Even though they are on the road, it’s somewhat surprising that the Hawkeyes are a +2.5 favorite in the Iowa at Minnesota betting matchup. Kirk Ferentz and his offensive coordinator / son Brian Ferentz seemed to have figured something out with the Iowa offense, and as a result they are on a three game win streak.
The Golden Gophers have rattled off three straight wins of their own as they try to finish the year 6-1 at home and get their hands on the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy for the first time since 2014. Minnesota is hoping they can get 5th year Senior QB Tanner Morgan (upper body) back because they’re probably not going to put up 302 rush yards against this Iowa defense like they did in last Saturday’s 31-3 win over Northwestern.
A Lot Still on the Line in the Big Ten 10 West
If Iowa could have figured out their offense a bit earlier in the season, they’d be looking at an 8-2 record and a really good shot at clinching an appearance in the Big 10 Championship Game on Saturday. Instead the Hawkeyes suffered a 10-7 loss to Iowa State in the rivalry game in week 2 and fell 9-6 to Illinois, two games in which Iowa’s elite defense did their part.
Iowa is 4-3 in the conference with losses to Michigan and Ohio State – two of the remaining four undefeated teams in the country. Thanks to two straight losses by Illinois (who plays Michigan on Saturday) there is now a four-way tie in the B10 West between the Fighting Illini, Iowa, Purdue, and these Golden Gophers.
With Illinois likely going to four conference losses playing in Ann Arbor and Iowa having the tie-breaker over Purdue thanks to their 24-3 win in week 10, a win over Minnesota on Saturday should put the Hawkeyes in the driver’s seat for berth in the conference title game.
Can Morgan Make it Back
It’s the last game in the Twin Cities for Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan – or is it? Morgan has missed the last 1.5 games after getting sandwiched in a 20-13 win over Nebraska in week 10. Athan Kaliakmanis has been his replacement at QB, going 6/12 against the Cornhuskers and just 7/13 last week against Northwestern.
Morgan has way more experience and completes 67.3% of his passes so he gives the Golden Gophers the better chance to win in Iowa at Minnesota betting. Kaliakmanis only threw 13 times last Saturday against Northwestern because Minnesota was running the ball 58 times for 302 yards, but Iowa has the #10 run defense (88.6 ypg) and #3 overall defense (260.7) in the entire country.
Normally Minnesota wouldn’t have to worry about getting a lot of offensive production because the Hawkeyes were one of the lowest scoring teams in the country. Iowa is averaging 27 ppg during their three game winning streak over Northwestern (33-13), Purdue (24-3), and Wisconsin (24-10).
Free Iowa at Minnesota Betting Pick
Quite frankly the Hawkeyes getting +2.5 points seems like an absolute gift here. Both teams have won three in a row, but that streak for the Golden Gophers has victories over Rutgers, Nebraska, and Northwestern who are a combined 4-17 in conference play.
Iowa’s defense is just too good, especially if Minnesota is only one-dimensional in the running game again if Morgan is out. Combine that with Iowa’s improving offense and this one looks Hawkeyes not only to cover – but win big outright.
Free Pick: Iowa ML (+110)