Will Iowa score over 7 points against Michigan? Oddsmakers set low totals in Big Ten title

Betting lines have opened for college football's conference championship week, and the odds are not in Iowa's favor in the Big Ten Championship.

DraftKings Sportsbook has set the Hawkeyes' first half points over/under line at 2.5 (up from 0.5 earlier in the week) against Michigan in the Big Ten title game. In other words, bettors can win money if Iowa scores as little as a field goal in the first half.

Odds for the Hawkeyes to score three or more points in the first half are set at -115, as of Thursday morning, so bettors would win $100 on a $115 bet. Iowa's odds to get shutout or score only a safety through 30 minutes of play on Saturday are at -115 as well.

The Hawkeyes' second half total points line is 2.5 (-125 to the over).

For the entire game, oddsmakers don't think it's likely Iowa scores more than a touchdown: the Hawkeyes game total sits at 7.5 (+160 to the over, -210 to the under).

Meanwhile, Michigan's first half over/under is set at 16.5. The Wolverines' team total points line is set at 28.5.

The game spread sits at Michigan -22.5, with Iowa a long shot (+1200) on the moneyline.

Head coach Kirk Ferentz of the Iowa Hawkeyes congratulates defensive end Joe Evans (13) after a safety during the first half against the Illinois Fighting Illini. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Head coach Kirk Ferentz of the Iowa Hawkeyes congratulates defensive end Joe Evans (13) after a safety during the first half against the Illinois Fighting Illini. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

Big Ten Championship: Michigan vs. Iowa first look: odds and lines

Why is Iowa's points total line so low?

Iowa won an impressive 10 games this year but only scored 20 offensive touchdowns. Over the full 13 weeks and 12 games of the college football season, the Hawkeyes scored 216 points, tied with Nebraska for second-fewest in the Big Ten.

Iowa posted a points differential of +22 in nine conference games this year. The Wolverines' points differential in Big Ten games was +248.

Under head coach Kirk Ferentz, Iowa has leaned heavily on its steady defense rather than a high-octane offense. Their 146 points allowed trailed only Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan – the Hawkeyes' Big Ten Championship opponent – in the conference in 2023.

Given that Michigan has allowed the fewest points (123) of any team in the Big Ten and Iowa is among the conference's lowest scorers, the Hawkeyes will be fighting an uphill battle.

The sportsbooks' odds have reflected that.

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Big Ten Championship 2023: How to watch Iowa vs. Michigan

When: Saturday, Dec. 2, 8 p.m. ET

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

Cable TV: FOX

Streaming: FOX Sports app; YouTube TV; Sling; FuboTV

How to watch: Don't miss any conference championship football action with a Fubo subscription

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Iowa vs. Michigan odds: Low Hawkeyes team total for Big Ten title game