Whether the Big Ten will capture a third consecutive win in the men’s version of the ACC Big Ten Challenge series could come down to whether its teams can pull off some upsets. The Big Ten has a chance to “steal” a game Monday night when the Iowa Hawkeyes visit the Virginia Cavaliers.
Iowa sportsbooks narrowly favor Virginia in this contest. Iowa is off to a 6-0 start but this is the team’s first major-conference foe. Only North Carolina Central has stayed within 20 points of the Hawkeyes so far. Iowa still came away with a comfortable 17-point win in that game.
Virginia comes into the challenge on a four-game winning streak. The Cavaliers are 5-2 overall. They have a home loss to Navy and a road loss at Houston in the ledger. Virginia claimed the Legends Classic with wins over Georgia and Providence in Newark, NJ.
Iowa opens the 2021 ACC Big Ten Challenge
The Hawkeyes have the honor of opening up the men’s event this year. The ACC Big Ten Challenge schedule is as follows:
Monday, Nov. 29
- Iowa at Virginia — 6 p.m. ESPN2
- Notre Dame at Illinois — 8 p.m. ESPN2
Tuesday, Nov. 30
- Minnesota at Pitt — 6 p.m. ESPNU
- Indiana at Syracuse — 6 p.m. ESPN2
- Clemson at Rutgers — 8 p.m. ESPN2
- Florida State at Purdue — 6:30 p.m. ESPN
- Northwestern at Wake Forest — 8 p.m. ESPNU
- Duke at Ohio State — 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Wednesday, Dec. 1
- Louisville at Michigan State — 6:15 p.m. ESPN
- Nebraska at NC State — 6:15 p.m. ESPNU
- Virginia Tech at Maryland — 6:15 p.m. ESPN2
- Miami at Penn State — 8:15 p.m. ESPNU
- Michigan at North Carolina — 8:15 p.m. ESPN
- Wisconsin at Georgia Tech — 8:15 p.m. ESPN2
This is the 23rd edition of the men’s challenge. The ACC has 12 wins in the series to the Big Ten’s seven. In 2012, 2013, and 2018 each conference won seven games. The Big Ten has won each of the past two challenges.
Iowa has an 8-12 all-time record in the event. But the Hawkeyes have won three straight challenge games and six of its past eight.
A closer look at Monday’s ACC Big Ten Challenge odds
Iowa is 2-1 all-time in the men’s game against Virginia, having won each of the first two meetings. They do have more experience against one of the Cavaliers’ best players, however.
Armaan Franklin leads Virginia with 13 points per game so far this season. He transferred to play with the Cavaliers after playing the 2020-21 season with the Indiana Hoosiers.
In two meetings with the Hawkeyes last season, Franklin shot a mere 5-for-20 from the field. While that seems to bode well for Iowa, it’s important to remember that Virginia has yet to allow an opponent to score 85 points or more this season.
Perhaps the Hawkeyes’ Keegan Murray can help Iowa break that barrier with his 25.7 points per game, which are currently leading the nation. Because this contest is a classic clash of a powerful offense and stout defense, sportsbooks are playing it pretty close to the hip.
Early Monday, most IA sports betting apps sat between a point and two points on their spreads. Totals ranged from 129.5 to 131.5. Caesars Sportsbook had one of the most generous Hawkeye moneylines on the game at +115.
A victory for Iowa on Monday night might strengthen the Hawkeyes’ case for a spot in the AP Top 25.