Austin Hanson

Austin Hanson, Pregame Editor

Rutgers +7.5

I’m picking Rutgers to cover or win outright this week purely because I’m not sure either team will score a touchdown in this game. It’d be hard for Iowa to win this game by more than seven points without scoring a touchdown.

Rutgers’ defense ranks 10th in the nation and Iowa’s offense is last in the 131-team FBS. That doesn’t seem like a recipe that will enable the Hawkeyes to win by eight points or more.

I know Iowa’s offense had its best game of the season last week against Nevada. But I’m not taking too much stock from the Hawkeyes’ 27-0 win over a Wolf Pack team that ranks 86th in the country in total defense and 106th in passing yards allowed.

Under 35.5

If this total moves to and closes at 34, it’d be tied for the lowest closing total in college football since 2000, according to Barstool Sportsbook. One of the last times I saw a total this low was ahead of the 2021 Iowa-Wisconsin game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. The total for that game was set at 35.5, just like this Saturday’s Iowa-Rutgers game. The Badgers beat the Hawkeyes 27-7 last year.

It’s also worth noting that Iowa’s defense ranks sixth in the nation and Rutgers’ offense is 91st. Two good defenses and two bad offenses all playing in the same game should be music to under bettors’ ears — no matter how low the total is.

Lock of the Week: USC -6.5 vs. Oregon State

This spread is shocking to me. The Trojans are 3-0 this season and they’ve won each of their games by at least 13 points. 

I know Oregon State is also 3-0, but the Beavers do share one common opponent with the Trojans: the Fresno State Bulldogs.

Oregon State managed to beat Fresno State by just three points. The Trojans breezed by the Bulldogs by a 28-point margin. By that logic, USC should down Oregon State by 25 in this game.

I picked the Trojans to cover when they were nine-point favorites over the Stanford Cardinal two weeks ago. So, I’m going back to the well this week.

Inscribe this in stone: USC is going to win by triple the 6.5-point margin it’s favored to beat Oregon State by.