Michigan vs Iowa Big Ten Championship Picks and Predictions: Maize and Blue Blowout

Michigan pulled off a massive win last weekend, and the Wolverines' reward is a date with slumping Iowa in the Big Ten Championship. Find out if the Hawkeyes can at least beat the double-digit college football betting spread with our picks.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
Dec 4, 2021 • 15:31 ET • 5 min read
Aidan Hutchinson Michigan Wolverines Big Ten Championship game
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It's fitting that Michigan and Iowa meet in the Big Ten championship game. The last time either captured the conference title, they actually split the honor. The Wolverines and Hawkeyes both went 7-1 in conference play in 2004, but with no conference championship game, neither could claim itself as the outright winner. The Rose Bowl chose to invite Michigan, perhaps something Iowa could seek belated vengeance for this weekend.

Here are our free college football picks and predictions for Michigan vs. Iowa on December 4, with kickoff at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Michigan vs Iowa odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Michigan began the week as a 10.5-point favorite, and that remained steady for most of the week. Some books dropped it to -9.5 for a bit on Thursday, but they bounced back across the key number of -10. As of Friday afternoon, the consensus line had risen to -11.0. The total did not move at all during the week, opening at and remaining at 43.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.

Michigan vs Iowa predictions

Predictions made on 12/3/2021 at 3:45 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Michigan vs Iowa game info

Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Date: Saturday, December 4, 2021
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Michigan vs Iowa betting preview


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.

Key injuries

Michigan: Ronnie Bell WR (Out).
Iowa: Ethan Hurkett DL (Out).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Michigan has covered the spread in its last four games, including two in which it was a three-score favorite, while Iowa is only 2-4 ATS in its last six. Find more NCAA betting trends for Michigan vs. Iowa.

Michigan vs Iowa picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Iowa fell and fell far this year, even if it is in the Big Ten championship game. From spending some of October at No. 2 in the country to losing back-to-back games to division rivals, the Hawkeyes’ weaknesses were put on public display. The once-dominant Iowa defense ended the season giving up 22 points per game in a three-game stretch against Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska.

Those three represent such offensive powers that the only one among them that is bowl eligible, Minnesota, already fired its offensive coordinator. The Illini average only 20.2 points per game, meaning it outdid its usual against the Hawkeyes by getting to 23 points.

As this season progressed, Iowa’s defense could no longer wreck opponents like it did in September. The Hawkeyes are in the Big Ten championship more as a result of the Big Ten West’s struggles than their own late-season accomplishments.

Michigan, meanwhile, has finished the season on a tear. The Wolverines not only have covered the spread in seven of their last eight games, but they have done so by an average of 10.7 points per game. Perhaps the apparent undervaluation of Michigan is a reflection of a lack of faith in Jim Harbaugh, perhaps it is an overreaction to that controversial loss at Michigan State or perhaps the Wolverines have gotten this far with smoke and mirrors.

After what Michigan did a week ago to Ohio State, simply outplaying the vaunted Buckeyes, it seems reasonable to think the Wolverines are not relying on smoke and mirrors. They are just better than has been properly recognized to this point.

Prediction: Michigan -11.0 (-110)

The crux of Michigan’s rise has not been its offense. Quarterback Cade McNamara leads a solid unit, make no mistake, but Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and linebacker David Ojabo are what turn this last stand from Harbaugh into a genuine contender, combining for 24 sacks this season.

Hutchinson alone should stymie Iowa’s offense, even if the Hawkeyes are known for strong offensive lines and an old-school approach, anyway. If he cuts short just a few Iowa possessions, the Hawkeyes may struggle to score more than 14 points.

Michigan could then put this game Over on its own by reaching 30, but there will not be an inherent need to do so, and once the game is in hand, Harbaugh should be content to cruise into the Playoff as the No. 2 seed, meaning a quick and uncompetitive fourth quarter keeps this Under the total.

Prediction: Under 43.5 (-110)

A two-score favorite in a championship game is usually a recipe for a backdoor cover, especially when the Wolverines will have no need to post a gaudy number on the scoreboard.

But there is no reason to think Iowa is capable of a backdoor cover. Its offense averages 6.4 yards per pass attempt. The Hawkeyes average only 25.7 points per game, and that is including September’s bevy of defensive and special teams scores.

Iowa will not necessarily quit, but it is not equipped to make a late charge down the field, even if only for cosmetic purposes.

Pick: Michigan -11.0 (-110)

College football parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Michigan vs. Iowa picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college football parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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