Free Rose Bowl Prediction: Cardinal vs Hawkeyes Odds
College football betting on the 2015-16 Rose Bowl sees the Stanford Cardinal taking on the Iowa Hawkeyes Friday January 1st at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
Stanford Cardinal (11-2) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (12-1)
Date: Friday, January 1st 2016
Time: 5 PM
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena California
NCAA Football Spread: Stanford -6.5
NCAA Betting Total:
Updated Sportsbook Bonuses For Today
The “Granddaddy of ‘Em All” is upon us, and it features the two programs that were left out in the cold of the FBS Playoff picture. Stanford and Iowa will not be in the championship picture, but both teams had marvellous 2015 campaigns, which should make for an entertaining New Year’s Day showdown in southern California.
Stanford has featured a clinical attack run by a Heisman runner-up and an offense littered with All-Americans, while Iowa has been the embodiment of The Little Engine That Could, when most people didn’t have the Hawkeyes counted for much in the Big Ten at the start of the season.
With frequent stumbles from marquee Los Angeles-area names like USC and UCLA, the Cardinal is probably the best collegiate football program in the state of California. High praise, with seemingly dozens of schools in the Golden State having FBS programs. A quick glance at Stanford’s roster, and the talent is evident.
The excellent offense is driven by the AP Player of the Year (the first time in years that distinction hasn’t been given to the Heisman winner), RB Christian McCaffrey. The sophomore racked up an eye-popping 1,847 rush yards to go with eight TDs.
The relative lack of scores is what surely lost him the Heisman race to ’Bama’s Derrick Henry.
Veteran QB Kevin Hogan is under center, and with the effectiveness of McCaffrey and a rock-star offensive line (OG Joshua Garnett was the Outland Trophy winner, OT Kyle Murphy is a vet and a future NFLer and C Graham Shuler, OG Johnny Caspers and OT Casey Tucker have all been very solid) Hogan’s job is relatively easy.
When Hogan is throwing the ball, guess who it’s going to? McCaffrey leads in that category too, with 41 receptions for 540 yards and four scores. Michael Rector and Austin Hooper buttress the pass-catching unit.
Finally, there’s a young but useful defense, spearheaded by senior LB Blake Martinez. The Arizona native is the all-time Pac-12 leader in tackles and has coached up a green defense into a strong unit that can more than hold its own when McCaffrey and Friends aren’t dominating the time of possession battle.
All in all, it’s a talented group of young football players in Palo Alto this year.
The Hawkeyes, despite being shafted from the Playoff picture with their 12-1 record, still favor a four-team FBS Playoff scenario if you’re talking to head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa’s only slip-up was a narrow three-point defeat at the hands of Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship. Against all odds, this team just kept winning, all season long.
Ferentz has caught flak in recent years with some rather up-and-down seasons, but the veteran coach has basically always skippered a football program that brings effort and energy to the gridiron at all times.
The Hawkeyes don’t get the marquee recruits, so they must out-work the opponent in order to be successful. Running back Jordan Canzeri, the team’s leading rusher (976 yards, 12 TDs) injured his ankle in the Big Ten title game, but will be back for the Rose Bowl.
Junior pivot C.J. Beathard had a great season, making the right decisions and minimizing errors with a 15-4 TD/INT ratio. A perfect 8-0 conference record is impressive even in a year when Iowa did not tangle with Michigan or Ohio State in the other division. It was perhaps the lack of those opponents that left Iowa out in the cold for the final four teams.
When Canzeri isn’t toting the rock, the run game is still in good stead with LeShun Daniels, Akrum Wadley and Derrick Mitchell. Wadley and Mitchell both averaged over six yards per carry, which speaks to what has long been Iowa’s strength – offensive line play.
Sure, Iowa won’t grab many headlines, but this is a team that no opponent wishes to play.
A key to the game is which team can control the ball for the majority of the game. Both programs have strong rushing attacks, but Stanford is perhaps a little more dangerous with the deep ball.
If the game had to turn into a show of the play-action pass, Stanford should like having Hogan in its corner slightly more than Iowa should enjoy Beathard.
Stanford and Iowa both employ effective team defense, so it should become a war of attrition to see which team’s defenders wear down and make a mental mistake first.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Cardinal are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
- Cardinal are 8-4 when favorited.
- Cardinal are 3-2 ATS when away from Palo Alto.
- Hawkeyes are 7-5-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
- Hawkeyes are 1-0-1 ATS when registered as the underdog.
Free Rose Bowl NCAA Football Prediction
If you like the run game in football, this should be an entertaining match-up to watch. Both teams run the ball effectively, and Stanford does it with a guy that could have won the Heisman Trophy as the best player in collegiate football.
These teams are more well-matched than they look on paper, thus it could come down to a few big plays that swing the game. I like Stanford’s chances in that scenario more than I like Iowa’s.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Over
Don’t forget that the crowd should be quite Stanford-heavy, despite how well Iowa’s fans travel.
The Cardinal are playing in their home state and in an area where many wealthy Stanford alums call home. These factors make me like Stanford in this game, despite how plucky Iowa has been from Day One.
2015-16 Rose Bowl Free Score Prediction: Stanford 28 – Iowa 17
We’ll be providing 4* free College football predictions on the blog all season long, and check out our Experts for guaranteed premium & free CFB Football picks!
CappersPicks.com has College football odds up on a ton of futures, and you will also find NCAA football lines up for early games as well.