The Iowa Hawkeyes continue to struggle on the offensive side of the ball, but struggle or not, they were able to get the job done last week in Wrigley Field as they defeated Northwestern 10-7.
The win moves the Hawkeyes to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in Big Ten play. Perhaps more surprising than Iowa’s record with the worst offense in the nation, is the fact the Hawkeyes now sit alone atop the Big Ten West standings after both Minnesota and Wisconsin dropped games last weekend.
The result is Iowa now with some breathing room. Given the Gophers still have a date with Ohio State on the docket, the Hawkeyes could presumably still lose to either Rutgers of Illinois and enter their Black Friday matchup against Nebraska in control of their own destiny.
However, the folks in Vegas aren’t ready to call for a loss just yet for the Hawkeyes. Our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook opened the line for Iowa’s return home this weekend against Rutgers at Iowa -1.5. It’s a slim margin, the the Hawkeyes are still favored despite an inability to move the ball or put points on the board.
The optimism is clearly centered around Iowa’s defense, which is giving up just 4.05 yards per play, good for second nationally behind only Penn State at 4.0. This week’s opponent, Rutgers, is 10th nationally giving up just 4.5 yards per play. While Iowa is 4th in scoring defense giving up just 13.67 points per game, the Scarlet Knights are not far behind at 17.89 points per game allowed - good for 20th in the nation.
It’s safe to say points will be at a premium this weekend. Which is why DraftKings opened this one at the lowest over/under point total on record at just 29 total points. The Hawkeyes have now set the record four different times over the last two season and have hit the under in each of the prior three outings.
A week ago, Iowa and Northwestern opened at just 31.5 and crept lower throughout the week. Of course, the 17 total points scored was well below the final over/under.
We’re not in the business of providing financial advice, but it’s advisable to always bet the under when Iowa is involved. Always.
The Hawkeyes and Knights are set to kick off at 2:30pm CT this Saturday inside Kinnick Stadium. After being relegated to streaming only a week ago, Iowa is back on broadcast television this week with the matchup televised on BTN.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.