Rose Bowl Picks: Iowa Offers Top Dog Value When Facing Stanford

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 7:25 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 7:25 PM GMT

The Iowa Hawkeyes meet the Stanford Cardinal in the Rose Bowl on Jan 1st, 2016. Join us as our college football capper breaks down the odds and provides his sharp college football pick.

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Free Rose Bowl Pick: Iowa +6½
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California 
Iowa vs Stanford (-7) 5:00 ET ESPN
Iowa and Stanford travel to Pasadena, CA where they will play in the Rose Bowl in a 5:00 ET game as televised by ESPN. In years gone by, these teams would have been ecstatic to be meeting each other in the Grand Daddy of all Bowls on New Year’s Day. With the switch to the BCS Championship format, however, each of these teams was hoping to play on New Year’s Eve in the Final Four. The question then becomes, which team has the motivational advantage, and which team has the fundamental edge? For this bureau, the answer to both of those questions is Iowa! 

 

Hawkeyes-Cardinal Trends
With veteran QB Hogan at the controls and RB/WR McCaffery (a Heisman trophy candidate) balancing the offense, the Stanford Cardinal was expected to soar this season. But an opening day 16-6 loss as double digit road favorite at Northwestern quickly cooled the excitement. It did, however, provide motivation for the Cardinals, who reeled off five consecutive covers and eight consecutive wins before a 38-36 loss to Oregon in mid-November dropped them from Final Four consideration. Closing the season with a trio of high profile victories against arch rival California, traditional rival Notre Dame, and PAC 12 powerhouse USC in the title game must give Stanford great satisfaction. The offense is among their best since 2011 at 37/436, and the defense solid at 23/375, but allowing 4.6 YPR overland could be an Achilles heel against today’s opponent. 

Enter the Iowa Hawkeyes, who will be making their first Rose Bowl trip in 25 years with an anticipated over 50,000 fans on hand. Under 17th year HC Ferentz, this team is the epitome of a blue collar BIG 10 team. Led by QB Beathard and RB Canzeri, Iowa prefers a conservative attack that keeps the ball on the ground. The Hawkeyes average 32 PPG and run for 192/4.7. As mentioned above, this unit should have plenty of success against the Stanford defense allowing 4.6 YPR. But it is the defensive side of the ball where this super D made their mark. The Hawkeyes allowed just 18 PPG and 115/3.4 overland. When they lost the BIG 10 Championship to Michigan St, 16-13, it reinforced the cries that the Hawkeyes were overrated. They will use that as ample motivation in the underdog role today. 

 

What's The Pick?
This is a classic defensive dog play on a team with the greater motivation. I invite you to put the college football odds in your favor with my college football picks on Iowa plus the points as the Rose Bowl ATS winner. 

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