College Football Week 2 Best Bets for Iowa State vs. Iowa: Cy-Hawk Trophy Winner Highlights 5 Top Bets (Sept. 11)
David K Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Kirk Ferentz.
- Iowa travels to Ames to face Iowa State in a college football Week 2 rivalry game.
- The Hawkeyes have won the last five meetings vs. the Cyclones, including an 18-17 win in last year's matchup.
- Our experts offer their five best bets for the top-10 game.
Iowa State vs. Iowa Odds
Iowa State Odds
The second week of September is always special for the state of Iowa.
But this week in 2021 holds even more importance, as the state’s beloved Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones enter their annual matchup ranked in the AP Top 10 for the first time ever.
With College GameDay coming to town, Ames, Iowa, will be rocking for the state’s Super Bowl.
At 4:30 p.m. ET sharp, Kirk Ferentz will look to ride his defense to stay undefeated against Matt Campbell, while the Cyclone head coach hopes to finally knock off the Hawkeyes with the best squad of his tenure in Ames.
Our staff came prepared to bet this top-tier matchup taking place in the country’s heartland. Check out all five of their bets for Saturday’s Cy-Hawk rivalry game below.
Our Best Bets for No. 9 Iowa State vs. No. 10 Iowa
The set of college football team logos below reflects each of our college football staff’s best bets for Saturday’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 14 Miami.
Click one of the bets in the “Pick” column below in order to navigate to that specific section in this article.
Listed odds are as of Thursday evening. Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing.
Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
Photos via Getty Images.
Although my entire heritage is from Iowa, I was the first person in my family tree born in the South.
The Iowa roots run deep in my personal life, with family that graduated from Iowa and Iowa State, along with new in-laws who are professors at Northern Iowa.
If you are new to the rivalry that plays for the Cy-Hawk Trophy, the fans start to party on Friday and will continue through Sunday morning in Ames. This is one of the more underrated and heated in-state battles outside of Alabama and Auburn.
College GameDay will make a return trip to Ames with plenty of storylines to be told.
When entering Week 2 of a college football season, there’s always a look for buy-low and sell-high opportunities after a one-game sample set.
Iowa was not nearly as good offensively as the final score indicates, generating national averages in standard downs Success Rate and a low 4.3 yards per play during passing downs. Iowa State is not as bad as the final score against Northern Iowa suggests, recording a 52% Success Rate on passing plays while averaging 7.3 yards per play.
There are reasons to believe this game starts slow, barring any further Riley Moss pick-six plays from the Iowa defense.
The point of attack against Iowa is a fresh defensive line lighter in size than recent years. The return of Charlie Kolar not only helps in blocking and as a target for Brock Purdy, but he allowed Matt Campbell to zip in and out of 12 and 13 formations as well.
Standard downs are certainly the question mark for the Cyclones after an uninspiring performance from Breece Hall in the elusiveness and yards after contact numbers from Northern Iowa.
This will be Spencer Petras’ second look at a defense that lines up in a 3-3-5 with intentions to disguise coverage and blitz. Minnesota fielded the scheme last season and was by far the worst pass-graded game of the season for Petras.
The Gophers spend only a third of their defensive snaps in that scheme, rotating out depending on down and distance. Iowa State runs the 3-3-5 on 92% of snaps and will send blitzes on 20% of snaps against the 11 formation and double that rate against a two-tight end set.
The scoring should start slow as Petras looks for targets against a difficult scheme and the Cyclones focus on the Iowa defensive front seven. There may be a rise in this total heading up to kickoff with heavy public interest and College GameDay on set.
A first-half under on any 22s in the market are suggested.
As for the spread, Iowa is expected to get the lion’s share of wagers after last week’s final scores and Campbell’s past results against the Hawkeyes.
The Action Network projection puts this number at Iowa State -4 and a total of 53. An in-game over will be the look through the second quarter, but expect the 12 and 13 formations to expose an inexperienced defensive front.
By Alex Hinton
Matt Campbell has done a phenomenal job building Iowa State into a Big 12 contender, but he has never beaten Iowa in his career. Campbell is 0-4 against Iowa, and the Hawkeyes have won six of the last seven meetings in the series.
Campbell may have his best team at Iowa State but Iowa looks like a contender in the Big Ten West. Dating back to last season, Iowa has won its last seven games and it is 6-1 against the spread in that span.
Iowa State running back Breece Hall is the engine of the Cyclones offense, but Iowa has a strong run defense to limit his effectiveness. Against Indiana, the Hawkeyes allowed just 77 rushing yards on 31 attempts.
Iowa State also has a good run defense, but Iowa has one of the best offensive lines in the country led by center Tyler Linderbaum. Iowa can control the line of scrimmage, give its own star Tyler Goodson room to operate, and take the pressure off quarterback Spencer Petras.
Petras was mediocre against Indiana, and he is the main question mark for Iowa. However, he did not turn the ball over, and Iowa’s defense made sure he did not have to do much. If Petras protects the football again, Iowa will have an excellent chance to win.
If you’re feeling bold, you can take Iowa to win its sixth straight in the series at +168. However, getting 4.5 points provides a little bit of cushion.
I expect the battle for the Cy-Hawk trophy to be close, physical, and intense. In that scenario, I’ll take the points.
By Matt Wispe
One of my favorite systems on BetLabs is the Road Dogs on Low Totals system.
When the game is low scoring, taking the points is typically the best play, which is why it has a 15% ROI. Points will be at a premium in this game for myriad reasons.
These two teams are averaging more than 26 seconds per play. Winds are forecasted around 17 MPH. Lastly, these two teams are ranked inside the top 15 in Success Rate Allowed after one game.
Iowa has won the last five meetings between these two teams and looks to be building off of its 2020 success with its opening win over Indiana.
Catching more than a field goal in a low-scoring coin-flip game is an easy pick for the week.
The public is still in love with Iowa State apparently. Even a near loss to in-state “rival” Northern Iowa wasn’t enough to take the bloom off the rose in Ames.
You can chalk up the Cyclones’ lackluster performance (335 total yards, 5-14 on third downs) to a vanilla game plan and being hamstrung playing without Charlie Kolar, but even so, 16 points against an average FCS opponent is cause for concern.
And while the Cyclones were fighting for their lives against the Missouri Valley Conference’s seventh-best team (according to Lindy’s), Iowa was dismantling a top-25 opponent.
The Iowa pass defense was highly regarded coming in and somehow exceeded that hype. A pair of pick-sixes and a statistical pantsing of Michael Penix Jr. is not what Iowa State’s Brock Purdy was hoping to see when he turned on the film this week.
Iowa joined Georgia and Alabama as the only teams to post top-20 pass coverage grades against top-25 opponents last week, according to Pro Football Focus (Iowa, 8th).
Offensively, Iowa just needs to protect the football and lean on Tyler Goodson and Sam LaPorta.
Goodson delivered with 99 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, and LaPorta led the way in the passing game, collecting five receptions for 83 yards through the air.
The Hawkeyes have won four straight in Ames and 6-of-7 in the series overall. I’ll take the moneyline and the team playing better football right now.
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