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2021 Big Ten Championship Game Pick and Prediction: How to watch Iowa vs. Michigan

This year, it's Iowa vs. Michigan in the Big Ten Championship Game. Here's everything you need to know about the conference title bout.

For the first time since 2016, Ohio State is not in the Big Ten Championship Game. Instead, it’s Iowa vs. Michigan in a battle that’s sure to turn back the clock in the modern age of college football. Here’s everything you need to know for the Iowa vs. Michigan matchup.

Iowa vs. Michigan | 2021 Big Ten Championship Game pick and prediction

  • Spread: Michigan -10.5
  • Total: 43.5
  • Moneyline: Michigan -455, Iowa +325

Predictably, Michigan is a heavy favorite in the Big Ten Championship Game vs. Iowa. The Wolverines are coming off a dominant win against the Ohio State Buckeyes, while the Hawkeyes have only snuck by teams like Nebraska, Minnesota, and Illinois.

The point total of 43.5 feels a bit high for this one, given each team’s style. Iowa’s offense doesn’t match up well against Michigan’s defense. But in a similar vein, the Hawkeyes’ defense might be able to limit the output from a run-heavy Wolverines attack — if Michigan can’t achieve some duality via the pass.

Even so, the spread of 10.5 points is on point. Michigan is just a better team on paper, and they’ve proven that with their results this year. The final score may fall under the total, but Michigan can hold the spread.

B1G Championship Game Pick and Prediction: Michigan 27, Iowa 12

Top prospects playing

Outside of Michigan’s deadly pass-rushing duo of Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, plenty of 2022 NFL Draft prospects are playing in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Iowa

  • Tyler Goodson, RB
  • Nico Ragaini, WR
  • Sam LaPorta, TE
  • Kyler Schott, G
  • Tyler Linderbaum, C
  • Zach VanValkenburg, DE
  • Jack Campbell, LB
  • Seth Benson, LB
  • Dane Belton, DB
  • Riley Moss, CB
  • Kaevon Merriweather, S
  • Jack Koerner, S

Michigan

  • Hassan Haskins, RB
  • Mike Sainristil, WR
  • Ryan Hayes, OT
  • Andrew Stueber, OT
  • Andrew Vastardis, C
  • Aidan Hutchinson, DE
  • David Ojabo, DE
  • Mazi Smith, DT
  • Chris Hinton, DT
  • Julius Welschof, DT
  • Josh Ross, LB
  • Michael Barrett, LB
  • Daxton Hill, DB
  • Vincent Gray, CB
  • DJ Turner, CB
  • Brad Hawkins, S

Iowa offense vs. Michigan defense

This one will be quick. The Hawkeyes have some talent — headlined by Tyler Linderbaum and Tyler Goodson. But they’ve had virtually no passing attack all year, and that’s unlikely to change this week. Factor in a ferocious pass rush of Ojabo and Hutchinson forcing QBs to act quickly, expecting any kind of consistency from Iowa’s QBs is wishful thinking.

Alex Padilla/Spencer Petras vs. Michigan secondary

The pass rush for Michigan gets the most hype, but the secondary has a great deal of talent as well. Vincent Gray is coming off one of the best games of his career, and DJ Turner has been a playmaker all season. Plus, there’s hyper-versatile defensive back Daxton Hill roaming between them — a supremely explosive catalyst with Round 1 hype.

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These defensive backs can punish inaccurate QBs, and that’s what they’ll face this Saturday.

Michigan offense vs. Iowa defense

Neither Michigan nor Iowa is elite offensively, but the Wolverines have seen a lot of success lately deferring to the ground game. Hassan Haskins is on a tear, coming off a 5-touchdown performance. He’s quietly contested Kenneth Walker III this season for the best RB in the Big Ten, but he’s not alone. Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards are also dynamic playmakers, and they run behind a dominant offensive line.

Cade McNamara vs. Iowa secondary

If there’s a silver lining for Iowa, it’s that the Hawkeyes have one mismatch to exploit. Cade McNamara is a fine college QB, but he’s not a passer who can routinely put the team on his back. He’s been efficient this year, but he’s also had a stalwart running game to work off of. If Iowa can suffocate the box and force McNamara to throw, ball hawks like Riley Moss, Dane Belton, and Jack Koerner could capitalize.

How to watch Iowa vs. Michigan

  • Start time: Saturday, December 4, 8 PM ET
  • Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
  • Channel: FOX
  • Live streams:
    • FOX Sports App
    • Youtube TV
    • Hulu + Live TV
    • fuboTV

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and his voice and face on Pro Football Network Daily. Follow him on Twitter @ian_cummings_9.

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