Iowa’s online sportsbooks foresee exciting finishes to the college football season for both Iowa State and the University of Iowa. Iowa bowl game odds differ in their expectations for those outcomes between the Cyclones and Hawkeyes, however.
As of Tuesday, Dec. 24, all four books favor Iowa but list Iowa State as an underdog. Although the predicted outcomes are different, the spread in both games is less than a touchdown.
Hawkeyes are favorites at legal Iowa sportsbooks
The Hawkeyes face the USC Trojans on Friday, Dec. 27, in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. Despite the fact that Iowa has to travel much farther than USC for the game, all four of Iowa’s legal mobile sportsbooks have the Hawkeyes as a two-point favorite in the game.
Elite Sportsbook, PointsBet and William Hill all have an identical -130 money line on Iowa. Iowa’s newest mobile book, Hard Rock, sets its money line at -125. At all four books, the point total is currently 52.
Hard Rock also offers a prop bet on whether the game will go into overtime. The line currently sits at +1300 on that being the case.
Elite has an alternate spread for the Hawkeyes as well. Taking Iowa -8.5 currently would pay out +240.
PointsBet’s line on the first-quarter spread, taking Iowa -0.5, is +110 right now. Unfortunately, Iowa bans in-game bets on college players’ performances.
Cyclones underdogs against the Fighting Irish
The Cyclones face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish the following day in the Camping World Bowl. Both teams will have a bit of a flight to Orlando for this one.
Again, Iowa’s books don’t predict much separation. All four operators currently list Iowa State +3.5 for their spreads.
The concurrence ends there, however. The money line and point totals are as follows:
- Elite: +140, 55 (O/U -110)
- Hard Rock: +145, 54 (O/U -110)
- PointsBet: +145, 54 (O/U -110)
- William Hill: +150, 54.5 (O/U -110)
The Hard Rock would pay out +1400 on an overtime bet, should the game be tied after regulation. The best prop bet on this game at Elite is on the game’s first score not being a touchdown, which currently would pay out +210.
PointsBet offers a moneyline on just the first half. The line is +130 on the Cyclones.
With the lines identified, the next important matter is which way the games will go. There is a lot of helpful information available to aid in betting decisions.
Betting pointers for the University of Iowa-USC bowl clash
The Holiday Bowl is a classic clash of strengths. It will feature a USC offense that averaged almost 38 points over the final six regular-season games against a top-15 defense in Iowa.
The 52-point total is the highest for any Hawkeyes game this season. Iowa went 3-8-1 O/U during the regular season.
While the Trojans’ offense perked up down the stretch, Iowa’s own offense struggled, finishing the season just 98th in total yards. Despite that, all three regular-season losses for the Hawkeyes were one-possession games.
Taking that +1300 for the game to see overtime doesn’t look like such a long shot in consideration of the fact that both teams will likely struggle to score in this contest. The under appears the safest bet for this game, however.
Cyclones could defy the odds in the Camping World Bowl
The money line might be the best bet for the Iowa State game. The Cyclones finished the season 16th in the country in average yards per play on offense and 36th in average yards per play allowed on the defensive side.
While Notre Dame comes in with 10 wins, the actual performance of its competition disappointed. Many of those wins came over teams that finished the season with losing records.
The key for the Cyclones will be taking care of the football. The Fighting Irish come in with a +15 turnover margin and only four teams took the ball away more frequently during the regular season.
Iowa’s mobile sportsbooks afford bettors some opportunities for a late Christmas present. The onus is on the Cyclones and Hawkeyes to make those wishes come true.