Week 1 of the college football schedule is jam-packed with exciting matchups, including a Big Ten Conference showdown between two top 25 teams in Indiana (17) and Iowa (18).
While neither team appeared in the conference championship game last year, both squads are coming off strong seasons in which they went 6-2 and were ranked in the top 25. This year’s opening weekend contest at Kinnick Stadium is expected to be a low-scoring affair where Iowa is a small home favorite.
Indiana vs Iowa Predictions NCAAF Week 1: College Football Pick of the Day
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Indiana vs Iowa Prediction
Being a head coach in any sport is a job with little security, as you can get fired very easily if your team doesn’t win. It’s impressive, then, that Iowa’s head coach Kirk Ferentz is the longest-tenured Division 1 FBS head coach, as this will be his 23rd season helming the Hawkeyes.
The trademark of his teams throughout the years has been defense, for Iowa has not allowed more than 20 points per game since 2015. Despite playing only Big Ten teams last year, the Hawkeyes allowed just 16 points per game — the sixth-fewest among D1 FBS teams.
This season, Iowa returns seven defensive starters who should be well prepared for a dynamic Indiana offense. With Hoosiers QB Michael Penix Jr. back under center after suffering a torn ACL last year, Indiana will be a tough opponent. However, I believe that the Hoosiers will fall short against the Hawkeyes in this Big Ten matchup.
Prediction: Iowa 20, Indiana 10
Indiana vs Iowa Best Bets
Best Bet: Under 48.5 Total Points (-110 at BetMGM), would bet up to Under 46.5
I like Iowa to win against Indiana, but I believe that the best bet is to take the under on 48.5 total points. Should the Hawkeyes win, it will be because their defense shuts down the Hoosiers. If Indiana wins, then it’s likely that the Hoosiers win a low-scoring game, as their defense allowed only 20.2 points last season (20th in D1 FBS).
Indiana averaged 28.9 points per game last year, but scored fewer than that in four of their final five games. Iowa did not yield more than 24 points in any game last year and held three opponents to single digits.
With Penix potentially rusty in his first game back, the Hoosiers’ offense should fall flat against a stingy Hawkeyes defensive unit.
Best Bet: Indiana Team Total Under 21.5 Points (TBD), would play up to -115
Team point total odds have yet to be posted, as they are typically released less than a week before the game. When those come out, the best bet on Iowa-Indiana is likely to be on the under for Indiana’s team total.
Team totals are typically the overall point total divided by two with half of the spread added for favorites or subtracted for underdogs. With the current spread favoring the Hawkeyes by 4.5 points, the Hoosiers’ team total will likely be set at 21.5 points.
Usually, 21.5 points is a low team total, but against a stout Iowa defense that allowed more than 21.5 points only once last season, the under is worth a play if the odds are -115 or better.
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