- The Iowa Hawkeyes are 3.5-point road favorites over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday, November 13th (7:00 pm EST)
- Golden Gophers RB Mohamed Ibrahim has 10 rushing TD in just three games
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
The 1-2 Iowa Hawkeyes face the 1-2 Minnesota Golden Gophers under the Friday night lights in Week 11 (Nov. 13, 7 pm EST). Both teams enter play fresh off a victory, as Minnesota routed Illinois, while Iowa crushed Michigan State.
Iowa vs Minnesota Week 11 Odds
|Iowa Hawkeyes||-3.5 (-104)||-172||Over 57.5 (-114)|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||+3.5 (-118)||+140||Under 57.5 (-106)|
Odds taken Nov. 10th at FanDuel.
This game opened around a pick’em but has moved drastically in the Hawkeyes favor. Iowa is currently a 3.5-point favorite in a game that features a total of 57.5. Both the Hawkeyes and Golden Gophers are 1-2 ATS this season, while two of Iowa’s three games have stayed under the total, and two of Minnesota’s outings have gone over.
Ibrahim Carries Minnesota’s Offense
The Golden Gophers offense revolves primarily around running back Mohamed Ibrahim. The Junior is averaging 5.9 yards per carry and has already scored 10 rushing touchdowns in just three games.
Minnesota RB Mohamed Ibrahim in 3 games this season:
? 578 rushing yards
? 22 Forced missed tackles
? 10 TDs pic.twitter.com/pb3J64i22Y
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 8, 2020
His 571 rushing yards are more than 11 of the other 13 teams in the Big 10, and he’s just the second player in the conference over the last 20 years to score at least 9 rushing TD in his first three games of the season. He has back-to-back four touchdown outings on his resume, but despite his prolific start he’s outside the top-13 contenders in the Heisman Trophy odds.
Mohamed Ibrahim of @GopherFootball is the #B1GFootball Offensive Player of the Week. pic.twitter.com/IxMH3UUy7U
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) November 9, 2020
Ibrahim will face his toughest test to date, as the Iowa defense excels at stopping the run. The Hawkeyes are allowing a measly 2.6 yards per carry this season, and erased the Golden Gophers ground game in their meeting last year. Iowa held Minnesota to 2.1 yards per carry that day, en route to a 23-19 upset win.
The Hawkeyes are surrendering just 17.3 points per game this year, and have already forced eight turnovers. Their stout run defense should be able to slow down Ibrahim, which will put additional pressure on QB Tanner Morgan. The Junior is completing just 61.6% of his passes this season, and has been held below 200 yards in two of three starts.
Iowa Has Huge Edge in Trenches
Iowa meanwhile, would also prefer to keep the ball on the ground as well, but the difference is they are set-up much better for success. The Hawkeyes are averaging 5.0 yards per carry this season, and the Minnesota run defense is abysmal.
A Week 10 #CFB Top Performance
RB Tyler Goodson – Iowa
• 113 rushing yards 1 TD pic.twitter.com/jI783s6qOq
— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) November 9, 2020
The Golden Gophers are allowing 7.3 yards per rush attempt and 238.3 rushing yards per game. They surrendered eight rushing touchdowns in their two losses to Michigan and Maryland, and only three Big 10 teams are giving up more points per outing than Minnesota.
A 39-yard Taulia Tagovailoa TD run makes it 14-0 Terps (+650)! ??
Live odds (1Q):
Minnesota -200 (-3.5)
Maryland +150 pic.twitter.com/QCHotPMFjz
— SportsBettingDime (@SBD) October 30, 2020
The Iowa passing game led by Spencer Petras has been inconsistent at best this season, and you can bet the Hawkeyes game plan will be to pound the rock early and often.
There’s no denying that the Minnesota offense is off to a hot start the season, but Iowa will be by far their most difficult challenge. None of the other three defenses the Golden Gophers have faced have ranked inside the top-76 in defensive efficiency according to ESPN’s FPI, while the Hawkeyes check in at number 24.
Defense was rockin’ today. | #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/VPNc7BdWZg
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) November 7, 2020
Iowa has the pieces to contain Ibrahim, while Morgan hasn’t shown a big ceiling this season. On the other side of the ball, the Hawkeyes should be able to run all over Minny’s weak defense, controlling the clock and the game script.
Pick: Iowa Hawkeyes -3.5 (-104)