We're here for our Week 5 College Football predictions and picks as the season is in full swing. We head over to the Big Ten Conference for this matchup between rivals as the Michigan State Spartans (2-2) take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-1). Check out our College Football odds series for our Michigan State-Iowa prediction and pick.
The Michigan State Spartans find themselves in sixth-place in the Big Ten after an embarrassing 9-31 loss to Maryland on their home field. After outscoring opponents 76-21 in their first two games, Michigan State has been outscored 16-72 in their last two contests. It'll be interesting to see if this team can find an identity and become a formidable opponent in the Big Ten.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are off to a good start at 3-1 after outscoring opponents 85-37 through their first three games. Their Big Ten opener came last week playing at #7 Penn State and they got trounced 0-31. They'll be determined to get in the endzone and establish themselves over a struggling MSU team.
Here are the college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: Michigan State-Iowa Odds
Michigan State: +10.5 (-120)
Iowa: -10.5 (-102)
Over: 36.5 (-115)
Under: 36.5 (-105)
How to Watch Michigan State vs. Iowa Week 5
TV: NBC Sports, Peacock
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT
*Watch college football LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why Michigan State Will Cover The Spread
Last week was a solid indicator as to how this Michigan State team would respond to adversity in the Big Ten. After officially turning the page on coach Mel Tucker, the Spartans looked lost on the sidelines against Maryland as they failed to mount any sort of offense. Quarterback Noah Kim was off from the start and they couldn't get anything going in the running game. Nathan Carter had his moments, but ultimately it was the quick-scoring offense of Maryland that shined in that game. This week, the Spartans will have to focus on playing harder on both ends of the ball and keeping games within one or two scores.
The Spartans don't seem like a team that can come back from large deficits, so starting strong will have to be a point of emphasis for them. Noah Kim needs to find his groove and complete his first few passes to gain confidence against the Iowa defense. Iowa's secondary has been porous at times this year, so it'll be up to Kim to keep his pocket presence and fit the ball into the openings. This game will be a tough battle at the line of scrimmage, so the MSU offensive line needs to hold strong and give their running game a good push.
Why Iowa Will Cover The Spread
This Iowa team prides itself on running the football and establishing themselves at the line of scrimmage. On the defensive end, they lack in their secondary but make up for it with their front line. They had rather close games against Utah State and Iowa State, but their defense held tight and they were able to hold both opponents under 15 points while grabbing the win. They were exposed against Penn State and while their defense did all they could, their offense failed to show anything substantial as they failed to score a single point.
To win this game, Iowa will need at least one turnover on the defensive end. MSU's defensive will match up well against the Iowa offense, which has had trouble scoring the ball this year. Iowa's defense, however, has the potential to feast against a Michigan State team that has turnover issues. If they can force 3-and-out's for the first couple of drives, Iowa's defense will give them the upper hand throughout this game. Quarterback Cade McNamara has four touchdowns and three interceptions, so the defense will only be able to bail them out for so long. Typically a solid game manager, McNamara will have to limit his mistakes to give them a chance at covering a two-score spread.
Final Michigan State-Iowa Prediction & Pick
Both teams are coming into this game after terrible losses to Big Ten rivals. These two teams match up very well against each other on both sides of the football, so it may come down to which team can make fewer mistakes and capitalize on their opportunities near the goal line. The total is set very low which is typical of a Big Ten game like this, but a low-scoring affair favors the Iowa Hawkeyes and their defense in this situation. However, both of these teams may come in with improved offenses knowing the other side is struggling as well. For the prediction, let's go with the over on points – if it turns into a blowout either way, we could see this one going over.
Final Michigan State-Iowa Prediction & Pick: OVER 36.5 (-115)