The Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-0) travel to Iowa City on Saturday to face the Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0). Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on Saturday, September 7th at Kinnick Stadium and the game will be televised on FS1.
Taking a look at the Week 2 college football odds, Iowa opened as a 20.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has yet to move at all after early betting, as the Hawkeyes are currently listed at -20.5. The total for the game is sitting at 50 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Iowa vs Rutgers
Rutgers got off to a fantastic start to their 2019 season in Week 1, crushing UMass 48-21 at home. The Scarlet Knights were definitely firing on all cylinders offensively, gaining over 500 total yard and scoring six touchdowns. QB McLane Carter had an above average game despite struggling with a few untimely interceptions, throwing for 340 yards and two touchdowns. However, Carter certainly can’t make a habit of getting picked off three times in a single game moving forward if he hopes to lead Rutgers to a bowl appearance this year. The standout performer on offense against the Minutemen was certainly Isaih Pacheco, who turned 20 rushing attempts into 156 yards and four touchdowns. The receiving duo of Bo Melton and Raheem Blackshear also turned in strong performances, combining for over 250 yards and two touchdowns.
The Scarlet Knights didn’t play quite as well on the other side of the ball in Week 1, allowing UMass to score three touchdowns on almost 300 total yards. However, they did manage to hold the Minutemen to under 125 passing yards while also forcing two interceptions. Rutgers will certainly face a stiffer test here in Week 2 against a much stronger Iowa offense.
Iowa also won their first game of the season in Week 1, defeating Miami Ohio 38-14 and thrilling the thousands of fans in attendance at Kinnick Stadium for the Hawkeyes home opener. QB Nathan Stanley played quite well, going 21/30 for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Mekhi Sargent and Toren Young led the way on the ground, combining for almost 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Sargent also led the team in receiving, catching four passes for 65 yards. As a whole, the Iowa offense scored five touchdowns on over 450 total yards against the RedHawks.
The Hawkeyes defense also performed quite well in Week 1, holding Miami Ohio to less than 250 total yards and two touchdowns. Iowa was especially tough against the run, as no RedHawks rusher mustered more than 22 total rushing yards or found the end zone.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Iowa -20.5
It is difficult not to be impressed by how solid Rutgers looked in Week 1, as they certainly had their way with the Minutemen on both sides of the ball. Still, I think that Iowa should be able to grind out a tough cover at home this week after managing to beat the spread against Miami Ohio last weekend. Of course, it is worth noting that the Scarlet Knights were fantastic on the ground against UMass, especially RB Isaih Pacheco who gained 150+ yards and found the end zone on four separate occasions. However, it will be much more difficult for the Rutgers ground game to get going here in Week 2, as the Hawkeyes defense is extremely tough and didn’t give up a single rushing touchdown to the RedHawks last Saturday.
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Despite winning by almost four touchdowns, Rutgers didn’t play very well on defense against a mediocre UMass offense. The Scarlet Knights gave up close to 200 rushing yards and may have given up even more points if they hadn’t been able to force the Minutemen into several turnovers. The Hawkeyes offense is very balanced, as Nathan Stanley can do damage through the air while the duo of Mekhi Sargent and Toren Young get a juicy matchup on the ground that should allow them both to have a second consecutive big games after a very impressive start to the 2019 season in Week 1. Throw in the fact that Iowa is playing at Kinnick Stadium where they have historically been quite good, and it is pretty clear to me that they offer the best value in this spot. Give me the Hawkeyes to cover at home!