It’s Friday night Big Ten action for the Iowa at Minnesota pick. Both teams tallied their first win of the season a week ago, Iowa in a 49-7 pounding of MIchigan State and the Golden Gophers with a 41-14 pummeling of Illinois.
Oddsmakers have Iowa as a -3.5 road favorite in this tilt, and it could get high scoring with a betting total of 59.5. The Hawkeyes have won five straight in this series, including 48-31 in their last trip to the Twin Cities in 2018. Do the Golden Gophers snap that streak on a cold night in Minneapolis?
Iowa in the Driver’s Seat?
Floyd of Rosedale has made his home in Iowa City for the last five years, and the Hawkeyes 23-19 win at home last season ruined then #8 ranked Minnesota’s chance at an undefeated season. Even with momentum a season ago, the Golden Gophers couldn’t overcome the Iowa hurdle. Is that starting to give P.J. Fleck’s team a complex?
The Hawkeyes hope that they’ve turned a corner coming into the Iowa at Minnesota pick. Kirk Ferentz and company started the season with a 24-20 loss at Purdue as -3.5 favorites and then fell at home 21-20 to Northwestern as +1 underdogs. The Hawkeyes finally put things together in a dominant 49-7 win over Michigan State in which Iowa was up 35-0 at the half.
The Iowa offense should be set for another big night against a Minnesota team that allowed almost 700 yards of offense in a 45-44 loss to Maryland a couple weeks ago. That doesn’t mean the Hawkeyes defense won’t have their hands full with the top offense in the Big Ten West. Iowa was up to the task last week, intercepting three Michigan State passes and forcing Rocky Lombardi to go 17/37 passing.
Golden Gophers Need This Win
Minnesota finally notched their first win of the season last week, but it’s hard to take much out of that game against the hapless Illini. Either way, it was another outstanding day on the ground for Mo Ibrahim, who notched 224 yards on the ground with 4 TDs to earn conference player of the week honors.
Overall the Golden Gophers ran for 325 yards vs. Illinois and Ibrahim has 10 TDs in three games this year. Iowa traditionally has a tenacious defensive line, but if there’s any team in the Big Ten that matches up well it’s Minnesota. The Golden Gophers return six offensive lineman with starting experience from last season, and they average 335 pounds. Minnesota has the #14 rush offense in the nation.
Aside from another strong rushing game, Rashod Bateman got loose last week for his first TD of the season. Bateman finished with 10 catches for 139 yards, but will the cold weather forecasted for Friday night put a damper on Minnesota’s passing attack?
Free Iowa at Minnesota Pick
It’s hard to take too much out of last week’s win for either team because it looks like Michigan State and Illinois are going to be pretty bad football teams this season. Iowa has been dominant in this series, but you can’t overlook the ugly loss to Purdue in their only road game this season and the failure to hold a big lead at home against Northwestern.
Minnesota was also dominated by 25 points in their only home game against Michigan, who might also be overrated this year. Ultimately though, the Golden Gophers hung with a very good Maryland team and has one of the most punishing rushing games in the country. Edge to the home team.
Minnesota 28 – Iowa 24
Free Pick: Minnesota +3.5