Oddsmakers are going to new lows trying to get a gauge on defensive-minded Iowa.
The over/under total on the Hawkeyes' home game Saturday against Rutgers dipped to a historic low this week at sportsbooks.
As of late Thursday morning, the total sat at a consensus 28, the lowest of any college football game since at least 2000, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Barring late line movement, Rutgers-Iowa will be the first game with an over/under total of less than 30 in ESPN's odds database.
"I looked through my database and couldn't find a number in the 20s," Craig Mucklow, a longtime Las Vegas oddsmaker with Caesars Sportsbook, said on a company podcast. "I did find 1,500 games over the last five years with higher first-half totals [than 28]."
The Rutgers-Iowa total opened as high as 30 but has been dropping, but bettors have flocked to take the under despite the historically low number. Sportsbooks BetRivers, DraftKings and PointsBet (Fanatics) were reporting upward of 80% of the money that had been wagered on the total this week was on the under.
Six games since 2000 have had a total less than 34, and Iowa has been involved in five of them, including the Hawkeyes' past two games -- a 12-10 loss to Minnesota and a 10-7 victory over Northwestern.
Iowa has the 122nd-ranked scoring offense, averaging 18.7 points per game, including 11.7 in its past three, and the fourth-ranked defense, surrendering only 13.4 points per game. Seven of Iowa's nine games have gone under the total this season.
"Iowa is the same every week: not really good offense, really good defense," said Joey Feazel, who oversees college football odds for Caesars. "That's a great calculation for unders."