Predictions for this week’s slate of Big Ten matchups

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Big Ten

Nov 16, 2019; Iowa City, IA, USA; Big Ten; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) is sacked by Iowa Hawkeyes defensive end A.J. Epenesa (94) and defensive end Joe Evans (13) during the fourth quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Game-by-game predictions for this week’s Big Ten matchups.

The Big Ten will be starting their fourth week of football and every team will be back in action! That means there will be seven Big Ten games to watch this weekend. Minnesota and Iowa will kick it off this Friday evening.

Here are the predictions for every Big Ten game this weekend. All betting lines are courtesy of Bovada.

Friday night

Iowa (-3.5) at Minnesota – 6:00 – FS1

At the beginning of the season, this was a game I thought would have huge implications in the Big Ten West division. Iowa and Wisconsin have been at the top of the division for a long time and Minnesota has started to show that they are contenders as well. But this year has gone a little differently than expected. Not surprising with the way things are going in 2020.

Both Minnesota and Iowa started the season 0-2 before getting their first wins last week. Minnesota’s defense hasn’t been able to stop a nosebleed. They gave up 1,156 total yards in their first two games combined.

Iowa dropped a pair of close games to Purdue and Northwestern before destroying Michigan State last weekend. Breaking in a new quarterback can be tough. Iowa has had to depend on their running game with Spencer Petras starting and getting his feet wet.

Minnesota’s strength so far this year really has been their running game. Mohamed Ibrahim already has close to 100 carries. He has 571 yards and 10 touchdowns. If Iowa is going to win this game, they are going to have to stop him. Luckily, they have a solid run defense. The Hawkeyes are giving up just 102 yards per game on the ground.

They won’t likely stop Ibrahim, but I think they will be able to contain him enough so he won’t be running for more than 150 yards. Minnesota is going to have to get their passing game going if they are going to win this game.

I think, in the end, Iowa’s defense does enough to keep Minnesota from putting up a ton of points. They should be able to score enough against this weak Minnesota defense to put away the Gophers late.

Prediction: Iowa 34 – Minnesota 27

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