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MADISON, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 30: Spencer Petras #7 of the Iowa Hawkeyes throws a pass during the first half against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Stacy Revere / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Michigan is in its first-ever Big Ten Championship Game and a win over Iowa on Saturday would get the Wolverines a spot in the College Football Playoff. Can the Hawkeyes knock off the favorites? Check out our Michigan versus Iowa picks.

By the time that No. 2 Michigan and No. 13 Iowa take the field, we should have a good idea about three of the four schools in the College Football Playoff. If the Wolverines beat the Hawkeyes, they will be the fourth.

While it's the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game for coach Jim Harbaugh's team, it's the second trip for Iowa, which lost in 2015 to Michigan State.

Michigan leads the all-time series 42-15-4 and won the last meeting 10-3 in 2019.

Here are my picks and predictions for the Big Ten Championship game matchup between Michigan and Iowa (Odds via DraftKings; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5 star scale).

Michigan vs. Iowa Game Info

Date/Time: Saturday, Dec. 4, 8 p.m. ETTV: FOXLocation: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, INWeather: Indoors

Michigan vs. Iowa Odds Analysis

This spread has yet to move off 10.5 points, but I advise waiting just in case it gets to a magic number of 11 if you're backing the Hawkeyes. An 11-point win or loss would result in a push instead of a loss on 10.5. Michigan is 9-1 straight up and 7-3 against the spread in its last 10 as at least a 10-point favorite. Iowa is 2-8 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 as a double-digit dog.

No weather concerns regarding the total. That number of 43.5 is the lowest in a game between these clubs since 2004.

Michigan vs. Iowa Picks

Iowa +10.5 (-110) ????Over 43.5 (-110) ???

SEE ALSO: Pittsburgh vs. Wake Forest ACC Championship Picks

Michigan vs. Iowa Predictions

Iowa +10.5 (-110)

It sounds silly to say, but the Michigan players are in for a letdown, at least initially. Yes, they are in the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time and playing for a spot in the College Football Playoff, but the Wolverines hadn't beaten rival Ohio State in years. Iowa isn't a rival so it will be more difficult to get the juices flowing. That's a big reason why I like this spread for the Hawkeyes. They aren't slouches, either. I expect Michigan won't win by more than 10.

The big news for this game involves Kirk Ferentz making a quarterback decision. Spencer Petras had been the Iowa starter dating back to last season and is 13-4 in his career as one. However, the junior was pulled early on Nov. 6 at Northwestern both because he was banged up and ineffective. Sophomore Alex Padilla started the next three with mixed results. He was pulled from last Friday's game at Nebraska with Iowa down 14-6 at the half and having totaled just 135 total yards.

With Petras back under center, the Hawkeyes collected 229 second-half yards and scored the final 22 points in a 28-21 victory.

Michigan is 2-6 ATS in its past eight versus teams with a winning record. Iowa is 5-1-1 ATS in its past seven as an underdog.

Over 43.5 (-110)

If Saturday's game were to be played on campus at Iowa or Michigan, I'd be going Under this total - although the snowy conditions didn't stop the Wolverines from scoring 42 points on Ohio State last week.

This will be the best defense Michigan has seen this season. Wisconsin's is almost as good, but the Badgers were slumping big time when the Wolverines beat them 38-17 on Oct. 2. Iowa leads the country in interceptions (22) and ranks third nationally in takeaways (28). The school record for interceptions in a season is 23.

Michigan ranks in the top 20 nationally in total offense and scoring offense and among the top 15 in total defense and scoring defense. Only Michigan and Alabama are ranked in the top 20 in both. U-M has 59 plays on offense of 20-plus yards (37 passing, 22 rushing) and that unit has produced 10 touchdowns of 50-plus yards. Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum pace the No. 9 rushing attack (224.9 yards per game).

I do think there will be a few big plays in this one, perhaps a couple by Michigan's offense and one by Iowa's defense/special teams. The Hawkeyes' Charlie Jones is an excellent kick returner and Iowa returned a blocked punt for a TD to turn the tide against Nebraska. While I doubt these teams combine for 50 points, 43.5 is simply a few too low.

The Over is 5-2 in Michigan's past seven after a win and 5-1 in Iowa's past six following a victory.

SEE ALSO: All picks and odds. Be sure to check out’s community forums and betting tools.

Michigan-Iowa picks made 11/30/2021 at 7:10 p.m. ET