Expert College Football Picks: Iowa State at Texas Odds and Betting Predictions
Iowa State Cyclones at Texas Longhorns, Saturday November 17, 8 p.m. ET
It is as if the playoffs start early in the Big 12. The winner is still alive in their hunt for a Big 12 title, while the loser is playing only for pride the rest of the way. The winner of this game will be 6-2 in the Big 12, with a look at 7-2 with manageable games remaining - Kansas State for Iowa State, and Texas Tech for Texas. West Virginia and Oklahoma both sit at 6-1. They play each other, so one of those teams will also have two losses. Oklahoma plays Kansas and West Virginia plays Oklahoma State, so we aren't likely to see another loss for either team. Texas would have the tiebreak over 7-2 Oklahoma because of the head-to-head victory, and Iowa State has the same edge over West Virginia. So, this game doesn't guarantee anything but a chance for the winner, but it would be fatal for the ambitions of the loser. That's what makes this game fun - aside from the fact that it is two pretty entertaining teams playing a conference showdown.
Iowa State at Texas Betting Storylines
The Cyclones would be breathing some rare air with a win here. They have won five in a row heading into this game. They won six straight in 2002 and seven in a row in 1938 - though that streak didn't help their TV ratings much. And those are the only times they have gone beyond five wins. If they win six they will have a really good look at seven and could be playing in the Big 12 title game for a school record. And it has been a pretty solid streak, too, with wins at Oklahoma State, against West Virginia, and over a feisty Texas Tech squad. The big shame for the program, really, is that they have been so much better than they were earlier in the year when they opened up 1-3, with losses to Iowa, Oklahoma and TCU. The obvious difference in the success has been a surprising factor - freshman QB Brock Purdy. Purdy is a true freshman who was a three-star recruit out of Arizona. His list of offers was mostly of a lower tier, though he oddly had an Alabama offer. He arrived only in June, so not much was expected. But he took over five games ago and has yet to lose. He has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes, with 13 touchdowns and just two picks - none in his last three games. He's been a revelation and has given no indication that he can't continue it again here. Texas' pass defense has been abysmal - they rank 118th nationally in yards allowed - so he could be primed for a big day.
We could talk about Texas and their roster - the strengths and weaknesses - all we want. But that is neither what is most interesting or, I suspect, most important here. Coach Tom Herman got dragged into the Zach Smith slime bath this week as the disgraced former Ohio State assistant went nuclear on Twitter, accusing Herman of infidelity and other sins when the two were both with the Buckeyes. Herman's wife was part of Smith's attack as well, and she has responded. I have no way of knowing what, if anything, is true. And I don't care. But this is inevitably a big distraction for coach and program, and it comes heading into a very tough game. And the game is in Austin, which only amplifies the attention he and the issue will get. We'll see how tough and focused this team is right now.
Iowa State at Texas Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Texas favored by three - essentially just the home-field advantage - and it has stayed mostly stable at that number , though 2.5 can be found as of late. A solid majority of bets have been on the Cyclones, so the line has reacted as expected. The total opened as high as 50.5 and can be found as low as 46 already.
The Cyclones are 21-6-1 ATS in their last 28 conference games, 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 against teams with winning records, and 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 road games. The Longhorns are 12-5-2 ATS in their last 19 against teams with winning records but just 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine games in November.
Iowa State at Texas Predictions and Picks
The Cyclones need a signature win, and they are going to get it here in a close one. Their defense has been sound, holding eight of their last 11 opponents below season averages. And their offense is very confident, with a good running attack and the sudden emergence of Purdy. And while I have respect for Herman and what he is doing in Texas, Matt Campbell is also an exceptional coach, and he is a year further into his turnaround time with his team. Iowa State is the play, and I'll jump on them before that 2.5 number is widespread.
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