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Iowa Football: Hawkeyes Open as Big Favorites vs Michigan State

It would seem Vegas didn’t watch Iowa get blasted away in Happy Valley.

NCAA Football: Washington at Michigan State
Captain Kirk would love nothing more than a get right game against Mark Dantonio.
Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes walked into Happy Valley on Saturday night as 14.5-point underdogs. It was a pretty big number considering both teams were ranked and the Hawkeyes boasted a two-game winning streak against the Nittany Lions.

Then Penn State thoroughly embarrassed Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes. It was a beatdown in every sense of the word for all but the very first few minutes of the game. Frankly, there isn’t much to dissect or breakdown. Iowa was abysmally bad on offense. Their defense was OK, but exhausted after facing an absurd 97 plays from the Nittany Lions.

It comes as a bit of a surprise, then that Iowa returns to Kinnick Stadium on Saturday to play host to the Michigan State Spartans as big favorites. Our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook opened this one with a double-digit spread that has already ballooned out to Iowa -11.5 with an over/under set at a ridiculously low 36.5 total points.

That total makes some sense given the Hawkeyes now rank 89th nationally in scoring offense at under 22 points per game. Iowa’s opponent on Saturday, Michigan State, comes into the week 118th nationally in scoring at less than 16 points per game. Add to the recipe the fact that Iowa’s defense is still ranked 24th nationally in scoring defense giving up just 17 points per game despite the 31 points they gave up to Penn State.

The Spartans come into Saturday’s matchup fresh off a pair of losses in their first two games against power five opponents. MSU failed to get into double digits offensively in either of those two games after averaging 38 points per game in their first two games of the season against G5 programs.

Iowa and Michigan State are set for a 6:30pm CT kick on Saturday night inside Kinnick Stadium. This week’s game will be broadcast on NBC.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.