Things are getting real for the Michigan Wolverines who have their first road game of the season heading to Iowa City to face the Hawkeyes. Iowa is off to a 3-1 start to the season with its only loss coming to Iowa State at home in a tight 10-7 game. Last week was a home conference win both the Hawkeyes (over Rutgers) and the Wolverines (over Maryland), and they will look to continue that success on Saturday.
No. 4 Michigan Wolverines vs Iowa Hawkeyes
- TV: FOX
- Stream: Sling TV
- Time: Noon ET
- Location: Iowa City, Iowa
- Weather: 66 degrees, partly cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: MICH -11, O/U: 42, ML: MICH -425, IOWA +340
- Best Bet (6-6): U42
The J.J. McCarthy hype came down to earth last week against Maryland. It’s not that McCarthy didn’t have a good game, as he threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns. However, he just was not as dominant as he had been against the weaker competition. It was his first Big Ten test and he passed, just not with flying colors.
Now they need to prove they are a cohesive unit that can win a game on the road in the conference. Make no mistake, Iowa is a good football team and knows how to make a game ugly. So far the Hawkeyes have eight turnovers, two safeties and a blocked punt. They are averaging just 17 points per game, and a majority of that has been off the turnovers their defense has forced.
I suspect the Hawkeyes will attempt to move the ball on the ground, something Maryland had plenty of success with last week. Michigan will need to come prepared to take it on the chin on the road. If Iowa can make things ugly and control the game clock, it will have a chance to compete with the Wolverines in a place Michigan has not left with a win since 2005.
No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide vs No. 20 Arkansas Razorbacks
- TV: CBS
- Stream: Sling TV
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Location: Fayetteville, Ark.
- Weather: 77 degrees, partly cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: BAMA -17, O/U: 60.5, ML: ARK +575, BAMA -800
- Best Bet (6-6): ARK +17
In their last five true road games, the Crimson Tide have won only one of them by more than a touchdown, and that was against a terrible Mississippi State team last year. They struggled at Texas in Week 2, their only road test of the season. Last season they beat a bad Auburn team by two points in the Iron Bowl, lost to an unranked Texas A&M team and beat Florida by two in their only other road games of the season.
That bodes well for an Arkansas team that hung with the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosca last season. The Razorbacks offense is full of high power performers like quarterback K.J. Jefferson, who has over 1,000 total yards and 12 touchdowns through the first four weeks.
The issue has been a lackluster defense for Arkansas, which has allowed more than 400 yards per game this season. Because of this, we are likely in for a shootout in Fayetteville.
With Bama struggling on the road, especially against quality opponents, I like the Razorbacks to cover this large spread at home. If you are feeling especially lucky, I would take a chance on the money line in this game for a really quality return at +575 if an upset would occur.
No. 10 NC State Wolfpack vs No. 5 Clemson Tigers
- TV: ABC
- Stream: Sling TV
- Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Location: Clemson, SC
- Weather: 71 degrees, cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: Clemson -6.5, O/U: 40, ML: NCS +210, CLEM -250
- Best Bet (6-6): O40
I have no idea what to make of this game. NC State struggled on the road at East Carolina in Week 1 and only left with a win because of a missed field goal. Meanwhile, Clemson had its first test of the season against Wake Forest and the game went into double-overtime before the Tigers escaped.
The Tigers clearly underperformed last season on their way to a 9-3 season that included a loss to the Wolfpack in Raleigh in double-overtime. With both offenses exploding for more than 400 yards per game so far this season, I suspect a pretty high scoring game. Especially because the Clemson defense is allowing almost 346 yards per game, with only one team being ranked in the top-25 to this point.
Both teams also boast quarterbacks that love to sling the rock. DJ Uiagalelei has started to look a little more like the star he was supposed to be last season. On the other side, Devin Leary has two four-touchdown games thus far and has almost 900 yards through the air himself. Vegas is expecting a defensive battle, but I like some points on Saturday.