This year’s Insight Bowl in Tempe, AZ (10:00pm ET) features the number 12-ranked Missouri Tigers (10-2) out of the Big 12 squaring off against the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) of the Big 10. This game features two teams heading in opposite directions as the Tigers come into the contest winners of three straight, including a 35-7 domination of Kansas in their regular-season finale on November 27, and Iowa has lost three straight including a 27-24 loss to Big 10 doormat Minnesota in their finale also on November 27. Missouri is playing in a bowl game for the sixth straight season, while Iowa is looking for their third consecutive bowl victory.
Missouri averages 30.3 points per game and 403.1 yards per game, both ranking number 43 in the nation. The Tigers feature a balanced offense with quarterback Blaine Gabbert who has thrown for 2,752 yards and 15 touchdowns while completing 62.2 % of his passes. The Tiger defense has been the strength of the team in 2010, allowing 15.2 points per game the sixth best total among FBS schools.
Iowa will be without the services of its top wide receiver, all-Big 10 performer Derrell Johnson-Koulianos who has been suspended from the team for drug use, and top running back Adam Robinson who led the team with 941 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns on the ground for “failing to comply with team expectations and policies”. Quarterback Ricky Stanzi has been solid this season and throughout his career and is an extremely efficient QB with 25 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions this season to go with a 64.8% completion percentage. Marvin McNutt with a team-leading 798 yards receiving on 51 receptions will be Stanzi’s top target for the depleted Hawkeye offense. Iowa still has a strong defense, ranking 7th in the nation in points per game allowed with 16.4 and 18th in total yards per game allowed with 312.5. Defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn, the MVP of last year’s orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech, leads the unit and was a one of three Hawkeye defenders named first-team all-Big 10.
Missouri is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games against the Big 10 and 5-12 ATS in their last 17 against a team with a winning record. The under is 8-1 in the Tiger’s last 9 non-conference games, and 4-1 in their last 5 games overall. Iowa is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 bowl games, and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games. The under is 4-0-1 in Iowa’s last five games overall and 7-0 in their last 7 games against the Big 12. The tow teams have not met in over a century, the last meeting won by Missouri 5-0 at home in 1910.
Missouri vs. Iowa Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Missouri Tigers -2.5
@ Iowa Hawkeyes +2.5
Over 46.5 (110)
Under 46.5 (110)
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Missouri vs. Iowa Prediction for Insight Bowl:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – Missouri possess a lights-out defense that will be facing a depleted Iowa offense that is missing both its top receiver and top running back. This game could be a rout even if Missouri is “only” able to put up 20 points or so against the Iowa defense. Expect Iowa to put up a fight and the Hawkeyes take care of the football on offense so Missouri will have to ear every point it gets, but in the end Missouri is too strong this season and is a much better team than this disappointing Iowa squad.
Over/Under Prediction – Take the under here, Iowa would have a tough time scoring against Missouri’s stout defense at full strength, without Johnson-Koulianos at receiver and Robinson at running back, they will be lucky to get into the end zone at all Both teams have defense that rank among the best in the country, but Iowa has faded down the stretch, allowing 20+ points in each of the last three games. Expect points to be at a premium even with ideal weather and for most of the scoring to come from Missouri.