The Minnesota Golden Gophers lost an absolute war of attrition in their last game against the Fighting Illini. Still, they will get a chance to jump into first in the Big Ten West this Saturday, taking on another ranked opponent in the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes were able to snap their two-game losing streak last time out against Northwestern, and they will now look to get back into the top 20 teams in the country with a win over Minnesota. We can very much expect yet another defensive battle in this one, as the bookies have the total in this one at 37, so don’t be on the lookout for fireworks here.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
With a total like that, you can imagine this Minnesota defense is pretty good, and they certainly are only allowing 298.9 total yards to their opponents this year. They also are seriously good on the back end in the secondary, with one of the main guys to look out for being Tyler Nubin, who has two interceptions so far. That comes alongside an outstanding linebacker tandem of Mariano Sori-Marin and Jack Gibbens, who have combined for 125 total tackles.
Tanner Morgan at the QB position has not been able to replicate his 2019 form so far this campaign, throwing for just 1357 yards and holding a brutal 6-7 TD to INT rate. It is hard to project him to have any success here against a rock-solid Hawkeyes defense, but if there are any big passing plays from the Golden Gophers, expect the ball to go to leading receiver Mike Brown-Stephens.
The name of the game here for Minnesota is likely to come from the RB position, with their main man being Trey Potts, who has 552 yards and 6 touchdowns. The thing about the Golden Gophers is that they regularly run out 3 or 4 running backs and in what is expected to be a smash-mouth type of game that will serve them extremely well.
Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Preview:
The Hawkeyes certainly are the team who have started out the week taking all the money coming into this contest as 6 point favorites, and given some of the teams they have been able to beat; it does make some sense. The Hawkeyes have a very similar profile to the Golden Gophers, except their running back touches are much more concentrated. Tyler Goodson gets most of the touches in the backfield.
Goodson should be feeling awfully good about himself entering this game as well, as he was the hero last time out against Northwestern, rushing for 141 yards and a touchdown. Obviously, if he comes anywhere close to those numbers in this one, the Hawkeyes will be in the drivers’ seat.
The big issue for the Hawkeyes here, is going to be getting their passing attack going, as they have only managed to rack up 185.3 passing yards per game, and they go up against one awesome secondary in this one. Suppose they can’t have any success throwing the ball. In that case, those linebackers on Minnesota are going to keep creeping closer and closer to the line, and it’s going to make life very difficult for Tyler Goodson and the rest of the Hawkeyes backfield.
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Lines & Odds
These teams both have outstanding defenses, so that is essentially a wash for me in terms of handicapping this game. The one thing I keep coming back to is the fact that the Golden Gophers have the ability to essentially always have fresh legs in their backfield, as they just have a bevy of talented running backs who can get the job done for them.
We also have a very low total, and we are getting 6 points with the Golden Gophers, which seems too good to pass up in this spot. Look for this Minnesota secondary to shut down the Iowa passing attack and for their RB’s to get the job done here as they cover this 6 point spread in what I expect to be a field goal game.
Free Betting Pick
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Verdict: Minnesota +6 ATS
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Final Score Prediction: 17-14 Iowa