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The Iowa Hawkeyes stunned Big Ten bettors with a huge win at Wisconsin last Saturday, snapping the Badgers’ 10-game home winning streak and also giving the Hawkeyes their first win over a ranked opponent in their last 10 tries. Iowa won a 10-6 grinder over the Badgers, taking advantage of four Wisconsin turnovers. The game was so out of hand that a 15-year-old Iowa fan got sucker punched by an older Wisconsin fan while leaving the stadium. You stay classy Madison.
It will be tough for Iowa to follow that Heartland Trophy mayhem in Week 6, when the Hawkeyes host the Fighting Illini as 11-point favorites. Illinois is coming off a win over Nebraska and isn’t the punchless program everyone thought it would be after firing Tim Beckman right before the season. The Hawkeyes went 0-3 ATS as double-digit faves last season and could be stepping into a typical letdown spot Saturday.
A 42-point spread can be a tough number for college football bettors to wrangle. Ole Miss is giving just that to the visiting New Mexico State Aggies this weekend, a week before a very interesting showdown with the Memphis Tigers at Liberty Bowl Memorial in Tennessee. Could the Rebels trim back their playbook and ease off the gas, resting starters when – not if – this Saturday’s game gets out of hand? Yeah, head coach Hugh Freeze pretty much said so this week.
Mississippi is coming off a loss to Florida as a 6.5-point road favorite in Gainesville last weekend and this non-conference tilt with the winless Aggies serves as an unofficial bye week, with the Rebels able to rest some key players, get younger guys some touches, and iron out wrinkles before taking on the Tigers. Those 42-points could be tough to tackle, especially with Ole Miss looking ahead to Memphs.
The Minnesota Wild have high hopes for this hockey season, boasting one of the best defenses in the NHL as well as a budding star in goaltender Devan Dubnyk. But the Wild could be put to the test in the season opener Thursday when they scale the Rocky Mountains to play the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
Colorado sits 5,280 feet above sea level and is notorious for its life-sucking thin air, at least when it comes to visiting sports franchises. Facing the Avs on the road in the very first game of the season will test Minnesota’s conditioning, which is never quite “game shape” until a couple weeks into the regular sked.