Last Updated Dec 22, 2021, 10:37 AM

Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Picks, Predictions, Odds

Dec. 4, 2021
Dan Dobish
VI Betting Expert

The Michigan Wolverines (11-1) take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (10-2) in the Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on FOX.

Score Prediction

Michigan 26, Iowa 17

Best Bets

Iowa +10.5 (-110)

Under 43.5 (-110)

Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Predictions

The Michigan Wolverines finally got over the hump after a decade of misery against the rival Ohio State Buckeyes, winning 42-27 at the Big House last weekend to secure the East Division of the Big Ten, while picking up their first-ever berth in the Big Ten Championship Game. What a difference a year makes, after going just 2-4 SU in 2020, with no victories at home, an overtime win over Rutgers and a win at Minnesota, while ducking Ohio State in the finale due to a suspicious COVID-19 outbreak.

The Wolverines powered past the helpless Buckeyes defense, led by RB Hassan Hawkins. He was a difference maker, going for 169 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while DE Aidan Hutchinson recorded three sacks. That took all kinds of pressure off of QB Cade McNamara. The rushing offense and pass rush will be needed again, as the Hawkeyes didn't win 10 games due to pure luck. They're a very good team, and were once ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Iowa eased by Nebraska by a 28-21 score last week in Lincoln, and they were actually a two-point underdog in that one. After two hiccups at home against Purdue and at Wisconsin from Oct. 16-30, the Hawkeyes recovered and won four games in a row, getting back to their routes with suffocating defense and mistake-free offense.

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Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Odds

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Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Big 10 Championship
  • Date: Saturday, December 4, 2021
  • Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • TV-Time: FOX, 8:00 p.m. ET

Michigan Wolverines Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 11-1
  • ATS: 10-2
  • O/U: 6-6

Even a sour Buckeyes fan would admit that the Wolverines were a friend at the betting window, covering 10 times out of 12 games. Unless they're an Ohio State fan who enjoys losing money. Michigan had three different stretches with at least three covers this season, including a 4-0 ATS run to close out the season in November. The only non-covers were a 20-13 win as a 20-point favorite against Rutgers on Sept. 25, and a 37-33 loss at Michigan State on Oct. 30 as four-point favorites.

The total was all over the board, going 6-6. The OVER hit in the final two games, as the Wolverines piled up 101 total points of offense against Maryland and Ohio State. Michigan was good for 29 or more points in 10 of 12 games, and they allowed at least 17 points in six of the final eight outings.

Michigan has posted a 5-1 ATS mark in the past six games as a favorite, although they're just 2-6 ATS in the past eight against winning teams, and 2-5-1 ATS in the past eight neutral-site games as a favorite. They're also 1-4 ATS in the past five neutral-site games overall.

Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 10-2
  • ATS: 7-5
  • O/U: 5-7

The Hawkeyes rolled to a 6-0 SU/5-1 ATS mark after an Oct. 9 victory against Penn State, winning that afternoon 23-20 as 2.5-point favorites in what was a battle of Top 5 teams. Anybody who watched Iowa, though, knew they were on borrowed time. Their defense, phenomenal, but their offense just workmanlike, not terribly impressive, and prone to mistakes.

It didn't take long for Iowa to knuckle under, falling 24-7 to giant killer Purdue on Oct. 16 in Iowa City. With a bye and two weeks to prepare for a trip to Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes handed over the Heartland Trophy to the Badgers in a 27-7 beatdown. Any faint hopes of a playoff trip were over, but head coach Kirk Ferentz kept his team's eyes on the prize. They could still qualify for the Big Ten West if they won out, and that's exactly what they did.

Iowa snapped a two-game losing streak, sneaking by Northwestern 17-12 in Evanston, and then they topped Minnesota 27-22. They beat Illinois by 10 on Senior Day, before the narrow win at Nebraska to close things out. Yes, three of the final four games, all wins, were one-score games. That's Iowa football in a nutshell. It isn't pretty. It doesn't move needles, wow casual fans, nor does it make kids want to pick the Hawkeyes to use in video games. It's boring, but it's effective. Wins are wins.

These teams haven't met since Oct. 5, 2019, and they're completing different squads since that meeting. But Michigan was able to scratch out a 10-3 win in Ann Arbor on that day. Iowa has won five of the past seven meetings overall.

Inside the Stats - Michigan Wolverines

  • Record: 11-1
  • VI Ranking: 5
  • Points Scored: 448
  • Points Allowed: 206
  • PS/G: 37.3
  • PA/G: 17.2

Inside the Stats - Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Record: 10-2
  • VI Ranking: 16
  • Points Scored: 308
  • Points Allowed: 207
  • PS/G: 25.7
  • PA/G: 17.3

Key Players to Watch

  • MICH: Hassan Haskins - RB (244 rushes, 1,232 yards, 18 TD)
  • MICH: Blake Corum - RB (136 rushes, 865 yards, 10 TD)
  • IOWA: Tyler Goodson - RB (238 rushes, 1,101 yards, 6 TD)
  • IOWA: Spencer Petras - QB (137/236 passes, 1,532 yards, 9 TD, 6 INT)

Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Conclusion

Michigan will get a much bigger test against a sturdy Iowa defense after facing an Ohio State rush defense which looked like they were dipped in butter before the game. Tacklers were sliding off runners for the Wolverines, who racked up 297 rushing yards on just 41 attempts.

The Wolverines have an amazing two-man wrecking crew who will be turned loose on Petras, as Hutchinson (13 sacks) and David Ojabo (11 sacks) are going to be putting a ton of pressure on the Iowa passer. The Hawkeyes know a thing about defense, too, ranking 13th in the country in total defense, giving up just 315.7 total yards per game. Last week's win by Michigan in the snow featured nearly 70 total points. Even in controlled conditions in Indianapolis, points figure to be at a premium due to suffocating defenses on each side.

The key to this game will be whether Iowa's defense can stop the two-headed backfield monster of Corum and Haskins, and/or if the Hawkeyes can get the run game going with Goodson. I think Michigan is going to be able to do just enough to win this game and make their way into the CFP, but Iowa is not going to go quietly into the night, fighting them tooth and nail until their are zeroes on the clock. It's the Iowa way.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Trends

  • The Wolverines are 4-0 ATS in the past four games overall.
  • The Wolverines are 5-1 ATS in the past six as a favorite.
  • The Wolverines are 2-6 ATS in the past eight against winning teams.
  • The Wolverines are 1-4 ATS in the past five neutral-site games.
  • The Hawkeyes are 5-1-1 ATS in the past seven as an underdog.
  • The Hawkeyes are 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight against winning teams.
  • The OVER is 5-1 in the past six neutral-site games for Michigan.
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in the past five for Iowa as an underdog.

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