The No. 2 ranked and undefeated Michigan Wolverines will be gargantuan favorites when they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium in the Big Ten Championship Game tonight.
While the game itself may not be all that interesting, the college football odds sure are. It’s rare to see a favorite as big as the Wolverines with a total so low. Do you have to look at the Hawkeyes out of principle, or will Michigan continue its dominance and cover the big spread?
I break down the Big Ten Championship game odds and bring you the best bet in my free college football picks and predictions for Iowa vs. Michigan on Saturday, December 2.
For more analysis of this game, check out Phil Naessens' Iowa vs. Michigan player props!
Michigan vs Iowa best odds
Michigan vs Iowa picks and predictions
Michigan has been the most dominant team in college football throughout the entirety of this season. This is part of the reason why the Wolverines are massive 22.5-point favorites in a conference title game.
With quarterback JJ McCarthy and running back Blake Corum, the Wolverines boast one of the most talented and balanced offenses in the country. They rank 33rd in yards per play, seventh in offensive success rate, and lead the nation in average scoring margin at 27.3 points per contest.
Basically, they're the exact opposite of the Iowa offense. The Hawkeyes rank 130th in offensive success rate and dead last when it comes to yards per play. You want to know how bad the offense is? Some books have the Hawkeyes team total sitting at 6.5. But somehow, Iowa is 10-2 and playing for the Big Ten title.
Some say the best offense is a good defense (and punter), and it seems like Iowa has taken that to heart. Because this Hawkeyes team is all defense and no offense. Iowa owns the nation’s second-ranked defense when it comes to opponent yards per play and ranks fourth in defensive success rate.
But seriously, even though I’m confident Michigan wins this game by multiple scores, covering more than three touchdowns with a total sitting at 34.5 means there is essentially no room for error for the Wolverines when it comes to covering the spread.
Iowa’s defense is good enough to at least slow down a Michigan offense that has proven it will run the ball over and over and over again if need be. On top of that, Kirk Ferentz will coach this game not to win, but just not to be embarrassed.
More than three touchdowns is just too many with a total this low, particularly with how this game should be played.
My best bet: Iowa +22.5 (-115 at BetMGM) 33% boost available
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
Michigan vs Iowa same-game parlay
As per usual, our same-game parlay kicks off with my best bet, which for the Big Ten Championship is Iowa to cover the sizable 22.5-point spread.
Just because oddsmakers think this game will be low-scoring doesn’t mean we won’t see anyone find the end zone, and there aren’t many out there with a better nose for the end zone right now than Corum. The Michigan running back has scored a ridiculous 22 touchdowns this season. He’s also scored multiple times in five of his last six games. Let’s add him to score multiple touchdowns again on Saturday.
Now let’s close this SGP out by picking on poor Deacon Hill and this sad Iowa offense. Hill has thrown a pick in six of his last eight games. With this Michigan defense being the toughest he has faced this season, I’m betting he makes it seven of nine.
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Michigan vs Iowa spread and Over/Under analysis
Like I said earlier, this is one of the most interesting betting lines I can remember. It’s rare to see a favorite this big with a total so small. The general rule is to side with the underdog getting this many points with a low total and that seems to be ringing true with early bettors.
Michigan opened the Big Ten title game as 23.5-point favorites but it’s Iowa who has seen the early money, moving Michigan down as far as -21.5 as of Thursday. There has been some Michigan buyback with the line currently sitting around 22.5.
While Michigan has been beating the pants off opposing teams, they have not been a consistent bet when laying big numbers. The Wolverines are just 2-4-1 ATS when giving 20 or more points this season.
When it comes to the total, that hit the board at 35 and has been bet down slightly to 34.5. Unsurprisingly, with its great defense and non-existent offense, Iowa has been an Under machine, playing below the total in 10 of its 12 games this season.
That said, I’ll stay away from the total. Michigan is capable of putting up big numbers, and this total is so low that just a few random plays could wind up sending it Over.
Michigan vs Iowa betting trend to know
Iowa is 5-1 ATS in its last six games as an underdog. Find more college football betting trends for Michigan vs Iowa.
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Michigan vs Iowa game info
|Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
|Saturday, December 2, 2023
|8:00 p.m. ET
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