The Wisconsin Badgers season has not lived up to the expectations of their fans but ever since interim head coach Jim Leonhard took over the Badgers have gone 3-1 straight up and ATS. The Badgers are on a two-game win and cover streak heading to Iowa this weekend to take on the Hawkeyes, we’ll break down the game and then get into whether they can cover for the third straight week.
Wisconsin has been a completely different team offensively since Leonhard took over but faces a tough test this weekend against a stingy Iowa defense. The Hawkeyes are only allowing an average of 15.8 points per game which is 6th in the country and the main reason for this is their tough run defense. The Hawkeyes allow 2.8 yards per rush which sets up an exciting match-up against Badgers star running back Braelon Allen.
The young running back has 10 rushing touchdowns already and is the focal point of the offense. If the Hawkeyes defense continues to limit the rush then quarterback Graham Mertz will need to step and continue his efficient play since Leonhard took over. Mertz has thrown for 17 touchdowns this season and only 6 interceptions so it’ll be interesting to see if he can lead scoring drives this weekend.
Iowa might have a stellar defense but their offense is one of the worst in the entire country. Ranked 111th in all of college football in points per game this Hawkeye offense has been hard to watch all season. Starting quarterback Spencer Petras has only thrown for 5 touchdowns this season along with 4 interceptions and despite winning two games in a row this Wisconsin defense is much better than Iowa’s past two opponents.
When facing a strong defense this season the Hawkeyes have barely been able to find the endzone. Earlier in the season, Iowa was on a three-game losing streak against three of the better teams in the conference. In those three games, Iowa was only able to find the endzone three times.
This game opened with Iowa as (-1) point favorites but that number has flipped and as of right now Wisconsin is (-1.5) point favorites in most sportsbooks. The total unsurprisingly opened at 36.5 but now currently sits at 35.5.
Iowa is a tough place to play but this Wisconsin team is different under Jim Leonhard and will be who I’m rolling with. I think the Badgers can cover for the third straight game, primarily because when Iowa faces a defense similar to theirs they frankly can’t put points on the board.
Despite the Hawkeyes strong defense, I think Braelon Allen is too good to contain for an entire game, and even if it’s a low-scoring game I’m leaning toward the Badgers to win and cover. Expect the number to move around a bit more before the game kicks off so make sure to check a few sportsbooks to get the best price.