Iowa at Iowa State (-4) Betting Preview

Published on 09/08/2021
By Zachary Cohen
Iowa State running back Breece Hall
Iowa State running back Breece Hall has NFL scouts drooling.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa Hawkeyes at Iowa State Cyclones (-4)
Saturday 9/11, 4:30 p.m. ET

Three things you need to know before betting on Iowa-Iowa state:

1. This will be the 68th meeting in one of the best cross-town rivalries in sports, and the Cyclones will be hoping that home-field advantage will be enough to help them snap a five-game losing streak against the Hawkeyes. The home team has actually covered the spread in each of the last four meetings between these teams, and two of the last three games were decided by three or fewer points. Coming into the season, Iowa State looked like the team with the loftier expectations, but Week 1 showed us that there might not be as much separation as we once thought. Iowa beat down Indiana, 34-6, as a 3.5-point favorite, while Iowa State (-31.5) beat Northern Iowa by only six points.

2. While Iowa State is coming off an uninspiring performance against Northern Iowa, it’s probably safe to say that the Cyclones were looking ahead to this one. That doesn’t excuse what was an embarrassing showing from Matt Campbell’s team, but there are plenty of reasons to believe they might turn things up a notch here. Dating back to 2016, Iowa State is 12-2 straight-up and 10-4 against the spread when playing as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points. The team is also 9-4 against the spread when coming off a non-conference game in that span, and the Cyclones are also 5-2 both straight-up and against the spread when coming off a win by six or less points since then. On top of that, the Hawkeyes are 4-15 straight-up and 8-11 against the spread when playing as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points under head coach Kirk Ferentz.

3. These two teams combined to score 85 points back in 2017, but they have put up a total of only 51 points in the two games since. In 2018, the Hawkeyes earned a 13-3 victory over the Cyclones in Iowa City, and they then followed it up with an 18-17 win in Ames in 2019. The two didn’t meet in last year’s mess of a season, but the total in this one suggests another grind of a game. While Iowa rushed for 158 yards against Indiana last week, Iowa State gave up only 45 yards on the ground against Northern Iowa. That sets up a strength vs. strength showdown, and it’s worth noting that the Under has hit in eight of the 11 games the Cyclones have played with a total between 42.5 and 49 points under Campbell.

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