Iowa vs Indiana Betting Preview and Predictions
When: Saturday, September 4
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
TV Network: Big Ten Network
Iowa vs Indiana Spread: Iowa -3.5
Iowa vs Indiana Total: 46
There’s no easing into the season for No.17 Indiana Hoosiers and No.18 Iowa Hawkeyes. Right out of the brand new college football season’s gates, they’re set to go head-to-head in a massive Big Ten crossover showdown that can have far-reaching implications. Below, we preview the matchup, look at the Indiana vs. Iowa odds and lines and conclude with a recommended bet.
Iowa vs. Indiana Preview
The Indiana Hoosiers proved to be the surprise package of 2020, finishing second in the Big Ten East standings behind the Ohio State Buckeyes with a 6-2-0 overall record and a 6-1-0 conference record. The Hoosiers kicked off their 2020 campaign with a stunning 36-35 OT win over Penn State and carried that momentum through the season. The highlights included beating ranked opponents Michigan and Wisconsin and giving Ohio State Buckeyes a run for its money in a narrow 42-35 defeat. On the strength of their 2020 campaign, the Hoosiers went to the Outback Bowl, but the result was a disappointing 26-20 loss to Ole Miss.
Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. had a standout year before a season-ending knee injury took him out of the game in November. He was impressive against the Buckeyes and instrumental in the come-from-behind win against Penn State – although there’s controversy about whether he did make it over the line for the score against Penn State. Penix is expected to start in Week 1 against Iowa. Still, if he’s not available for any reason, Jack Tuttle, who stepped in for Penix and led the Hoosiers to a win over Wisconsin last season, is a stable backup.
Indiana’s leading receiver Whop Philyor is now a Minnesota Viking, but the Hoosiers welcome back Wide-Reciever Ty Fryfrogle, who put up 721 yards and seven touchdowns last season. The offense also features Wide-Reciever Miles Marshall and Tight-End Peyton Hernandez, both exciting pass catchers and deep threats. The running backs to watch are Tim Baldwin, Sampson James, and USC transfer Stephen Carr. On the defensive side of the ball, the Hoosiers were good but not spectacular. The pass rush was brilliant, the secondary was a bit porous and allowed 241 passing yards per game, and the run defense wasn’t always consistent.
The Iowa Hawkeyes got off to a slow start in 2020 with back-to-back losses to Purdue and Northwestern. However, they righted the ship after these setbacks and reeled off six straight wins to close the season on a character-building run. All told, the Hawkeyes finished with a 6-2-0 record overall and a 6-2-0 conference record. The Hawkeyes did get a bowl game in 2020, but it was ultimately canceled due to Covid-19 issues with the Missouri Tigers.
Quarterback Spencer Petras went for 1,569 yards, nine touchdowns, and five interceptions last season. He has a big arm and can throw the ball deep, but inconsistencies, inaccuracy, and sloppy plays were his downside. Despite those issues, the Hawkeyes still put up many points and won games by multiple digits. In the NFL draft, the Hawkeyes lost last season’s leading receivers Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith, but they have players ready to step up in Wide-Reciever Nico Ragaini and Tight-End Sam LaPorta.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Hawkeyes are adjusting to the departure of leading tackler Linebacker Nick Niemann and the loss of Defensive-End Chauncey Golston and Defensive-Tackle Daviyon Nixon in the NFL draft. On the bright side, eight players are expected back, which will be great for a defense that finished inside the Top 10 in the country and was one of the most formidable against the run.
Iowa vs. Indiana Odds & Betting
As per DraftKings Sportsbook, Iowa vs. Indiana Odds opened with the hosts laying 5.5 points, but since open doors, the line has trimmed down to Hawkeyes -3.5. Similarly, the total went to press at OVER/UNDER 48.5 points, but with kick-off fast approaching, the line has moved down to 45 points.
With the game now hovering around a field goal, it’s being priced as a tossup for NCAAF picks.
Indiana: QB Dexter Williams II (knee) out for the season;
Iowa vs. Indiana Prediction
Iowa vs. Indiana Odds are tighter than an accountant’s purse, suggesting this game is up for grabs. Suppose there’s a lot to like about both teams and, equally, there are question marks that hang over them too. However, the balance tips in favor of Iowa at home, if ever so slightly.
Indiana’s 2020 campaign wasn’t a fluke, but one must consider just how bizarre the entire season was. Let’s face it, the likelihood of the same number of big-name Big Ten programs faltering for a second straight season is slim. As well, questions that remain unanswered include: how healthy is Penix’s knee? How much improved will the defense be? Can Indiana stop the pass or the run? When Indiana was beaten badly, the defense fell short of the mark on both scores.
Iowa may be a run-minded offense, but Spencer Petras gives the passing game some pizzazz. With the defense welcoming back many of its starters from last season, they’ll likely pick up from where they left off and deliver a strong performance at home.
Iowa vs Indiana Prediction and Pick:
Pick: Iowa -3.5 (+100)
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