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Iowa Football: Hawkeyes Open as Favorites Over Nebraska

Iowa v Nebraska
The Hawkeyes are favored to retain the Heroes Trophy
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The Iowa Hawkeyes have done the unthinkable. After starting the season 3-4 and falling to dead last in the division, the Hawkeyes now control their own destiny for a second straight Big Ten West title.

Thanks to Iowa’s 13-10 win over Minnesota on Saturday, combined with Michigan’s surprisingly close win over Illinois, the Hawkeyes now find themselves in a two-way tie for first place in the West after entering the day in a four-way tie. Joining the Hawkeyes stop the divisional tables is Purdue. But of course, Iowa’s shellacking of the Boilermakers in West Lafeyette three weeks ago gives the Hawkeyes the tiebreaker, meaning win Saturday in Kinnick and Iowa advances to Indianapolis for a second straight year.

That’s now what Las Vegas is expecting. Despite all the ups and downs, Iowa needs just one more win and our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook opened the line for the showdown with Nebraska at Iowa -9.5. The over/under has been set at 42.5 total points.

The Huskers enter the week losers of five straight games after falling 15-14 to Wisconsin Saturday on senior day. Now they travel to Iowa City playing for the Heroes Trophy on Iowa’s senior day. While the Hawkeyes are playing for the West title, Nebraska once again has little on the line. Since evaluating where Iowa was as a program in 2014, the Hawkeyes have won seven straight matchups between the two schools while Nebraska has rattled off its sixth consecutive losing season. The Huskers have had just one winning year and only two bowl games since that 2014 comeback win in Kinnick. That’s the same number of bowl games as head coaches in that period.

Friday’s Hero’s Game matchup is set for a 3pm kick. The game will be broadcast on BTN.