We’re now inside of 24 hours from the first game of Iowa’s 2020 football season and it’s been a wild first game week. The Hawkeyes opened up as 9.5 point favorites against the Boilemakers in the early line several weeks ago. This week, when more books published lines, we saw Iowa open at -3.5 with an over/under at 54.5.
Since then, 2020 has taken it’s toll on the newsfeed. Earlier this week we learned that Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm was indeed positive for COVID-19 and would not be allowed to coach this week. While the Boilermakers were petitioning the Big Ten to allow him to communicate and coach remotely (and let’s be honest, if anyone in the Big Ten can figure out the most effective way to get that done it’s the guys who put people on the moon), that seemed like it would play a big roll with brother Brian Brohm slated to call plays for the first time in a game. However, the line didn’t move.
Later in the week, it surfaced that Brohm would be joined by multiple other staff members who Brohm declined to name or quantify. Additionally, Purdue was expecting to be without 5-6 players above and beyond the multiple coaches who will be out. And still the line persisted.
However, on Friday we learned that one of those players will indeed be start WR Rondale Moore. Moore was enough to push the line from -9.5 to -3.5 at Elite Sports Book when he announced a return to college football this fall. What impact will his absence have on the final line?
So far very little. Here’s how things stand as of Friday evening:
Matchup: Iowa (0-0) at Purdue (0-0)
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Time: 2:30pm CT
Weather Forecast: 55 with 50% chance of rain, winds 10-15 mph
Opening Line: Iowa -3.5
As you can see, the line has not moved. While a few books have come down to Iowa -3, there has been almost no upward move following the news that multiple players and coaches, including Moore, will be out for Purdue.
The one move we have seen with that news is the over/under falling a bit. Some books are still as high as 53, but most are now comfortably at 52 or below.
One interesting note there is the improving weather, which would seem to benefit a higher scoring affair and perhaps aid Purdue’s chances given their passing game prowess.
Earlier this week, the forecast was calling for similar, though slightly warmer, temps with a roughly 50% chance of rain. Temps are now expected to be a few degrees cooler but the chances of rain are virtually gone as a high pressure front moves through (I’m not a weather man, but I do watch from time to time in my role as Dad).
Things are shaping up to be interesting for Iowa and Purdue on Saturday. There are now only hours between us and the return of Hawkeye football.