Ayrton Breckenridge

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras (7) prepares to throw the ball during a football game between Iowa and Purdue at Ross–Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Petras averaged 8.3 yards per pass. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers, 24-3.

Weekly Wager | The Daily Iowan’s official bettor’s guide for Week 11 of the Iowa football season

Each week during the Iowa football season, Daily Iowan Pregame Editor Austin Hanson and Action Network College Football Editor Pete Ruden will place three hypothetical bets of $100. Their picks are listed below and will be tracked throughout the year.

November 10, 2022


Pete Ruden: 13-13-1, $2,013

Wisconsin -1.5

I’ve struggled to read where Iowa’s at since the beginning of October. It’s played some great defenses like Illinois and some bad defenses like Northwestern. It’s also played great offenses like Ohio State and bad offenses like, well, Northwestern. 

With Braelon Allen in the backfield, Wisconsin should at least find ways to move the ball at times against this Iowa defense — especially on the ground, where the Hawkeyes rank 53rd in Rushing Success Rate compared to seventh against the pass.

Allen has been on a roll of late, rushing four at least 100 yards in each of his last four games.

If Graham Mertz provides even a small boost, the Badgers should find the end zone a few times, as they rank seventh nationally in Offensive Finishing Drives.

Under 35.5

These offenses have shown they can perform against soft defenses. But when they face a solid stop unit, they fall relatively flat. 

For example, when Wisconsin faced an Illinois defense that ranks top-five nationally in Defensive Rushing Success Rate and Defensive Passing Success Rate, it ran for a grand total of two yards and threw for just 206.

When it faced a weak Northwestern defense that Iowa scored 33 points against, it ran for 193 yards and gained another 322 through the air.

Iowa’s defense is much closer to Illinois’ than Northwestern’s. With a secondary that ranks seventh in Defensive Passing Success Rate, I don’t think the Hawkeyes will have much of a problem keeping Mertz in check. 

And just like Iowa shut down Ohio State running backs Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson — who combined for 57 yards on 21 carries — it can at least contain Wisconsin’s Allen a little bit.

Lock of the Week: Navy +17 vs. Notre Dame

You have to wonder if Notre Dame’s heads are still in the clouds after it rolled Clemson last week and essentially knocked it out of the College Football Playoff conversation.

Fighting Irish quarterback Drew Pyne has struggled to find his footing ever since Tyler Buchner got injured in his team’s home loss to Marshall on Sept. 10. 

That means Notre Dame will have to turn to the ground game once again. However, that’s not ideal against a Navy defense that ranks top-20 in Rushing Success Rate, Defensive Line Yards and Havoc.

And according to Action Network’s Stuckey, service academies have covered at a 64.5% clip as underdogs of more than two touchdowns since 2005.

Navy +17 was the first bet I made for Saturday this week, but I wouldn’t feel as comfortable going lower than 17.

Record to date: 14-13, $1,320

Wisconsin -1.5

A 1.5-point spread is no spread at all. Normally, under circumstances like these, I’d bet the moneyline and stay away from the spread.

As of Wednesday morning, my bet would’ve been Wisconsin -115. But for the sake of this particular game, I’ll take the Badgers plus the 1.5 points on Saturday.

Whichever team wins on Saturday will do so by more than three points — I guarantee it. I suspect Saturday will be a classic kicking derby between the Hawkeyes and Badgers. This game certainly won’t be a shootout because Iowa and Wisconsin have inept offenses and solid defenses. In fact, I’m not confident either team will score a touchdown.

It sounds bizarre, but Iowa has already played in two games without a touchdown by either team this season. Saturday’s contest has a chance to be the third touchdown-less Hawkeye game of the year.

Under 35.5

This game has all the makings of a classic Big Ten West showdown. And I’m sure the Sickos Committee will be watching and tweeting about Iowa-Wisconsin on Saturday.

When the Sickos Committee takes interest in a game, that’s usually good news for under bettors. The Sickos Committee and under bettors both love punts, fumbles, interceptions, and miscues.

Iowa and Wisconsin’s offenses rank 129th and 79th in the nation, respectively. The Hawkeyes and Badgers’ defenses are third and 23rd in the country, respectively. To me, that seems like a recipe for carnage.

The forecasted 34-degree temperatures won’t help either offense player better on Saturday. I know both of these teams are used to colder weather, but that doesn’t mean their offenses like wintery conditions.

I think this under will hit without any doubt on Saturday. I’d probably be comfortable playing it down to 29.5.

Lock of the Week: Syracuse +6.5

I think oddsmakers are letting Florida State’s No. 23 College Football Playoff and No. 25 AP rankings influence this spread too much. I’m not buying what the Seminoles are selling.

The Orange have a better resume than the Seminoles this season. But because Florida State is considered a premiere program by national pundits, it’s favored to beat Syracuse by a whopping 6.5 points.

I’m not convinced Syracuse will win outright, but I do think this spread is inflated and the Orange will cover. Both Florida State and Syracuse have played North Carolina State this year. The Seminoles lost to the Wolfpack, 19-17, on Oct. 8. A week later, Syracuse beat North Carolina State, 24-9.

That game convinces me that Syracuse will at least cover. After all, Syracuse and Florida State have identical 6-3 overall records. And the Orange is actually ahead of the Seminoles in the conference standings.

I think oddsmakers are paying too much attention to ranking and not resume. Resume should always outweigh ranking — even if one team is ranked and the other isn’t. I’m taking the Orange to cover because I like their resume more than the Seminoles’ rankings.

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