NCAA Football Betting: No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes at No. 24 Arizona Wildcats
By Richard Gardner, Bodog Sportsbook Manager
The lone NCAA college football game this weekend involving two Top-25 schools has certainly piqued the interests of our players: No. 9 Iowa (2-0) travels to Arizona to take on the No. 24 Wildcats (2-0). Currently at the Bodog Sportsbook, we’ve got the Hawkeyes as a slim one-point road favorite at Arizona Stadium. No real surprise here – Iowa has been a heavy favorite in both of its games this year and, dating back to last season, has been favored in five of its last seven games.
But since this weekend’s game is a classic matchup of stellar defense against explosive offense, it’s clear to see why there’s such a narrow spread between the pair. Iowa, led by eight returning defensive starters (including Orange Bowl MVP Adrian Clayborn), has held its first two opponents to 216 yards per game and 14 total points – absolutely outstanding numbers regardless of the competition. (For the record, the two Hawkeye wins came against Eastern Illinois and Iowa State, and both were 35-7 romps).
That defensive unit will be responsible for shutting down the explosive Arizona attack. The Wildcats have averaged 503.5 total yards and are 10th in the nation in passing (344.0 ypg), with QB Nick Foles completing 83.1 percent of his attempts. While it might be fair to say that the Wildcats have snuck up on the betting public this season – after all, they were just an eight-win team a year ago and lost behind the likes of USC, Oregon and Oregon State in the Pac-10 – it’s not fair to dismiss their national ranking as a blip on the radar. Coach Mike Stoops has done a solid job of rebuilding this program and they should be a force throughout the year.
As such, this game is quickly shooting up our charts in terms of overall handle. The betting public’s familiarity with Iowa (Orange Bowl champs a year ago) and the fact these two rarely play each other (prior to Iowa’s 27-17 win a year ago, the Wildcats won the last meeting 35-11…In 1988) has really piqued the interest of our players. Still, it must be noted that the Hawkeyes represent close to 90% of the handle on this game.
There’s also the fact that the Hawkeyes have been S/U betting darlings for what feels like forever. Okay, maybe not forever, but Iowa is 17-2 SU in its last 19 games, and that includes games against highly-touted programs like Penn State, Georgia Tech and Wisconsin.
And don’t forget about Arizona’s success outside the Pac-10. The Wildcats are 7-3 S/U in their last 10 non-conference games and will be looking to beat their first Top-10 opponent in nearly three seasons. The ‘Cats are quite comfortable taking on all comers and should be bolstered with the motivation that a win against Iowa will put them amongst the nation’s elite.
It promises to be an outstanding affair on Saturday at Arizona Stadium, one the betting public will be keen to watch. If you’d like to get in on the NCAA college football betting action for this one, be a player and do it at Bodog Sportsbook today.