowa football land; I wanted to phrase the heading as “If Iowa loses these, we’re probably in for the under,” but that was too long. And depressing.
So we got: Miami the Lesser, rutger, Middle Tennessee State, Illinois.
I feel safe calling all those locks. That’s half the wager right there boys and girls.
The “We Better Wins...”
In reality, I wish every game was a “we better win...” game, but since losing to teams like Purdue and Northwestern on a consistent basis has become a feature and not a bug of Iowa football, we’ve come to embrace such masochism.
Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa State.
If Iowa can go 5-0 against these teams, we’re in for a good season. If Iowa can go 3-2 or 4-1, that over will probably hit. Anything less than that and I’m gonna be ready to dunk my head into a bucket of Portillo’s cheese sauce.
Iowa will lose to at least one of these teams in truly boneheaded fashion, will beat one of these teams in a display of mind-numbing dominance, and offer some combination of the two in a stressful affair between the third opponent.
Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
If Iowa can steal just one win here I feel GREAT about that over. If the Hawks can scrape out two or three wins here we’re looking at something special, kiddos.
And I mean, come on. It’s Iowa. We’re winning at least eight games on the dot. That’s what we do here.
It’s too bad that in the real world, Maryland only does one of those things.
ANYWAY, that was a fun exercise! Let’s look at other over/unders around the B1G real quick:
Ohio State is the leader at 10.5, which is par the course for the Buckeyes. Michigan is next in line at 9.5 (I like the under!) while Nebraska (?), Wisconsin and Penn State are sitting at 8.5 wins, for some reason. You gotta play defense to win games Nebraska, people forget that.
Now, onto winning the B1G. Well I’m sad to report things ARE not looking good for Iowa in terms of confidence in the desert. It’s a bit cheerier, however, if you were to wager on the Hawks, and if they were to make some things happen this year.
Iowa is getting roughly 25:1 odds to win the Big Ten in 2019 (Fanduel is offering the most lucrative line at 30:1) which puts them closeish to Michigan State (20:1) and Northwestern (27:1). Some places have Minnesota at equal odds as Iowa, curiously, but most online sportsbooks place the Gilded Rodents squarely at 50:1 odds.
Nebraska is sitting at 15:1 odds universally.
Ohio State is getting even odds to win the Big Ten, again, and Michigan is right behind ‘em at 2:1. Wisconsin is next in line at 10:1, and then the drop off to Penn State, which is at about the same as Wisconsin at most places.
I don’t know how I feel about Iowa winning the Big Ten this year, but I do know I feel good about returning an investment 25-fold.
And now let’s talk about that Great White Buffalo: the National Championship.
Just for the sake of conversation, what sounds about right to you, dear reader, for Iowa’s odds in the Natty Champ Convo? For reference, I’ll tell you Clemson is getting around 2:1 odds. Wisconsin is around 100:1, and so is Mississippi State.
Well, if you figured Iowa would be hovering around those latter teams, you’d be right: The Hawkeyes are at 200:1 at Bovada, and 150:1 just about everywhere else. Everyone needs to get on the same page here.
Guys, I love you, but Iowa ain’t winning it all. Please save your money for Touchdowns For Kids instead.
Per usual, Iowa doesn’t have anyone generating preseason Heisman Heipe, so we can’t talk about Nate Stanley’s bid. Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence are 30:1 there.
Just Fields (90:1), Adrian Martinez (100:1), Jonathan Taylor (170:1), Shea Patterson (260:1), and Rondale Moore (500:1) are the only Big Ten Players listed as getting Heisman Odds on Bovada.
Why, Adrian Martinez, why?
Eno Benjamin is also getting odds at 800:1, for what it’s worth.
So what’s the takeaway here? Iowa’s winning at least eight games this year, and little else.
Those are the rules. Don’t shoot the messenger.