Wisconsin Badgers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Betting Prediction: Iowa +10.5 (November 22nd 2014)
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After going on the road and beating Illinois 30-14 last week while outgaining the Illini by 352 yards in the win, the Iowa Hawkeyes now control their own destiny in the in the Big Ten West division. Win out and they will be going to the Big Ten Championship game.
Of course, the same can be said for Wisconsin, which controls its own destiny as well. The betting public is all over this team after annihilating Nebraska at home last week behind a record 408 rushing yards from Melvin Gordon. I simply believe the Badgers are overvalued this week because of it. Asking them to win by double-digits at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City to cover the spread is asking too much.
Kirk Ferentz teams always tend to play better against primary running teams like Wisconsin. In fact, Ferentz is 18-3 ATS versus excellent rushing teams that average 230 or more yards per game as the coach of Iowa. This team has been solid against the run again this year, allowing 148 rushing yards per game and 4.0 per carry.
Iowa does have a nice home-field advantage inside Kinnick Stadium and has throughout the years. It is 4-1 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 13.2 points per game. That includes blowout home wins over Northwestern (48-7) and Indiana (45-29). Ferentz is 15-7 ATS in his career as a home underdog in Big Ten play.
Wisconsin is just 2-2 on the road this season with its wins coming against Big Ten bottom feeders Purdue and Rutgers. It did lose 14-20 at Northwestern back on October 4th as a 7.5-point favorite in that game. Again, Iowa beat Northwestern 48-7 a few weeks ago.
Common opponents show that these two teams are pretty much equals. They have played the same four teams this season in Illinois, Maryland, Northwestern and Purdue. Wisconsin is 3-1 against those four teams, outscoring them by 16.3 points per game and outgaining them by 214.5 yards per game. Iowa is 3-1 against those teams as well, outscoring them by 16.0 points per game and outgaining them by 233.5 yards per game.
Here’s another great rushing trend. Ferentz is 22-3 ATS versus excellent rushing teams that average 5.25 or more yards per carry as the coach of Iowa. I look for the Hawkeyes to hold this Wisconsin rushing attack in check and to make enough plays offensively to stay within double-digits of the Badgers, possibly pulling off the upset. Bet Iowa Saturday.
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