What a start to the year Iowa has had. The Hawkeyes are firmly in playoff contention and have a shot to compete for their first national title since 1960.
However, first they have to get past their biggest test yet. Taulia Tagovailoa and the unbeaten Maryland Terrapins. The public believes Iowa can storm into College Park and win this one, but it won't be easy.
Iowa is the favorite to win this game, but it's not by much. The Hawkeyes are 3.5 point favorites against Maryland, and they're given -164 odds to win the game outright. That's an implied 62.1% chance to walk away with a victory. Meanwhile, Maryland is given +155 odds , or an implied 39.2% chance to upset the #5 team in the country.
These are the worst odds any top 5 team has had against an unranked opponent this year.
Iowa and Maryland have only played each other 3 times in their history. Iowa has won 2 of those games. All three matchups these teams have played have taken place between 2014-2018.
Maryland won the first game, a home game, in 2014 38-31. Iowa won the next two games, one in 2015 and one in 2018, both of which where played in Iowa.
So, the home team has won all 3 games these teams have played. That gives a little more credence to the oddsmakers' thought that Maryland is going to put up a fight in this one.
Iowa is going up against a high powered Maryland offense. One led by a likely future NFL draft pick in Taulia Tagovailoa. Illinois is the only team that's been able to keep them in check so far this season. We'll see if Iowa can do the same.
Given Iowa's offensive struggles this year, they'll likely need their defense to step up if they're going to win this one. They have to win this one if they want any hope of competing for a National Title.