Michigan State Vs. Iowa Betting Preview: Winless Hawkeyes Favored At Home

Written By Drew Ellis on November 5, 2020 - Last Updated on January 31, 2022

There’s haven’t been many positive during the 2020 college football season for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Off to an 0-2 start, Iowa finds themselves in desperate need of a win Saturday when it hosts Michigan State. Despite being winless, oddsmakers still are confident in Iowa this weekend. Will Iowa sports bettors feel the same?

How to watch Michigan State at Iowa

  • What: Michigan State (1-1, 1-1 Big Ten) at Iowa (0-2, 0-2)
  • When: 11 a.m. CST, Saturday, Nov. 7
  • Where: Kinnick Stadium
  • TV: ESPN
  • Online Livestream: ESPN Plus
  • Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network, AM 600 WMT NewsRadio
  • Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 108; XM Channel 210
  • Online Radio Streaming: Hawkeyesports.com
  • Live Stats: Hawkeyesports.com

Hawkeyes a touchdown favorite against Spartans

Even with Michigan State coming off an upset of Michigan last weekend, oddsmakers see Iowa as a comfortable favorite on Saturday.

Most of the sportsbooks are listing the Iowa Hawkeyes as a 7-point favorite at home. The juice varies somewhat. FanDuel is even listing Iowa at –6.5.

Michigan State at Iowa Week 10 OddsDraftKings FanDuelFox BetPointsBetWilliam Hill
Point spread
(-110 juice unless noted)
MSU +7 -112
IOWA -7 -109
MSU +6.5 -102
IOWA -6.5 -120
MSU +7 -118
IOWA -7 +100
MSU +7
MSU +7
MoneylineMSU +220
IOWA -286
MSU +235
IOWA -300
MSU +225
IOWA -275
MSU +210
IOWA -265
MSU +220
IOWA -260
Total points
(-110 juice unless noted)
O 46.5 -112
U 46.5 -109
O 46.5
U 46.5
N/AO 45.5
U 45.5
O 46
U 46

If you think the Iowa struggles will continue, betting MSU on the moneyline could be the wiser play. The Spartans are ranging from +210 to +235 to win straight up. Iowa is anywhere from -260 to -300.

The over/under is pretty spread out as well. The lowest is at 45.5 while the highest is at 46.5.

History pretty even between Iowa and MSU

It’s hard to get much more even between two teams than Iowa and Michigan State.

Over a total of 47 games, Iowa holds a very slim margin in the all-time series. The Hawkeyes hold a 23-22-1 advantage over the Spartans, but MSU has won the last three encounters. The Spartans have also covered in their last two trips to Kinnick Stadium.

One notable trend in this series is the under. That has hit in six of the last eight in this series. The Spartans are also 10-1 with the under in their last 11 games as an underdog. Iowa is 9-2 with the under in its last 11 Big Ten games.

Public betting is really strong with the underdog Spartans. Michigan State is currently getting 74% of the wagers on this game.

Iowa stumbles again

The Hawkeyes fell to 0-2 on the season after blowing a 17-point lead against Northwestern last week in a 21-20 loss. Iowa has lost its two games by a combined 6 points.

Turnovers were an issue for Iowa, as quarterback Spencer Petras threw three interceptions and was just 26 of 50 passing.

A normally reliable rushing attack for Iowa produced only 77 yards on 23 carries against Northwestern. That could be trouble against a MSU defense that is allowing just 129 rushing yards per game.

Third down conversions became a problem due to the lack of offense. Iowa was just 6 of 17 on third downs in the loss to the Wildcats.

Not helping matters against the Spartans is that Iowa will be without top receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette. He is suspended this week after an OWI charge.

Defensively, the Hawkeyes held Northwestern to only 273 total yards, but the Wildcats were able to rush for 143 yards and convert 10 of 19 third downs.

MSU riding high after upset of Michigan

Michigan State went from the lowest-low of a home loss to Rutgers, to the highest-high of an upset win over Michigan on the road.

After committing seven turnovers against the Scarlet Knights, the Spartans didn’t turn over the ball once last week and it led to a 27-24 win over the Wolverines.

MSU’s game plan was pretty simple, as it just attacked Michigan’s man-to-man coverage. The Spartans threw for 323 yards and drew 10 Michigan penalties.

Freshman receiver Ricky White had a breakout game, catching eight passes for 196 yards and a touchdown. Rocky Lombardi had his best start at QB for MSU, throwing for 323 yards and three touchdowns.

MSU may need a different approach against the Hawkeyes, as Iowa is giving up just 206 passing yards per game.

The Spartans would like to run the ball, but have struggled greatly. They are averaging just 88 yards rushing per game and average only 2.3 yards per carry as a team.

Photo by AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis has lived in Michigan his whole life and has been writing professionally 21 years. Ellis has covered anything from youth baseball in mid-Michigan, a top-25 college football program, and pro sports in the Detroit area. Always keeping busy, Ellis also has over 10 years of experience in covering sports betting, handling all major sports.

View all posts by Drew Ellis