Michigan at Iowa Week 11 College Football Winning Predictions
NCAA football betting lines are in the spotlight as the Iowa Hawkeyes, led by head coach Kirk Ferentz, host Jim Harbaugh’s now-popular Michigan Wolverines in an intriguing Week 11 Big Ten battle.
Michigan (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS) is back in the chase for a national championship but the Wolverines have questions they need to answer, starting at quarterback.
Iowa (12-2 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) won a surprising dozen games a year ago to equal Big Ten rivals, Michigan State and Ohio State in victories last season.
In Depth Analysis On The Michigan Wolverines at Iowa Hawkeyes Week 11 College Football Winning Predictions
When: Saturday, November 12, 2016
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
NCAAF Odds: Michigan -4.5
Bet The Iowa Hawkeyes at +4.5 Because…
The Iowa Hawkeyes look like a good bet in this matchup because they’re playing at home and will have the best quarterback in this contest. The Hawkeyes lost star running back Jordan Canzeri and two starters on the offensive line, but return seven starters on the offensive side of the ball, including still-blossoming quarterback C.J. Beathard (17 TDs, 5 Ints).
Iowa will likely go with a running back by committee approach in 2016 that features senior LeShun Daniels and junior Akrum Wadley. Senior wide receiver Matt VandeBerg is back after leading the Hawkeyes in catches (65) and receiving yards (703) and Beathard will throw early and often to talented senior tight end George Kittle after he caught six TD passes a year ago. Defensively, the Hawkeyes ranked 19th nationally in points allowed (20.3 ppg) and they look like they’ll be at least as good in 2016. Iowa has an outstanding defense that returns three starters including 2015 Jim Thorpe award winning cornerback Desmond King.
Three more players return on the defensive line with starting experience, including starting tackles Jaleel Johnson and junior Nathan Bazata, a pair of players that started every game for the Hawkeyes a year ago. Last but not least, junior middle linebacker Josey Jewell is back after leading the team with a stellar 126 tackles last season.
Bet The Michigan Wolverines at -4.5 Because…
The Wolverines have a lockdown defense and arguably the best motivational coach in the business. Jim Harbaugh has to find a replacement for graduated starting quarterback Jake Rudock and three quarterbacks are battling it out right now with former Houston starter John O’Korn trying to beat out sophomore Wilton Speight and junior Shane Morris. Right now, Speight, who has the best arm of the three, is the favorite.
Whoever starts at quarterback will have a trio of experienced receivers that combined for 159 catches, 2,145 yards and 17 touchdowns last season in All-American tight end Jake Butt, All-Big Ten wideout Jehu Chesson and fifth-year senior Amara Darboh. Michigan returns four of its five starting offensive linemen but needs to improve a rushing attack that ranked a modest 85th last season. Leading rusher De’Veon Smith is back for his senior season after rushing for a team-high 753 yards in 2015, but he’s expected to share some of the workload with fellow running back Ty Isaac.
The Wolverines have a new defensive coordinator with Harbaugh hiring Boston College architect Don Brown the job after D.J. Durkin left for Maryland. Defensively, the Wolverines and their fourth-ranked defense are mostly intact, starting with All-America cornerback Jourdan Lewis and All-America hybrid safety/linebacker Jabrill Peppers while the defensive line is solid and deep despite losing tackle Willie Henry to the NFL Draft.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
I know Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan Wolverines are looking for revenge for their narrow 24-21 road loss against the Hawkeyes last season, but I don’t think they’re going to get it despite the fact that, apparently, everyone east of the Mississippi River is I love with Harbaugh. While Michigan finished 2015 ranked a stellar sixth in points allowed (16.3 pg), the Hawkeyes weren’t far behind in allowing just 20.3 points per contest to finish 19th nationally
With both teams likely having excellent defenses once again in 2016, I think the outcome of this contest will come down to how each offense, and more specifically, each team’s quarterback, performs. Personally, I’m going with Iowa’s C.J. Beathard to outplay whoever starts for the Wolverines under center in this contest. I’m absolutely stunned that Iowa is getting 4.5 points as a home dog against a Wolverines team I think they match up very well against!
My Pick: Iowa 21 Michigan 20