The Iowa Hawkeyes are the most successful college football outfit in the state of Iowa. Overall, they are ranked 25th in the nation based on appearances in the AP poll since they began in the 1930s. Furthermore, the Hawkeyes have been part of the Big Ten Conference since they made their debut in 1899 (the league was then known as the Western Conference or the Big Nine).
Although Iowa has never won a national championship in football, the program regularly competes for spots in New Year’s Day bowl games and is usually a contender in the Big Ten’s West division. It’s not uncommon to see at least one Hawkeye player’s name called in the first round of the annual NFL Draft.
That’s especially true for the tight end position, which Iowa is famous for producing NFL talent at. Many Hawkeye offensive linemen have also enjoyed long professional careers. It’s more than a respectable performance for a program with Iowa’s resources.
This guide to betting on the Iowa Hawkeyes begins with a look at the history of the college team and some key highlights. Next, the range of bets you’ll be able to place on the next Hawkeyes’ games are detailed, before explaining exactly how you’ll be able to place those bets in Iowa.
With a few exceptions, it’s completely legal to place wagers on Hawkeye football at licensed Iowa sportsbooks. As long as you’re at least 21 years of age and within the state’s borders at the time you make your bet(s), you should be good to go.
While you can visit any retail sportsbook inside a casino in IA to put your money down or visit any licensed IA book’s website, the best way to access IA sportsbooks online is through their apps. Most of the operators live in IA offer them for both Android and iOS devices.
To get started, visit the App Store on your iOS device or the sportsbook’s website on an Android device. From there, it’s simply a matter of installing the app. After that, you’ll need to register your account. Note that if you’re on any gambling self-exclusion lists, you won’t be able to register.
Also, if you live in another state, you don’t have to be in IA to open your account. The sportsbook will need the following information from you:
Once the sportsbook has verified you and you’re logged in, the next step is to add funds to your account so you can place bets. Most IA sports betting apps will accept a variety of payment forms, excluding credit cards. Making deposits that way is illegal in IA.
You can always visit a retail sportsbook associated with the app you want to use to make deposits and withdrawals in cash as well. After that, just navigate the app to college football and find the markets you like.
IA law allows licensed operators to take action on college football in a number of ways. From wagers on the entire season to single games to events within a game, there’s something for every taste.
One of the most popular ways to bet on a single game is the point spread. In that kind of market, you’re wagering on the margin of loss or victory for the team you stake. A real example from an IA sportsbook is below.
|Iowa State||-2.5 (-110)|
In these markets, the home team is always on the bottom. Your choice in this sample is to either stake Iowa or Iowa State in this market, with 2.5 points between them. The negative sign means the Cyclones are favored, while the positive sign means the Hawkeyes are the underdog.
So, whether you win depends on the final score and how you bet the game. If you took Iowa State, you’d need the Cyclones to win by at least three points. If they lose or win by only two points or win by just a single point, you would lose.
On the other hand, if bet on Iowa to cover, you would need the Hawkeyes to either win the game or lose by no more than two points. If the Cyclones win by at least three points, you would lose your bet.
The -110 odds tell you what your payout would be if you win. Because these odds are negative, you would need to wager $110 to make $100 in profit. Thus, your total payout would be $210 if you bet that much and you bet wisely.
Another very popular way to bet on college football is placing a wager on events that take the entire season to decide. Examples of this include division titles, conference championship games, playoff spots, and the College Football Playoff National Championship game.
While not all IA sportsbooks may offer the same futures markets when it comes to Iowa football, a popular market is which team will win the Big Ten West division. A real example is below:
|Big Ten||West winner|
|Northwestern +150||Wisconsin +160|
|Iowa +300||Minnesota +400|
|Nebraska +500||Purdue +1000|
Odds for these types of markets can move a lot throughout the offseasons and seasons as news breaks and teams play games. Therefore, timing is almost as important as picking the right team in terms of getting the best odds possible.
This is an area that IA law limits when it comes to college sports. It’s illegal for IA sportsbooks to accept prop bets based on individual college athletes’ performances. So, you won’t see betting markets on things like how many passing yards the Hawkeyes quarterback will throw for in a quarter, for example.
IA books can take prop bets on team events within a game, however. Examples of that include how many points Iowa will score in the first half, team yardage, etc. Through these team markets, you can still find ways to live bet on Hawkeye football despite the legal restrictions.
A normal schedule for the Hawkeyes is 12 regular-season games, nine of which are Big Ten contests. One of the non-conference games each year for Iowa is against Iowa State, usually the second game of the season for both teams.
Iowa plays every team in the West division along with Purdue every season. The Hawkeyes always play Nebraska on the day after Thanksgiving, which is usually the final regular-season contest for both teams.
The other two Big Ten dates are filled with other East division teams on a rotating basis, so the Hawkeyes play all of the other East teams besides Purdue once every three years. For the 2021-22 season, the schedule has been adjusted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the Big Ten has its own network, it does also have deals with Disney and FOX for some games. Thus, which network you can find the Hawkeye game on can shift from one week to the next. The annual Heroes Game (at/vs. Nebraska) usually appears on ESPN, for example.
Most cable, live streaming television, and satellite providers offer access to the Big Ten Network, ABC, ESPN, and FOX or FS1/FS2. That’s also the easiest way to stream live games, as subscriptions to those services usually give you access to platforms like BTN2Go, ESPN+, and FOX Sports Go.
If you don’t subscribe to any of those services, you may find it difficult to watch Iowa football games live. BTN2Go may post clips of games for viewing later available to people who simply subscribe to its streaming platform, but that’s probably the best you’ll be able to do.
In a shortened, Big Ten-only 2020-21 season, the Hawkeyes just missed representing the West Division in the Big Ten championship game. They finished 6-2, second to Northwestern. After dropping its first two games by a combined five points, one of which was to the Wildcats in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes won their final six games to finish the regular season ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press poll. Iowa then opted not to play in a postseason bowl game.
Two games, at opposite ends of the schedule normally, are trophy games for the Hawkeyes. The first is the annual Cy-Hawk football game, which awards the trophy by the same name to the winner. Usually, Iowa and Iowa State face each other after each playing one other game first.
The Hawkeyes then face Nebraska each season in what’s called the Heroes Game, honoring first responders. The trophy also bears the same name as the game. That’s typically the final game of the regular season for both teams and played on the day after Thanksgiving.
Over the past decade, there have been five drafts in which a Hawkeye went in the first round. That was highlighted by 2019 when two Iowa players went in the first 32 picks of the NFL Draft. Here’s a list of all the first-round picks out of Iowa over the past decade.
The list of Iowa head coaches over the past near half-century is pretty short. In fact, the Hawkeyes have had just two different head coaches since the end of the 1977 season. Those men are:
In the hundred-plus year history of the Iowa Hawkeyes, the team has finished in the top 25 of the season-ending AP poll on 23 occasions. The first of these seasons occurred in 1939, a season made notable by the fact that halfback Nile Kinnick would win the Heisman Trophy. He was the only player in Hawkeye history to achieve that feat. Sadly, Kinnick would die at the age of 24 during a training flight as part of the US Navy in World War II. The University of Iowa would rename its home “Kinnick Stadium” in 1972, a name that remains to this day.
Perhaps the most successful era for the Hawkeyes came in the 1950s when the team would appear in the top 10 five times. This included a run between 1956 and 1958 when the team would only lose three games and record year-end rankings of third, sixth, and second, respectively. The ’80s were also a successful decade for the team, with season-end rankings in the top 20 six times (with a single top 10 appearance).
Recent years have been leaner. However, a national ranking of ninth was achieved in 2015, and 2018 saw a return to the top 25 (exactly 25th).
Officially ranked second in the country before the bowl games by the AP poll, the Hawkeyes dominated the Rose Bowl and were named the No. 1 team in the country in the only poll taken after the games (the Football Writers Poll).
Iowa had risen to the No. 1 ranking during the season and faced off against No. 2 Michigan. Trailing by 1 point with seconds to go, a field goal from Rob Houghtlin sealed a famous victory as time ran out.
Michigan came into the game ranked No. 2 in the country, facing the struggling 5-4 Hawkeyes. Trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, things again looked bleak for the Hawkeyes. However, a rally in the game and another late field goal would see the Hawkeyes cause the upset.
How many national championships has Iowa won? The University of Iowa has never won a D1 national title in football. Also, it has never played a game for that title. In the College Football Playoff era, it has yet to get one of the four spots. However, in the BCS era, the Hawkeyes had a couple of undefeated regular seasons that could have catapulted them into the BCS title game but failed to win the Big Ten championship game in both of those instances.
What are the team colors/mascot? Iowa’s colors are black and gold. The mascot is Hercules the Hawk, often called Herky for short. Iowa’s primary logo is the head of a tiger hawk. Secondary logos involve the letter “I,” and an acronym “ANF” which stands for America Needs Farmers.
How much are Iowa football tickets? Prices range greatly based on where in Kinnick you want to sit and for which game. Big Ten games will cost you more than non-conference games a rule, and there is some disparity between those Big Ten contests as well. Regardless, you shouldn’t expect to pay less than three figures for a good seat to a high-profile Big Ten bout.
How many Iowa football numbers are retired? The University of Iowa has retired two numbers for football. Those are 24, which belonged to the program’s only Heisman Trophy winner, Nile Kinnick. The other is 62, which belonged to Cal Jones. Jones was a consensus first-team All-American and arguably the best defensive lineman to play for Iowa ever.