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The Minnesota Golden Gophers look to keep their unbeaten record intact when they face Iowa on Saturday. Minnesota is 9-0 and had been the No. 17 ranked team in the nation last week -- that will change this week. Iowa is 6-3 and had been ranked No. 18 -- that too will change this week. Iowa has won the last 4 meetings between the two including a 48-31 win last year. Iowa is a 3 point favorite here. Kickoff is Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Ia.
Minnesota has gotten no respect all year. Here they are, undefeated, but still ranked No. 17. They go and beat No. 4 ranked Penn State last week and are still 3 point underdogs this week against Iowa. Don't think that lack of respect is lost on head coach P.J. Fleck's team. Minnesota will definitely move up in the national rankings after its 31-26 win over Penn State, but they are still not favored here.
Contrast that with Iowa, who is 6-3 and is ranked No. 18 in the country. Of course, they will certainly drop after their 24-22 loss at Wisconsin last week. Iowa's losses have all been to top 20 teams -- Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin. they have yet to win a big game this year but a win against the Golden Gophers would definitely qualify as one. This should be fun.
Full analysis and prediction coming Wednesday
Minnesota remains unbeatenThe Minnesota Golden Gophers scored its biggest win of the year last week, beating previously unbeaten Penn State 31-26. The win improved Minnesota's record to 9-0 and boosted their mark in the Big Ten to 6-0. They hold a two-game lead over Wisconsin in the West Division, Also, the win vaulted Minnesota to No. 8 in the country. Minnesota racked up 460 yards and 31 points against one of the best defenses in the country. Quarterback Tanner Morgan was a hyper-efficient 18 for 20 for 339 yards and 3 touchdowns. Wide Receiver Rashod Bateman went wild with 7 catches for 203 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Johnson had 7 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown.
The Golden Gophers offense has been great. They average 37 points per game, which ranks 15th in the country. They average 433 total yards per game, which is 44th in the nation. That includes 237 ypg in the air, which is 60th, and 195 ypg on the ground, which ranks 139th. Defensively, they are pretty strong. They allow 20.7 points per game, which is 26th in the country. They allow 309 total yards per game, which is 15th in the country. They give up 186 ypg in the air, which is 16th, and 124 ypg on the ground, which is 28th.
Iowa has been a tough outThe Iowa Hawkeyes are 6-3 on the year and 3-3 in the Big Ten's West Division. They have been a tough out all year and not a team to be overlooked. Their 3 losses are all to top 20 teams. They lost to Michigan 10-3, they lost to Penn State 17-12 and they lost at Wisconsin 24-22. The Hawkeyes got gouged on the ground, giving up 300 yards rushing versus Wisconsin. But their defense has very much been of the bend don't break variety as they have been able to keep teams out of the end zone. Quarterback Nate Stanley was 17 for 28 for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Tyrone Tracy had 5 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. But the running game was held to under 100 yards.
Iowa's offense has not been great. They average 24 points per game, which ranks 97th in the country. They average 381 total yards per game, which is 85th in the nation. That includes 242 ypg in the air, which is 54th, and 139 ypg on the ground, which ranks 95th. Defensively, they are pretty strong. They allow 20.7 points per game, which is 26th in the country. They allow 289 total yards per game, which is 11th in the country. They give up 177 ypg in the air, which is 10th, and 120 ypg on the ground, which is 20th.
Trends are from Covers.com:
- Hawkeyes are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Hawkeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Hawkeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win.
- Golden Gophers are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 conference games.
- Golden Gophers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win.
- Golden Gophers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win.
- Golden Gophers are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Golden Gophers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Golden Gophers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Golden Gophers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Golden Gophers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on fieldturf.
- Golden Gophers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Golden Gophers getting the points. It's almost unfathomable that Iowa, who has lost every big game this year, is a 3 point favorite over undefeated, 8th ranked Minnesota, which has won every big game its played. Now Iowa has a great defense, but as we saw last week, Minnesota dismantled an even better defense, Penn State, and won easily. What chance does Iowa have of slowing the Golden Gophers down? Slim and none. Minnesota should be insulted by this line and should come out angry and win handily. The road team is 3-0-1 against the spread in their last 4 meetings. Also the Golden Gophers are 3-1-1 against the spread in their last 5 meetings in Iowa and the underdog is 3-1-1 against the spread in their last 5 meetings between these two.
Prediction: Minnesota +3
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the over here. Iowa holds teams to about 20 points per game but there's no way they hold Minnesota to that number, given that they just hung 31 points on the vaunted Penn State defense. Iowa's offense is very pedestrian, but they are home and they will score enough in this game to make this close. Minnesota will win, but I like the over here. The over is 5-1 in the Hawkeyes' last 6 games in November. Also, the over is 6-2 in Golden Gophers last 8 games overall and 5-2 in the Golden Gophers last 7 road games.