The 17th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes have a no-doubt-about-it victory looming when they host the Miami-Ohio RedHawks in a Week 1 mismatch that is an absolute straight-up (SU) lock. The Las Vegas college football oddsmakers are making no bones about it by listing Iowa as 27.5-point favorites.
— Hawk Central (@hawkcentral) August 26, 2016
However, with the Hawkeyes being huge home favorites in this Week 1 regular season opener, the big question is whether or not Iowa will cover the spread as a whopping 28-point home favorite.
Let’s find out now!
Miami (OH) Redhawks Vs No.17 Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Line & My Final Score Prediction
The public is 67% on the Iowa Hawkeyes to cover the spread. The point spread opened at IOWA -28.5. The line movement indicates more money is being placed on the side of the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks to cover.
What: Miami (OH) Redhawks (0-0) at No.17 Iowa Hawkeyes (0-0)
When: Saturday, September 3, 2016
Start Time: 3:30 PM ET
Where: Iowa City, IA
Stadium: Kinnick Stadium
Spread: Iowa -27.5
Moneyline: Miami (OH) +3000 at Iowa -7000
Game Total: 51.5
Watch: ESPN U
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Miami (OH) vs Iowa
Bet The Miami-Ohio RedHawks at +27.5 Because…
The RedHawks are a good bet because they’re getting a whopping four touchdowns and managed to compile a winning ATS record in 2015.
Miami-Ohio (3-9 SU, 7-5 ATS) increased its win total by grand total of one in head coach Chuck Martin’s second season but the RedHawks are still a long way off from being a competitive program.
The good news for the Redhawks is that they have far more experience heading into 2016 than they had last season after an all-out youth movement a year ago. The RedHawks have named traditional pocket passing sophomore Billy Bahl as the starter and returns its top five running backs from last season, both, starting wide receivers, their top two tight ends and four starters on the offensive line.
On the other side of the ball, Miami-Ohio has an elite defensive end in senior J.T. Jones that finished second in the MAC with 10 sacks while junior outside linebacker Paul Moses looks to improve on the 71 tackles he recorded last season after being coveted from running back.
Miami-Ohio will have a new starting middle linebacker sophomore Junior McMullen, but are solid in the secondary with senior safety Buchi Okafor heading up an experienced group that will be bolstered by the addition of Ole Miss graduate transfer Tee Shepard.
Bet The Iowa Hawkeyes at -27.5 Because…
The Hawkeyes are playing at home and are simply put, far superior to Miami-Ohio in all three phases of the game!
Iowa (12-2 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) played fantastic football in 2015 by recording 12 wins and narrowly missing out on a shot at reaching the four-team CFB Playoff.
The good news for the Hawkeyes is that underrated head coach Kirk Ferentz returns senior quarterback C.J. Beathard long with six other starters on offense and eight on defense.
While Iowa lost to Michigan State 16–13 in the Big Ten Championship Game before getting routed by Stanford 45–16 in the Rose Bowl, this is a team that I believe could surprise in a big way once again in 2016.
Iowa averaged 181.7 rushing yards per game last season, but will need to find a replacement for departed senior Jordan Canzeri. Senior LeShun Daniels and junior Akrum Wadley combined for more than 1,100 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns and will be expected to provide even bigger contributions this coming season. Senior Matt VandeBerg returns at wide receiver after leading Iowa in catches (65) and receiving yards (703).
Defensively, the Hawkeyes will be led by gifted lock-down cornerback Desmond King, the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award winner. Three starters return on the defensive line and two of the Hawkeyes’ three starting linebackers will be back as well. Last but not least, senior cornerback Greg Mabin and junior strong safety Miles Taylor return to join King in a secondary that could be one of the best in the country in 2016.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
While I hate insanely high point spreads featuring mismatched opponents, I’m going to say the Miami-Ohio RedHawks are the pick to cover the spread as huge four-touchdown-plus road underdogs.
While Miami-Ohio has posted an uninspiring 9-19 ATS in their last 28 games in the month of September and a discouraging 1-4 ATS in their last five games against teams from the Big Ten, the RedHawks also closed out the 2015 campaign by going 4-1 ATS in their final five games overall.
Iowa is just 1-4 ATS in their last five games against teams from the MAC and a discouraging 0-5-1 ATS in their last half-dozen home games.
Iowa wins outright, but Miami-Ohio covers with just a bit of room to spare!