Ken Miller, a Des Moines sports radio personality at KXNO, does some work with Las Vegas Sports Consultants and has early access to eight betting lines for Iowa football games.
Some thoughts from Gazette sportswriter Marc Morehouse on those early lines:
Iowa State at Iowa (-14), Sept. 11
The Hawkeyes are a 14-point favorite. Is that high? I think yes. How many times has Iowa been a 14-point fave in this game and how many times has it not worked out that way? Recently, I mean. This is a high, high number with Iowa’s new O-line seeing its first FBS opponent. Maybe home will mean a lot. Maybe Stanzi goes wild.
Iowa (-2.5) at Arizona, Sept. 18
Iowa is a road fave. Yes, Iowa west of the Pecos has been a disaster. Yes, the Arizona State game from 2004. Yes, Arizona found its good QB (Nick Foles) after it played Iowa last year. But in an early season game, Iowa’s defensive line vs. any QB is probably advantage Hawkeyes. What brings Iowa back to the ’Cats is the guts of a decent running game in Nic Grigsby and Keola Antolin. UA also lost offensive and defensive coordinators in the off-season (Greg Brown is in for Mark Stoops on defense; Seth Littrell is co-coordinator on offense).
Penn State at Iowa (-3), Oct. 2
Penn State will have a new QB, but will have RB Evan Royster and pretty much the same OL. The defense needs a rebuild, though, but will Iowa’s offense execute the way it will need to against the Nittany Lions? Iowa will be replacing three OL, but you already know that.
Iowa (-3) at Michigan, Oct. 16
Yes, Iowa is a favorite at the Big House. This might be the tough one. The Wolverines catch Iowa between Penn State and Wisconsin. UM Coach Rich Rodriguez might be coaching for his job this season. An Iowa victory would be a huge pelt and put the Wolves on a New Year’s Day bowl track. If Iowa makes this a game of physicality, it would be worthy of the 3. Will Iowa have a 4.5-yards-per-carry rushing attack by week six?
Wisconsin at Iowa (-3), Oct. 23
This will be a fun one. Wisconsin has the Big Ten’s biggest OL and biggest RB in John Clay. Tackle Gabe Carimi is a preseason all-star, along the Joe Thomas track. Wisconsin’s defense might need a polish, but QB Scott Tolzien is among the conference’s steadiest. Iowa hits back with one of the best DLs in the Big Ten and an experienced corps of skill position players. There will be blood.
Michigan State at Iowa (-7.5), Oct. 30
This is a big, big number for two teams that play percentage football. I expect another physical, close game. MSU should have a stable of healthy running backs and will have QB Kirk Cousins, a gamer. MSU returns DTs Jerel Worthy and Blake Treadwell, two up-and-coming run stuffers. Expect a close one, even at Kinnick.
Ohio State at Iowa (+4), Nov. 20
Yes, Iowa is a home dog. This is the only one of the eight where Iowa is the underdog. It’s Ohio State, a preseason darling of everyone and a team that Iowa has beaten once in their last 12 meetings. So, yeah, you can kind of see the home dog tag coming here.
Iowa (-9) at Minnesota, Nov. 27
This will be Iowa’s first visit to TCF Bank Stadium, the Gophers’ outdoor home. Will it be any different from the “Kinnick North” that the Metrodome became? The Gophers, who face emasculated USC early on, might have a lot on the line here, mainly the job of head coach Tim Brewster and, secondarily, a bowl bid.