Wisconsin vs No. 16 Iowa

Wisconsin vs No. 16 Iowa | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 11, 2020

Really nothing to play for Saturday when Wisconsin visits No. 16 Iowa other than bragging rights – Northwestern has clinched the Big Ten West Division — and perhaps bettering bowl status for the winner. The Hawkeyes are short home underdogs in the regular-season finale for both.

How to Bet Wisconsin at Iowa NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: Kinnick Stadium
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Wisconsin -1 (total 41.5)

Last Meeting

Last year on the way to the Big Ten West title, Wisconsin edged visiting Iowa 24-22. Jonathan Taylor rushed for 130 of his season-high 250 yards in the fourth quarter, and Danny Davis ran for a touchdown and caught another. Taylor is now a rookie with the Colts. Taylor’s 250 yards on 31 carries were the most ever by a Wisconsin player against Iowa, surpassing the previous high of 216 by Ron Dayne in 1999. Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley was stopped short of the goal line on a potential game-tying two-point conversion attempt with 3:12 remaining.

The winner of this game gets the Heartland Trophy. Wisconsin leads, 48-43-2 and holds a 9-5 lead in the series since the Heartland Trophy debuted in 2004.

Why Bet on Wisconsin? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Badgers (2-2) have had three games canceled but were able to play last week, losing 14-6 to No. 12 Indiana. The victory snapped a 10-game losing streak for the Hoosiers in this series. Indiana had not beaten Wisconsin since 2002.

Wisconsin drove deep into Indiana territory on its final drive, but Graham Mertz’s fourth-and-10 pass to Chimere Dike from the 21 was broken up by Reese Taylor in the right corner of the end zone with 46 seconds left. The Badgers drove inside Indiana’s 40-yard line on five possessions but had just six points to show for it.

Mertz threw for 202 yards, going 20-for-34. He also set career highs in rushes (8) and rushing yards (15). Freshman RB Jalen Berger made the first start of his career and totaled 87 rushing yards on 15 carries. Defensively, Wisconsin held Indiana to just 87 yards rushing, marking the third-consecutive game UW has held its opponent below 100 yards.

With 93 all-time meetings, Iowa is Wisconsin’s third most-played rival. The Badgers have faced Minnesota 129 times — the most played rivalry of any FBS teams — and Northwestern 102 times. UW is 14-7 against Iowa since breaking an 18-game winless streak against the Hawkeyes in 1997. From 1977 to ’96, Wisconsin was 0-17-1 against Iowa.

Wisconsin senior WR Danny Davis (undisclosed) is not expected to play Saturday. He hasn’t played since getting injured on his lone reception in a 49-11 victory over Michigan on November 14. Davis was expected to serve as the team’s top receiver in the wake of Quintez Cephus’ graduation.

Why Bet on Iowa? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Hawkeyes (5-2) are a rare team to not have a single game canceled. The won 35-21 at Illinois last week, Iowa’s fifth straight victory. Iowa scored 35 straight points, rallying from a 14-0 second-quarter deficit to win its seventh in a row over the Illini.

It was the first time Iowa has rallied from a 14-point deficit in a win since 2013 in a 24-21 victory over Michigan. It is the first time the Hawkeyes have accomplished the feat on the road since 2007 at Northwestern.

The Hawkeyes’ defense gave up 148 yards and two touchdowns on the Illini’s first three possessions before buckling down. Iowa forced three consecutive three-and-outs (and didn’t allow another yard) in the first half and it forced six straight punts in the second and third quarters. Illinois gained 348 total yards for the game with 205 coming over the final three quarters. The Illini had 138 yards over their final two drives.

Iowa’s rushing attack churned out 204 yards, helping the Hawkeyes pick up 22 first downs. Sophomore QB Spencer Petras completed 18-of-28 passes for 220 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Petras hadn’t even thrown two TDs in a game entering last week.

Petras is 78-131 (59.5) with 877 passing yards (175.4 ypg) during the five-game winning streak. He has thrown six touchdowns and two interceptions over the last five games. Petras has 220 pass attempts through seven weeks, tied for the most by any Big Ten quarterback. He entered the season with 11 career pass attempts.

Tyler Goodson leads the Hawkeyes and ranks third in the Big Ten with 656 rushing yards. Goodson has started the last 11 games at running back and has 10 rushing touchdowns during that stretch. He has 1,294 career rushing yards.

During the five-game winning streak, Iowa is outscoring its opponents 186-76 and averaging 37.2 points per game during the winning streak. The Hawkeyes 186 points scored over the last five games represent the best five-game stretch since Iowa totaled 207 in the first five games of 2002.

Game Trends

  • Badgers are 17-8 ATS in their last 25 road games.
  • Badgers are 2-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Badgers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
  • Hawkeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
  • Hawkeyes are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 conference games.
  • Road team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Iowa 21, Wisconsin 17
 
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