Utah State vs. Iowa Prediction: Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

    The Utah State Aggies head to Iowa in their season opening road game against top defense Iowa Hawkeyes. Here's our prediction, along with a betting and DFS preview.

    The Iowa Hawkeyes are looking for more success with their offense in 2023 as the Sean McNamara era begins against the Utah State Aggies.

    Iowa finished last season with an 8-5 record, shutting out Kentucky 21-0 in the Music City Bowl to end their season. Utah State appeared in a bowl game after a 6-6 regular season, but their season ended with a 38-10 bowl game loss to Memphis. Here’s our prediction, along with a betting and DFS preview.

    Utah State vs. Iowa Betting and DFS Preview

    • Spread
      Iowa -25.5, Utah State +25.5
    • Moneyline
      Iowa -3200, Utah State +1400
    • Over/Under
      43.5 points
    • Game time
      12:00 p.m. EST
    • Location
      Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
    • Predicted Weather at Kick
      94 degrees, mostly sunny, winds SW at 10 to 15 mph
    • How to Watch
      FuboTV, FS1, Fox Sports App

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    Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays

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    Utah State Depth Chart | Iowa Depth Chart

    • QB Cade McNamara, Iowa ($
    • QB Cooper Legas, Utah State ($
    • RB Kaleb Johnson, Iowa ($
    • RB Robert Briggs, Utah State ($
    • WR Nico Ragaini, Iowa ($
    • WR Terrell Vaughn, Utah State ($
    • TE Luke Lachey, Iowa ($
    • TE Erick All, Iowa ($
    • TE Josh Sterzer, Utah State ($

    All eyes are on Iowa’s new quarterback, Cade McNamara, after he transferred from Michigan. McNamara is being asked to do a lot after Iowa finished last season as one of the worst offenses in college football. Utah State ranked 31st in pass defense last year, but only has one returning starter from the secondary, so this should be a game where McNamara slings the ball around efficiently.

    Iowa has a strong running game that is led by running back Kaleb Johnson. As a freshman last year, Johnson led the team in rushing with 779 yards, scoring four touchdowns. The offensive line is mostly back from last season, so they should continue to improve, and now, with help in the passing game, Johnson should have more success.

    The Aggies were the opposite last season against the run as they ranked 112th, so a 100-yard game is safe for Johnson that should ensure fantasy fans he’s safe to take a chance on.

    Fans should move away from starting any offensive players for the Aggies because they are about to face an Iowa defense that was second in the country last year in total defense, allowing 271 yards per game. Utah State quarterback Cooper Legas has a chance to play well because he is a dual-threat quarterback running and passing the ball, but the Hawkeyes’ defense is the ultimate challenge, even for the best of teams.

    To close it out, this game is a nightmare for fantasy players. The only thing to bet on is to take the under-on scoring and have faith in the Iowa running game. Those might be the only certainties to this game. Otherwise, it would be too much of a risk to take the over on much of anything.

    Prediction for Utah State vs. Iowa

    This game is at least the first step for Hawkeye fans to understand where their offense is as they look to drastically improve on their 129th ranking from 2022. McNamara is a difference-maker and should be the best quarterback Iowa has had in a while. It also helps to have a strong tight end room with Luke Lachey and Michigan transfer Erick All leading the way.

    The Hawkeyes have struggled on the offensive line, but they are returning four of their five starters from last season, so that should open up the running game. Johnson has the potential to be a 1,000-yard rusher and could show in game one how good the sophomore can be. Utah State is facing the best offensive line this season, so Iowa could beat them up on the line.

    Utah State took a step back last season as they struggled to pass the ball. It’s an unfortunate opening game for the Aggies, as fans might not get the best first impression on whether the offense has improved. The Aggies will be looking at Legas to conduct some scoring drives on one of the nation’s best defenses, which is a tall order to ask of the senior quarterback.

    Defensively, Utah State was very good against the pass but struggled against the run, which could be a problem in this matchup with Iowa. The offense for the Hawkeyes should be better, especially passing the ball, so Utah State will lean on their corners and safeties to hold them down. Utah State will be better than what this game has the potential to show.

    Iowa can’t afford to regress on their offense, so it’ll be important to test McNamara early and often throwing the football. Fans know what they can do running the ball, but the question is whether McNamara can be the difference maker in the passing game. Iowa is the heavy favorite to win this game and should be able to cruise on Utah State. Hawkeye fans just hope they can put up a lot of points in the process.

    Iowa 27, Utah State 7

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