— Saturday, December 04th Michigan Wolverines @ Iowa Hawkeyes
After finally getting past Ohio State, the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (11-1) have one more hurdle to clear before they can make the College Football Playoff. Standing in their way are the No. 13 Iowa Hawkeyes (10-2) in the Big Ten Championship Game. The kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis is set for 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, and the game will air on FOX.
Michigan has dominated Iowa historically with a 42-15-14 lead in the series. The teams haven’t met since 2019, when Michigan won 10-3 at home while Iowa won five of the six meetings between 2009-16. They haven’t met at a neutral site since 1901 when Michigan won in Chicago and have never met in a BIG Championship Game.
Hawkeyes Lean on Defense to Pull Upset
Iowa is just 7-5 against the spread this season, and the under is 7-5 in their 12 games. They had a very strong start to the season and reached No. 2 at 6-0 before falling at home to Purdue. They scored seven points in that loss and again the next week, losing at Wisconsin.
Even in their final four wins, the Hawkeyes were not dominant, beating Minnesota and Northwestern by five each and rallying past Nebraska after trailing for three quarters. Their run defense yields just 104 yards per game, and they allow just 17.3 points per game; both ranked in the top 15 nationally. However, the offense generates just 299 yards per game, ranking 123rd.
Quarterback Spencer Petras will have to make plays against Michigan after returning from a shoulder injury against Nebraska. He has nine touchdowns and six interceptions on the season while throwing for 1,532 yards in nine games. Petras completed 58 percent of his passes this season and hasn’t thrown for more than 200 yards since October 1.
Running back Tyler Goodson had 156 yards last week and has 1,101 on the season with six touchdowns. He hasn’t scored in the last three games but has at least 132 yards in three of the last four contests.
Iowa’s defense is led by Jack Campbell with 121 tackles, while both Joe Evans and Lukas Van Ness have six sacks. The Hawkeyes have 22 interceptions on the season, led by Dane Belton with five, tied for the Big Ten lead.
Hassan Running Michigan Toward Playoff
The Wolverines are 10-2 ATS this season, and the total is 6-6. They have scored 101 points in the last two games combined and at least 29 points in all but two games this season. Their only loss was a 37-33 setback at Michigan State at the end of October, and they have won by an average of 14.4 since then.
The Michigan offense ranks 10th in rushing yards (225 ypg), 13th in scoring (37.3 ppg), and 20th in total yards (451.2 ypg). Meanwhile, the defense ranks eighth in scoring (17.2 ppg), 14th in total yards (318.8 ypg), and 20th in rushing defense (122.5 ypg).
Running back Hassan Haskins was a beast against Ohio State with five touchdowns and 169 yards. He has six games this season with at least 100 yards, ranks second in the Big Ten with 1,232 yards, and leads the league with 18 touchdowns. Blake Corum is a good complementary back with 865 yards and ten touchdowns.
Quarterback Cade McNamara has thrown 14 touchdown passes to 10 different players, and he has just three interceptions on the season. The junior has 2,301 passing yards and a 64 percent completion rate on the season while topping 200 yards four times in the last seven games.
The defense starts with Aidan Hutchinson, likely to be one of the first players selected in April’s NFL draft. The senior has 13 sacks, third in the nation, and he collected three sacks against the Buckeyes. Overall, Michigan has 33 sacks on the season, seven interceptions, and eight fumble recoveries.
- Iowa Hawkeyes +11.5 (-110). Money Line +350
- Michigan Wolverines -11.5 (-110). Money Line -475
- Total Points: 43.5 Over -115. Under -105
Michigan hasn’t played in Indianapolis since 1907 as they return to the city where coach Jim Harbaugh had his greatest success as an NFL player. Iowa, meanwhile, has been giant-killers, winning six straight games against ranked teams, including three this season.
The Wolverines appear to be on a mission and should win the game, but 11.5 is a lot of points to lay against a stout Iowa defense.
Betting Picks: Iowa +11.5 (-110)
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Cole is really big into Major League Baseball, but really - the big four Pro US sports are his passion. Cole grew up a Yankees fan but married a Red Sox fan. It's tough around the house during those big games, but his hatred for the Red Sox has dissipated a little. Cole has a goal of seeing every Major League Baseball Stadium before the end of 2025!