Wisconsin at Iowa College Football Winning Predictions
With the 2016 college football season quickly approaching, some expert college football picks are just what you need in order to cash in early and often over the course of the coming season. The Wisconsin Badgers are looking to build on their fantastic 2015 campaign in head coach Paul Chryst’s second season while the Iowa Hawkeyes look to do likewise after posting a stunning 12-win mark one year ago.
Now, let’s find out which team you should back when these two Big Ten rivals square off in an intriguing Week 8 matchup that looks like it could turn out to be one of the most exciting games on the entire 2016 docket.
A Closer Look At The Wisconsin Badgers at Iowa Hawkeyes College Football Winning Predictions
When: Saturday, October 22
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
NCAAF Odds: Iowa -4
Bet The Wisconsin Badgers at +4 Because…
The Wisconsin Badgers (10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS) return an identical seven starters on both sides of the ball in 2016. Unfortunately though, Wisconsin needs to find a new starting quarterback to replace departed signal-caller Joel Stave.
The good news is that the Badgers will have gifted running back Corey Clement back on the field after the heir apparent to Melvin Gordon missed virtually all of his junior season in 2015 with a sports hernia after racking up over 900 yards behind Gordon as a sophomore.
Clement will be a big part of Wisconsin’s offensive attack this coming season after the Badgers fell all the way to 95th in rushing last season while posting their lowest rushing total in two decades. Clement will have help in the form of fellow backs Dare Ogunbowale, Taiwan Deal and Bradrick Shaw in what could be one of the best backfield in the nation this coming season.
As for the quarterback spot, senior Bart Houston is the frontrunner to replace Stave, but he has a legitimate challenger that could start right away in freshman Alex Hornibrook. Chryst also needs to find a new No. 1 receiver to replace former star Alex Erickson, who had 77 catches for 978 yards last season. Defensively, the Badgers need to replace a pair of stars in linebacker Joe Schobert and safety Michael Caputo. Schobert led the Badgers with 9.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss, while Caputo simply made plays all over the field for Wisconsin last season.
Still the Badgers look solid with their front seven and have plenty of experience at cornerback, although the safety position is a question mark as they break in two new starters.
Bet The Iowa Hawkeyes at -4 Because…
The Hawkeyes (12-2 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) played fantastic football in 2015 in recording a dozen wins and narrowly missing out on a shot at reaching the four-team CFB Playoff. The good news is that head coach Kirk Ferentz returns seven starters on offense and eight on defense and will lean on senior quarterback C.J. Beathard to lead tem to new heights in 2016.
While Iowa lost to Michigan State 16–13 in the Big Ten Championship Game before getting routed by Stanford 45–16 in the Rose Bowl, this is a team that could surprise once again in 2016. Iowa averaged 181.7 rushing yards per game last season, but will need to find a replacement for departed senior Jordan Canzeri. Senior LeShun Daniels and junior Akrum Wadley combined for more than 1,100 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns and will be expected to provide even bigger contributions this coming season. Senior Matt VandeBerg returns at wide receiver after leading Iowa in catches (65) and receiving yards (703).
Defensively, the Hawkeyes will be led by gifted lock-down cornerback Desmond King, the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award winner. Three starters return on the defensive line and two of the Hawkeyes’ three starting linebackers will be back as well. Last but not least, senior cornerback Greg Mabin and junior strong safety Miles Taylor return to join King in a secondary that could be one of the best in the country in 2016.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
Iowa beat Wisconsin 10-6 as a 5-point road dog last season, but they lost each of the previous three meetings against the Badgers and are a modest 2-2 ATS over the last four meetings overall.
Still, I like the Hawkeyes to get the home win and accompanying ATS cover for two reasons. First and foremost, the Hawkeyes will have the big edge at quarterback and secondly, Iowa has the better defense. I like the Hawkeyes to cover in a fairly low-scoring affair!