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Can Wisconsin Rebound vs Stingy Iowa?

With difficult road games at Iowa and Michigan on the horizon, the last thing the Wisconsin Badgers needed was a disappointing home loss to a lesser opponent. And yet, that’s exactly what the shell-shocked Badgers are facing as they head to Kinnick Stadium for a pivotal encounter with the unbeaten Hawkeyes.

A late missed field goal cost Wisconsin in a 24-21 loss to BYU, the Badgers’ first home loss to a non-conference opponent in 15 years. And things are about to get a lot more difficult against an Iowa program that has used its powerhouse defense to roll to home victories over Northern Illinois, Iowa State and Northern Iowa by a combined 60 points. Yet, despite these teams coming in on divergent paths, Iowa is installed as a 3.5-point underdog. Wisconsin has won five of the past six meetings, though four of them have been decided by one possession.

SHARK BITES
  • Wisconsin is 11-1 ATS in its past 12 road games.
  • Iowa is 6-1-1 ATS in its previous eight home games.
  • The OVER is 15-6-1 in the Badgers’ last 22 games following a SU loss.

Wisconsin vs Iowa Game Center

Beware the Badgers on the Road

Wisconsin has the roster to bounce back from a loss like the one it suffered last week – and if recent trends are to be trusted, the Badgers are a tremendous play this week despite hitting the road. Wisconsin is a sizzling 8-1 ATS in its previous nine games as a road favorite, winning all but one of those games SU by double digits. And the Badgers put together that streak by dominating on both sides of the football, averaging 32.9 points per game on offense while limiting opponents to 12.6 points per contest over that stretch.

They’ve also saved their best for the toughest hosts, having covered six consecutive road games against teams with home records above .500. Iowa will be no pushover in this one, having gone 10-3-1 ATS in its previous 14 games as a home underdog, but two of those ATS losses have come at the hands of the Badgers. In what should be a closely fought game, we like the Badgers to keep their road cover streak alive.

Hawkeyes Go Low at Home 

Not even the best teams in the nation can reasonably expect to go into Kinnick Stadium and come out with a bushel of points. Only two teams – Purdue and Ohio State – have managed to produce more than 21 points against the Hawkeyes in their previous 13 home games. Not surprisingly, that has helped make Iowa one of the top UNDER plays at home, as it boasts a 5-11 OVER/UNDER mark over its previous 16 games on home soil.

And while the Badgers have shown they can score with the best of them, they have been held in check in their previous three visits to Kinnick Stadium, averaging fewer than 24 points in that span. The teams have gone 0-2-1 OVER/UNDER in those contests, with Wisconsin prevailing in all three. The Badgers are the superior team, but given how many tight, low-scoring games these teams have played, and how stingy Iowa is at home on the whole, combining the Wisconsin SU win with the UNDER is a solid parlay option.

Can the Hawkeyes Tame Taylor?

Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor remains one of the top Heisman Trophy candidates through the first three weeks of the college football season. Taylor has already racked up 515 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, though he was held to 117 scoreless yards on 26 carries in last week’s loss to the Cougars.

Taylor is no stranger to the Hawkeyes – he torched them for 157 yards in last season’s meeting, a 38-14 win at Wisconsin. But it took 29 carries for Taylor to reach that mark, and he failed to get into the end zone while settling for a long run of 19 yards – one of only five games in which he didn’t have a run of 20-plus yards. Last year’s defeat was more about Iowa producing only 66 total yards of offense and five first downs – but if the Hawkeyes make Taylor work for his yards again this year, the Badgers could struggle to reach their team point total. 

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