Scoring could be at a premium on Saturday when the Wisconsin Badgers host the ninth-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes in a Big Ten West battle with the Heartland Trophy on the line. The Hawkeyes (6-1) are trying to remain in the hunt for the division crown despite a 24-7 loss to Purdue, while the Badgers (4-3) are looking to play spoiler. Iowa had last week off following the loss, while Wisconsin beat that same Boilermakers team 30-13 last Saturday for its third straight win. The Badgers have the nation's best run defense, while the Hawkeyes are allowing the third-fewest points in FBS, and both offenses have struggled to move the ball all year, so it should be a slugfest.
Kickoff is set for noon ET at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. The Badgers are 3.5-point favorites in Caesars Sportsbook's latest Iowa vs. Wisconsin odds, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 36.5, the lowest total of the year in college football thus far. Before making any Wisconsin vs. Iowa picks, be sure to see the college football predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $3,900 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also enters Week 9 of the 2021 season on a 26-11 run on all top-rated college football side picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now the model has dialed in on Iowa vs. Wisconsin and just revealed its coveted picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see all of the model's CFB picks. Now, here are the college football odds and trends for Wisconsin vs. Iowa:
- Iowa vs. Wisconsin spread: Badgers -3
- Iowa vs. Wisconsin over-under: 36.5 points
- Iowa vs. Wisconsin money line: Iowa +130, Badgers -150
- Iowa: The Hawkeyes are 12-8 ATS vs. ranked opponents since 2016.
- Wisconsin: The Badgers are 29-26-2 ATS as a favorite since 2016.
Why Iowa can cover
Iowa has covered the spread in five straight on the road, and the underdog is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings. The Hawkeyes defense has been top-notch, creating turnovers and not allowing points. Opponents are scoring just 14.3 per game (third in FBS), and Iowa is second in the nation with 20 takeaways. That spells trouble for Wisconsin, which has turned the ball over 28 times in its last 12 games. The Badgers score just 21.1 points per contest (110th), and their only offense is on the ground, but the Hawkeyes rank seventh against the run (89.7 yards per game).
The Hawkeyes will be rested and have few injuries, while the Badgers have a lengthy list of hobbled players. UW has faced Iowa four times as an unranked team in the past 20 years and lost each time. The Hawkeyes cruised to a 28-7 win in the last meeting, holding the Badgers to 225 total yards. Iowa QB Spencer Petras threw for 211 and running back Tyler Goodson had 106 yards. Turnovers are likely to play a big role Saturday, and while the Hawkeyes coughed the ball up four times against Purdue, they had only five turnovers through the first six games.
Why Wisconsin can cover
Wisconsin is 10-6 against the spread in its past 16 when coming off a victory, and it piled up 290 rushing yards last week against Purdue while allowing minus-13. Chez Mellusi had 149 and Braelon Allen had 140 on 12 carries, and they will present a huge challenge for Iowa. They average a combined 5.6 yards per carry, with 1,120 yards and nine touchdowns between them. The Badgers are averaging 218.4 yards per game on the ground (19th in FBS), and they have won seven of the past nine meetings between the teams and lead the all-time series 48-44-2.
The Badgers also forced five turnovers last week and had six sacks, with Leo Chenal getting 3.5 of those. Chenal is the team's leading tackler (39) and fellow linebackers Jack Sanborn (34), Nick Herbig (3.5 sacks) and Noah Burks (1.5) form the core of the defense. The unit allows just 53.3 yards per game on the ground to lead the nation and gives up just 18.4 points (17th). It should have little trouble with an Iowa offense that ranks 100th or worse in every yardage category. The Hawkeyes score 28 points per game (75th) despite getting three defensive TDs.
How to make Wisconsin vs. Iowa picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the point total, projecting the teams to combine for 29 points. It also has an against-the-spread pick that cashes in almost 70 percent of simulations. Head to SportsLine to see that pick.
So who wins Iowa vs. Wisconsin? And which side is covering almost 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is on a 26-11 run on top-rated picks, and find out.