Iowa is 4-1 in its last five meetings with Michigan, but the Wolverines are 5-2 against the spread over the last seven encounters with the Hawkeyes. In a game with the largest spread for this series in recent memory, unbeaten Michigan takes on a struggling Iowa on Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium.
Point spread: The Wolverines opened as 18.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 49.6-13.6, Wolverines (college football picks on every game)
Why the Michigan Wolverines can cover the spread
Michigan reached 9-0 on the season and remained in the running for a spot in the College Football Playoff with a 59-3 mugging of Maryland last week, easily covering as a 29-point favorite.
The Wolverines led 14-0 after one quarter, 35-0 after two quarters and 45-0 before allowing the Terrapins to hit the board via a field goal with 10:34 left in the game. Michigan then tacked on two more scores to complete the blowout.
On the afternoon, the Wolverines outgained the Terps, 660-367, and outrushed them, 273-78. Quarterback Wilton Speight put on perhaps his best performance of the season, hitting on 19 of 24 passes for 362 yards and two touchdowns without an interception, while running back De’Veon Smith did the same, rushing for 114 yards and three scores.
So of Michigan’s nine victories this season, six have come by at least 33 points.
At 6-0 in conference play, the Wolverines lead the Big Ten East by a game over Ohio State and Penn State. But Michigan ends the season in Columbus on Nov. 26 and probably can’t afford a slip-up between now and then.
Why the Iowa Hawkeyes can cover the spread
Iowa had won two games in a row but lost its last two after falling at Penn State last week, 41-14. The Hawkeyes fell behind the Nittany Lions 7-0 less than three minutes into the game, then trailed 21-0 before they scored and faded late during a lost Saturday in Happy Valley.
Not much good can be taken from a performance like that. Iowa should just burn the game film and move on.
The Hawkeyes reached 5-2 a few weeks ago with consecutive victories over Minnesota and Purdue, rushing for over 500 yards combined in those two games. If they could just get back to running the ball and making some stops on defense, Iowa could keep this one close.
Michigan just ran up the score on one of its former assistant coaches, proving again it not only has the talent to do so, but also the will. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes’ best win this season probably came against Minnesota, and that’s not saying much. Plus, playing on the road means the spread is a little friendlier toward the Wolverines. The smart money here at online betting sites gives the points with Michigan.
Michigan is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games against Iowa.
Iowa is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games.
The total has gone OVER in 15 of Michigan’s last 17 games.
All college football betting lines and point-spread data courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and Odds Shark YouTube for picks and analysis, or download the free odds-tracker app.