Two teams on the opposite side of the confidence spectrum meet up in the NCAAF Northwestern at Iowa betting matchup. Northwestern comes in off a 43-3 season opening win against a Maryland team that might not be that bad after their win over Minnesota on Friday. The Hawkeyes have their home opener after a very disappointing 24-20 loss at Purdue as +3 point favorites.
Oddsmakers have the Hawkeyes favored on Saturday afternoon (3:30 PM ET, ESPN), but the line is down to -1 after a -3.5 open. These two teams always battle, and Northwestern had actually won three straight in the series prior to Iowa’s 20-0 win last year in Evanston. Does Iowa get the edge being at home?
Can Wildcats Get Running Game Going Again?
Northwestern dominated Maryland 43-3 in the Big Ten opener, but it was a somewhat expected victory as -14 point favorites. It’s no secret what the key was in last week’s game – the Wildcats rushing offense. Northwestern toted the rock 53 times, amassing 325 rush yards in the process.
What Pat Fitzgerald likes coming into NCAAF Northwestern at Iowa betting is that his offense was actually kind of diverse last week. Peyton Ramsey was a very efficient 23/30 for 212 yards and a TD. That balance is going to be key against this Iowa defense. Purdue threw the ball 50 times last week against the Hawkeyes, and Boilers’ RB Zander Horvath was still able to amass a 129 yard rushing day on 21 attempts.
The big question for Northwestern’s defense is if they were that good last week – or Maryland was that bad? Terrapins QB Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 394 yards and 3 TD on Friday night against Minnesota, but was held to 94 yards passing and was picked off three times by the Wildcats last week. Maryland had 281 yards rushing against the Golden Gophers – and 64 against Northwestern.
Iowa Over Last Week?
Iowa churned out 195 yards on the ground last week against Purdue and QB Spencer Petras didn’t throw an INT but it still wasn’t enough for a win in West Lafayette. Two Hawkeyes fumbles certainly didn’t help either, but those were equaled out by two Boilermakers INTs. Ultimately it was a poor showing for the Iowa defense.
Three of the Boilermakers four scoring drives were 70 yards or more, and the fourth was 66 yards. Iowa’s defense couldn’t get off the field last week, which isn’t a good trend against a Northwestern team that showed the ability to run the football last week.
Iowa was able to dominate this matchup 20-0 last season, breaking a three game losing streak to the Wildcats. There were a lot of different faces in last year’s game though, including both starting QBs. Northwestern managed just 202 yards total at home in last year’s tilt, and most importantly were held to 64 yards rushing on 35 carries.
NCAAF Northwestern at Iowa Betting Free Pick
Only 48% of the betting public like Iowa basically just to win the game (-1) at home. That seems very strange even though these teams always play each other well. Northwestern was great on the ground last week, but the Golden Gophers ran all over Maryland on Friday as well. Iowa had the scheme to shut down Northwestern last season, and they’ll do that again but at home this time.
Iowa 27 – Northwestern 21
Free Pick: Iowa -1