Western Michigan vs Iowa Odds, Picks & Prediction | College Football Betting Preview (Saturday, September 16)

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Western Michigan vs Iowa Odds

Saturday September 16

3:30 pm Eastern Time

Big Ten Network

Western Michigan Odd
Spread Total money line




-110o / -110u


Iowa Odd
Spread Total money line




-110o / -110u


Do you want to know why college football is the best? Because we can bet on Iowa games.

This matchup between Western Michigan and Iowa features a difference of four touchdowns with a total of less than 43.

Objectively hilarious.

The general rule is to bet on the underdogs with low totals, but I’m throwing caution to the wind. My prediction and pick between Western Michigan and Iowa is that the Hawkeyes will roll in their final non-conference game.

Take a look at our NCAAF Betting Center for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

The good news in Kalamazoo: Western Michigan has a very experienced offensive line.

The bad news: everything else.

The Broncos are rebuilding under new head coach Lance Taylor, who was last seen as Louisville’s offensive coordinator. He is working with the rotation throughout the roster.

It starts under center with one of the worst quarterback rooms in the country. The three-headed “monster” of Jack Salopek, Treyson Bourguet and Hayden Wolff have combined for 5.3 YPA, a touchdown and a pick in three games.

The Broncos also lost their two best running backs (La’Darius Jefferson and Sean Tyler) and their best receiver (Corey Crooms) from last year’s team.

This unit played at Syracuse last week and finished with a 22% success rate, including a 0% success rate at Standard Downs. They scored seven points on three drives beyond the Orange 40-yard line.

How do you think the Broncos will do against Iowa? The Hawkeyes’ defense is almost 10 points better than Syracuse’s by SP+.

My guess is not very good.

Meanwhile, the Broncos returned two defensive starters from last year’s team, losing three starting defensive linemen, three starting senior linebackers and three productive secondary starters.

There is a litany of inexperience among the top seven, and depth is an even bigger concern.

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I’m worried about Iowa’s defense this year after losing its top two 2022 tacklers and two NFL first-round picks in Lukas Van Ness and Jack Campbell.

But we know the Ferentz family.

The Hawkeyes have ranked sixth or better in Defensive SP+ for six consecutive seasons and are currently ranked first after two weeks this year. The defense and special teams will always be elite in Iowa City.

And this year the closet is far from empty. The secondary is loaded with talent (Sebastian Castro, Cooper DeJean, Quinn Schulte) while two studs lead the defensive line (Logan Lee and Joe Evans).

As always, the biggest questions about Iowa remain on the offensive side of the ball.

But quarterback Cade McNamara gives the Hawkeyes a higher ceiling than ever. He’s a rock-solid communicator, and his 2021 season with Michigan is a bit underrated, given that he finished with 17 big throws despite just 15 touchdowns.

He has an average depth of target of 11.5 yards through two games, which has me dreaming about “Explosive Iowa” despite his 56.9% completion rate. For what it’s worth, Iowa ranks ninth nationally in explosiveness after wins over Utah State and Iowa State.

Fortunately for McNamara, Iowa’s offensive line has plenty of experience; All five starters from last year return.

The offensive line should create holes for the top two returning running backs, Kaleb Johnson and Leshon Williams. Johnson created 3.3 YAC on 51 missed tackles last season, and had 91 yards and a touchdown in two starts.

Keep an eye on Jaziun Patterson, Iowa’s top running back last week. He had 86 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, adding 69 YAC on three missed tackles.

I expect to see more on Michigan transfer tight end Erick All in the coming weeks. I also expect receiver Luke Lachey to keep his receiving yards above 13 for the rest of the season (13.1 this year, 14.3 last year).

I admit I didn’t love what I saw from Iowa last week in Ames. Iowa State generated 18 first downs to Iowa’s nine and outgained the Hawkeyes 290 yards to 235. The Cyclones also finished with a higher success rate (39% to 33%).

But Iowa generated a positive EPA per play (0.07), while holding Iowa State to a negative mark (-0.07), and led 17-0 in the first half (after a typical Iowa pick-six ) before allowing 10 points in the fourth quarter. .

As always, Iowa’s defense made a crucial stop on a fourth down in the fourth quarter to secure a narrow-score victory.

That’s what we hope for.

Western Michigan vs. Iowa

Analysis of confrontations

Toggle the dropdown menus below to hide or show how Western Michigan and Iowa match up statistically:

Western Michigan offense versus Iowa defense
Hasty success 54 91
Yards of line 70 82
Past events 124 36
Havoc 12 90
Finishing units 67 42
Quality units 48 46
Iowa Offense vs. Western Michigan Defense
Hasty success 123 89
Yards of line 131 fifteen
Past events 112 108
Havoc 109 94
Finishing units 97 112
Quality units 113 114
Pace of play/Other
Approach to PFF 32 49
FFP coverage 51 6
SP+ Special Equipment 115 18
Medium 8 130 89
Seconds per play 25.0 (36) 29.4 (103)
Rush rate 56.0% (25) 54.2% (50)

Western Michigan vs. Iowa

Bet selection and prediction

I really think Western Michigan gets left out here. I don’t see how it scores.

In last year’s final non-conference game, the Hawkeyes shut out Nevada and allowed just 151 yards on less than three YPPs. Iowa won 27-0 as a 23-point favorite.

I expect a similar result here.

However, I think McNamara and the Hawkeyes’ offense can take advantage of Western Michigan’s defense more than Nevada did last season. Iowa’s ceiling is higher and the opponent’s defense is much worse.

Syracuse dropped 48 points with an absurd 83% success rate against the Broncos last week. Western Michigan can’t stop anyone, including this anemic Iowa offense.

And sometimes, hindering these Power Five vs. Group of Five non-conference battles comes down to motivation. Does the big favorite feel the need to increase the score?

In this case, the answer is a resounding yes.

You may remember that Brian Ferentz needs his team to average 25 points per game to collect his $112,500 contractual incentive bonus. This is one of his only chances to put up a huge point total against a wildly inept defense, a tempting option given that Big Ten play begins next week.

For what it’s worth, head coach Kirk Ferentz is 2-0 ATS as a favorite with four or more touchdowns against FBS foes.

I bet he will go to 3-0 in a 35-point shutout victory.

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