Insight Bowl Predictions: Missouri vs. Iowa Odds and Betting Picks
by Robert Ferringo - 12/23/2010
College football is, for all intents and purposes, a sick, twisted puppet show. It’s a mess. A disaster. It is a type of chaos that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the gambling frontier. The sport’s unpredictability is its trademark. And nowhere is this more evident than during the college bowl season.
I want you to think about how bizarre and erratic the players can be on the college football field. Now imaging how bizarre and erratic those same teenagers – because after all, that is what they are: dumb teenagers – are off the field and you can begin to understand one of the most unique challenges of college bowl game handicapping.
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And I give you Exhibit A: Missouri vs. Iowa at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 28 in the Insight Bowl.
Iowa, a team that at one time was a staple of the Top 10 and a dark horse national title contender, has lost its two leading running backs and it leading receiver to a pair of unrelated issues over the last month. Receptions leader Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and running back Adam Robinson have been suspended for this game for unspecified drug-related charges. No specifics were given, but the words “cocaine”, “weed”, and “prescription drugs” keep cropping up online.
To make matters worse (or better if you have money on Missouri), Iowa’s leading running back, Jewel Hampton, has decided that he will transfer and will not suit up on Tuesday.
I don’t imagine that Missouri is going to have much mercy in this one. They are presently ranked No. 12 in the country and they won three straight games to close the season. While the normally high-octane Mizzou offense only finished ranked in the 40s this year in passing, rushing and scoring, the defense made tremendous strides while finishing No. 6 in points allowed.
While Iowa is having all sorts of issues with its offensive personnel, the one constant for this program has been its exceptional defense and its dominating front four. The Hawkeyes are No. 5 in the country against the rush and in the rugged, roughneck Big Ten that is no joke. Iowa is also No. 7 in scoring defense and they finished the season with a +13 scoring margin despite a deceptive 7-5 record.
However, now that (allegedly) one of the supply lines of coke has dried up will this Iowa team be as feisty on the field? And with firepower (by Big Ten standards) dropping like flies around him does this mean that the fate of Hawkeye Nation rests on the gun-slinging shoulders of Swingin’ Dick Stanzi? It’s worth tuning in just to watch him probably throw five interceptions. Or five touchdown passes. Or maybe both.
Insight Bowl Betting Odds: Missouri vs. Iowa
This college football line is one of the few on the board that hasn’t budged since its open. Missouri is a slender -1.0 favorite and the total is set at 47.0. Missouri is taking about 55 percent of the action with the spread and approximately 75 percent of the wagers on the moneyline.
Insight Bowl Betting Trends: Missouri vs. Iowa
Tigers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big Ten.
Tigers are 5-12 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Tigers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games as a favorite.
Hawkeyes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games.
Hawkeyes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 bowl games as an underdog.
Hawkeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Bowl games.
Hawkeyes are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games.
Hawkeyes are 15-6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Hawkeyes are 35-17-1 ATS in their last 53 games as an underdog.
Insight Bowl Predictions and Betting Picks: Missouri vs. Iowa
I was looking for opportunities to fade Iowa all season long. And I was able to find some prominent places to bet against them (Arizona) as well as the right time to get on them (Michigan). However, I think that all of the magic from last season’s run is over. This team completely collapsed down the stretch and now they have to deal with the litany of off-field issues that have popped up in the last few weeks. All of this is a huge distraction for a team that already closed the year 1-4-1 ATS.
Missouri has been a bit shaky at times this season. However, they remind me a bit of that Arizona team that gave Iowa fits. I think that Blaine Gabbert is one of the country’s more underrated signal callers and if this team can stand up to the defensive fronts of Oklahoma and Nebraska I think they can find a way to move the ball against the Hawkeyes’ stellar front. I think that Mizzou is the play in this game.
Robert Ferringo is a writer and a professional sports handicapper for Doc’s Sports. You can sign up for his college football and NFL picks and get more information here.
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