Pete Ruden

Pete Ruden, Action Network College Football Editor

Iowa -23

First, I would like to say I’m sorry for even suggesting this. It’s a disgusting bet. I’m not even going to deny it. But Nevada is a straight-up dumpster fire.

The Wolf Pack just lost by 14 to Incarnate Word and allowed 51 points — fifty-one points — to this FCS program. And that’s an Incarnate Word team without star quarterback Cameron Ward, who transferred to Washington State this past offseason.

I know how dreadful Iowa’s offense has been. It’s legitimately hard to watch. But this offense should be able to put up some points against a Nevada defense that ranks outside the top 100 in Line Yards, Defensive Passing Success Rate and pass rush. 

It also ranks 82nd in Finishing Drives, so the Hawkeyes should cash in on some short fields provided by their defense and special teams units.

On the other side, I’m not sure Nevada scores. Iowa ranks 33rd in Havoc and Nevada ranks 103rd in Havoc Allowed, which means the Hawkeyes should have no problems disrupting the opposing offense through turnovers, sacks and tackles for loss.

If I had to choose, I’d hold my nose and back Iowa.

Under 39.5

Last week’s under 40.5 in the Cy-Hawk game might have been the easiest bet I’ve made in my life. I’m going back to the well this week.

While Iowa’s offense should find at least some success against this horrid Nevada unit, I don’t expect it to become world-beaters all of a sudden. 

Meanwhile, the Wolf Pack have relied on turnovers at certain points this season. They forced two in their win over Texas State while producing only 274 yards of total offense. The week before that, they generated 257 yards of offense against New Mexico State — one of the worst programs in the country — and needed four interceptions to pull away.

That unit will not find much success against one of the best defenses in the country. Iowa’s reputation as an “under” team should continue for another week.

Lock of the Week: Western Kentucky +9

Despite the loss of record-setting quarterback Bailey Zappe and offensive coordinator Zach Kittle, Western Kentucky continues to produce on offense. 

The Hilltoppers rank top-15 nationally in Passing Success Rate, Havoc Allowed and pass blocking, which is key for this quick-hitting yet high-flying offense. Quarterback Austin Reed has filled Zappe’s shoes admirably, throwing for 551 yards and seven touchdowns in two games.

Now, the Tops have a chance to down a Power Five opponent in a revenge game after a two-point loss to the Hoosiers last year.

I’m also going to trust this middle-of-the-pack WKU defense to keep Connor Bazelak at bay, as the Missouri transfer has been somewhat turnover-prone in his two games in Bloomington. 

This line opened at Western Kentucky +9 but has been bet to WKU +6.5. If a 7 pops at any book this week, I’d take that. Go Tops!

Year to date earnings/record: $583 (4-2)