Wagering world amazes at record low total for Iowa game
By David Purdum, ESPN Staff Writer
Nov 9, 2023, 12:17 PM ET
Oddsmakers are scratching their heads as they try to predict the outcome of the defensive-minded Iowa Hawkeyes’ upcoming game against Rutgers. The over/under total for the game has reached historic lows at sportsbooks this week.
As of late Thursday morning, the consensus total for the game was a mere 28 points. This is the lowest over/under total for a college football game seen since at least 2000, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Unless there is a late change, the Rutgers-Iowa game will set a new record for having the lowest over/under total in ESPN’s odds database.
“I looked through my database and couldn’t find a number in the 20s,” Craig Mucklow, an experienced Las Vegas oddsmaker with Caesars Sportsbook, said on a company podcast. “I did find 1,500 games over the last five years with higher first-half totals [than 28].”
The over/under total for the Rutgers-Iowa game opened at 30 but quickly dropped. Bettors have overwhelmingly chosen to bet the under, despite the historically low number. BetRivers, DraftKings and PointsBet (Fanatics) reported that over 80% of the money wagered on the total this week was on the under.
Since 2000, there have only been six games with a total of less than 34, and Iowa has been involved in five of them. This includes their past two games, a 12-10 loss to Minnesota and a 10-7 victory over Northwestern.
Iowa currently has the 122nd-ranked scoring offense in the country, averaging just 18.7 points per game and only 11.7 in their last three games. However, they boast the fourth-ranked defense, giving up only 13.4 points per game. A staggering seven out of Iowa’s nine games this season have ended up going under the total.
“Iowa is the same every week: not really good offense, really good defense,” said Joey Feazel, who oversees college football odds for Caesars. “That’s a great calculation for unders.”