It has been a roller coaster start to the season for No. 19 Michigan. They are coming off a 52-0 massacre of Rutgers which led to the Scarlet Knights firing their coach. Iowa, who also shut out Rutgers, is 4-0 and has found themselves up to No. 14 in the AP Poll.
Michigan had massive expectations coming into the season. Many thought this could be the year that they dethrone Ohio State in the conference. So far, it has not looked that way. The Wolverines limped past Army 24-21 before being dominated by Wisconsin. They rebounded with a much needed cakewalk against Rutgers. This game will not be easy for Michigan but being at home is a huge advantage.
Iowa is rolling. They are coming off a 48-3 win over Middle Tennessee. Their biggest game of the season was a 18-17 win over rival Iowa State on the road. That was a hard-fought game that the Hawkeyes pulled out at the end. They will hit the road and face a top-20 team but it is a team that has been reeling.
Iowa vs. Michigan Preview
This is a must win game for Michigan. There is no way around it. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has received criticism for the way his team has started the season. He has made it clear that he has no plans to change quarterbacks.
Shea Patterson has been mediocre to start the year. He is completing 59.3% of his passes for 905 yards and six touchdowns. Michigan’s defense has been strong but they have shown the inability to score points under Harbaugh. Throw the Rutgers game out the window. Iowa will be a huge test for the Wolverines.
“If you can play two really good games in a row, it’ll be a trend in my mind. Three or more will become a habit so we’re trying to cement that as a goal for us and that’s where we want to be,” Harbaugh said. “Iowa is consistently good and have been for many years. One of the things that strikes you the most about them is that they’re consistently really good at all three phases. Good in experience, and good at consistency.”
Iowa can beat you in multiple ways. Nate Stanley has eight touchdown passes and no interceptions this season. The Hawkeyes have three rushers who have eclipsed 200 yards through four games. Mekhi Sargent leads the attack with 299 yards and two touchdowns. If they can get the run game going against Michigan, they will have success.
“Those guys come after you hard,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “This isn’t exactly the same. It’s a different scheme and different form of pressure, what have you. But they have a clear identity on defense, and it’s worked for them very, very well for several years. So going into the game, we know points are going to be really tough to come by.”
Iowa vs. Michigan Pick & Prediction
The home team enters as 3.5-point favorites in this one according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The o/u is set at 47.5
Michigan has not been themselves. It is hard to judge a team in a game against Rutgers despite the lopsided outcome. Iowa has bee playing good football. They have three solid that can give Michigan fits.
Iowa would have been favored in this game if they were home but Michigan received the edge there. The Wolverines are a tough team to bet on. This is the perfect spot to dabble on Iowa’s moneyline. This game seems like a dead under. When a bet seems too obvious, that is usually a bad sign but not here. Iowa. Under.
PICK: Iowa +3.5
SCORE PREDICTION: Iowa 23, Michigan 17