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Iowa State vs. Louisiana Lafayette Odds, Betting Picks & Preview (Saturday, Sept. 12)

Iowa State vs. Louisiana Lafayette Odds, Betting Picks & Preview (Saturday, Sept. 12) article feature image

David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Breece Hall (28) and Brock Purdy (15).

  • Iowa State is almost a two-touchdown favorite over Louisiana Lafayette on Saturday afternoon, with the total at 57.
  • ULL has developed into one of the premier Group of Five programs in the country, while Iowa State and coach Matt Campbell might have his best team yet in Ames.
  • Get Collin Wilson's Iowa State vs. Louisiana Lafayette pick and full breakdown below.

Iowa State vs. Louisiana Lafayette Odds

Iowa State Odds -11.5 [BET NOW]
Louisiana Odds +11.5 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 57 [BET NOW]
Time 12 p.m. ET

Odds as of Friday at 1:00 a.m. ET and via PointsBet, where you can get $250 FREE instantly after signing up AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app. Learn more about BetSync here.

The potent Louisiana offense lined up against a 3-3-5 defense only once last year, torching Texas State 31-3. The Ragin’ Cajuns averaged 6.8 yards per play and posted a phenomenal 27% Explosive Drive rate — 15% higher than the FBS average.

Louisiana disposed of the Bobcats without a sweat.

Check out our free NCAAF odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.

No one will mistake the 2019 Bobcats defense for Iowa State’s 2020 squad. Nonetheless, Louisiana head coach Billy Napier clearly had no issues preparing for the 3-3-5 scheme, which is the same base formation that Cyclones defensive coordinator Jon Heacock employs.

Iowa State’s defense returns 73% of its production from 2019, when the Cyclones ranked 71st in success rate. They will miss last season’s top tackler, Marcel Spears Jr., but the Cyclones retain a bevy of linebackers and defensive backs with ample experience to offset Spears’ departure.

On the strength of that experience and depth, the Cylcones defense ranked 17th in power success rate and 27th in stuff rate last season — two categories crucial to stopping a rush attack like Louisiana’s.

The Ragin’ Cajuns are no slouch on defense either, but the two real stars of this game are at the quarterback position.

Louisiana’s Levi Lewis has stuffed box scores for years, excelling in both success rate and explosiveness. Meanwhile, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy has been mentioned as a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate. Purdy’s 2020 Heisman Trophy odds are currently listed at 50-to-1 at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Both offenses excel at preventing opposing defenses from wreaking havoc. Last year, Iowa State and Louisiana ranked top 10 in fewest tackles for loss allowed and top 17 in fewest sacks allowed. The Cyclones and Ragin’ Cajuns return the majority of their offensive linemen, which should afford both star QBs clean pockets and ample running room on Saturday.

On the flip side, each defense ranked top 30 at limiting pass explosiveness. The defenses are build to stop explosive plays through the air.

Rather than force the issue in the passing game, Iowa State may instead seek to exploit Louisiana’s undersized defensive front via the running game. Rushing is not the Cyclones’ premier attribute on offense, but it’s reasonable to expect head coach Matt Campbell to establish the run against a Sun Belt defense.

That line of reasoning lends value to the under, which is further supported by each team’s pace data. Iowa State and Louisiana achieved middling rankings in seconds per play in 2019.

Look for long, sustained drives to chew up clock and keep the final score under the game total.

The Bet: Under 57

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