Austin Hanson

Austin Hanson, Pregame Editor

Michigan -10.5

I’m honestly surprised this line isn’t larger than 10.5. Do the experts in Las Vegas have amnesia? Iowa and Michigan played each other less than a year ago, and the Wolverines won, 42-3. With that result in mind, I’m pretty confident the Wolverines will cover this spread three times over.

These teams haven’t changed much since the 2021 Big Ten Championship Game, so I don’t expect the result of Saturday’s contest to be any different than the one we saw at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis last December.

Both of these teams are ranked inside the top 10 in the country in total defense. The key difference between the Hawkeyes and Wolverines is their offensive ratings. Michigan and Iowa are ranked 19th and 131st in the nation in total offense, respectively.

I don’t think Iowa’s worst-in-the-country offense will keep up with Michigan’s high-powered attack. Even with their fans and Kinnick Stadium magic on their side, the Hawkeyes are still going to get blown out on Saturday.

Over 42.5

I haven’t taken an Iowa over before this week. But at long last, there’s compelling evidence that one of these Hawkeye overs will hit.

In the Big Ten Championship Game, Michigan scored 42 points. If the Wolverines can replicate that performance, all the Hawkeyes have to do is make a field goal.

If Iowa actually finds a way to stay in this game, there’s no way the over will hit. I don’t think the Hawkeyes will score more than 10 points on Saturday. So, if they win, the final score will probably be 10-7 or something like that.

Iowa and Michigan have the nation’s two best defenses, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades. That doesn’t mean this game won’t turn into the blowout over bettors will be rooting for on Saturday.

Lock of the week: Michigan State +8.5 vs. Maryland

It seems like people are enamored with Maryland this season. Three wins against bad teams and seven-point loss to No. 4 Michigan, and all of the sudden we’re labeling the Terrapins “good.”

I’m not buying what Maryland head coach Mike Locksley is selling. I appreciate what the Terrapins are doing, and I hope they make a bowl game, but Maryland isn’t better than Michigan State.

This will be the game where Maryland comes unglued. It seems like the Terrapins start every season hot and fall apart. Last year, Maryland collapsed against Iowa on Oct. 1, losing 51-14. One year later, I’m expecting the Terrapins to crumble in similar fashion.

Michigan State will definitely cover, if not win outright, on Saturday.