Michigan vs. Iowa Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (12/4/21)

Michigan vs. Iowa Betting Odds

The Michigan Wolverines 11-1 take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 2021 Big Ten Championship game.   Michigan clinched the Big Ten East Division title in a hard fought 42-27 victory over their bitter rival the Ohio State Buckeyes.  Michigan’s head coach Jim Harbaugh won his first game against Ohio State since taking over the Wolverines program in December of 2014.  This will be the Wolverines first appearance in the Big Ten Championship game.  The Iowa Hawkeyes clinched the Big Ten West championship with a 10-2 record after Wisconsin was upset by Minnesota this past Saturday.  This will be Iowa’s second appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game, they lost to Michigan State 16-13 in 2015.  

Michigan is 42-15-4 in the all-time series vs. Iowa; they first played each other in 1900.  In their last matchup on October 5, 2019, the Wolverines defeated Iowa, 10-3. 

Michigan Wolverines Odds

The Wolverines enter the game as 11.5-point favorite over the Hawkeyes.   Michigan is 7-1 against the spread in its last eight games and 10-2 this season.  

This year’s Michigan team is built like Harbaugh’s teams at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers before Colin Kaepernick took over for Alex Smith at quarterback.  They run the ball “down your throat,” play tough hard-nosed defense and simply control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and have a quarterback that limits their turnovers.  Harbaugh did have a transcendent quarterback in Andrew Luck at Stanford under center, but he still used a ball control offense with him.

The Wolverines are averaging 451.2 yards of total offense and scoring 37.3 points per game this season, which is 13th in the country.

Quarterback Cade McNamera who’s been dubbed a “game-manager” threw for 159 yards while completing 68.4% of his passes in the victory over Ohio State.  On the season, he threw for 2,301 yards, 14 touchdowns, three interceptions while completing 64.4% of his passes.  

Michigan controlled the line of scrimmage on offense against Ohio State.  Running back Hassan Haskins was the star of the day for the Wolverines, rushing for 169 yards on 28 carries and five touchdowns.  Per PFF, Haskins became the first player all-time with five rushing touchdowns in a game against Ohio State.  Additionally, he tied the Wolverines record for touchdowns in a game set by Ron Johnson against Wisconsin in 1968.  He leads Michigan in rushing this season running for 1,232 yards on 244 attempts: averaging five yards a carry.  Haskins also has 18 touchdowns on the ground, which is third best in the country.  

The Michigan is allowing 17.2 points per game, ranking them eighth in the country.  Defensively the team is led by defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and linebacker David Ojabo.  In the upset of Ohio State, Hutchinson had three sacks, seven tackles for loss and five solo tackles.  Hutchinson has the most sacks ever by a Wolverine with 13.  Per PFF, he’s also the number one rated prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft.  David Ojabo punctuated the win over Ohio State with a sack of Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud late in the fourth quarter.  Ojabo has 11 sacks, 11 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles this season.

Iowa Hawkeyes Odds

Iowa is 12-6 against the spread in its last 18 games and 7-5 this season.  The Hawkeyes enter the game as an underdog, in the last 13 matchups between the schools, the underdog is 9-4 against the spread.  

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is content playing a game of field position against their opponents relying on special teams to help control a game.  This exemplified against Penn State in week 6 when the Hawkeyes Tory Taylor punted nine times and kept pinning the Nittany Lions inside their own 20-yard line; he had six punts against the Nittany Lions inside the 20-yard line.  He has punted 69 times and averaged 45.8 yards per kick in 2021.  Taylor has 33 punts on the season inside the 20 yard line; fifth most in the NCAA.

The Iowa offense is averaging 299.3 yards per game, ranking them 123rd in the country.  They’re scoring 25.7 points per game which ranks them 87th in the national rankings.  

Quarterback Spencer Petras leads the Iowa offense.  He has completed 58.1% of his passes for 1,532 yards and nine touchdowns on the season.  

Tyler Goodson is the star of the Hawkeyes offensive attack.  Goodson has rushed for 1,101 yards on 238 carries: averaging 4.6 yards a carry in 2021.  He’s added 25 catches for 219 yards.  Overall, he has 1,320 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns (six rushing and one receiving) this season.  

Iowa is allowing 17.3 points per game, ranking them 10th in the country.  They’re allowing 315.8 yards of total offense to their opponents in 2021, which ranks them 13th in the country.  

Joe Evans and Lukas Van Ness are the team leaders in sacks with six each.  Senior Zack Vanvalkenburg has 3.5 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss and 24 solo tackles in 2021.

The Hawkeyes are ninth in the country in points allowed, allowing 17.2 points per game to their opponents.  Iowa is leading the country in turnovers/takeaways this season.  The defense has intercepted 22 passes on the year; led by Dane Belton who has five and Riley Moss who has four interceptions, including returning two for touchdowns.

Prediction and Pick 

My Pick: Michigan 28-17, Michigan doesn’t cover and going over 43.5 points.

The Wolverines will continue to use their tough running game and dominating defensive line to outlast a well-coached Iowa team, who plays good defense and uses field position as a weapon.

Scott has been a sports fan since he received a New York Mets jacket as a toddler. He’s been playing fantasy baseball and football for over 20 years, dating back to Frank Thomas being one of his first fantasy baseball picks. As a professional, he has covered the NFL, MLB, NCAAF, and NCAAB and is looked to as the go-to guy for fantasy sports amongst family, friends, and co-workers.

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