College Football Odds & Pick: How To Bet Iowa State In the Fiesta Bowl vs. Oregon
David Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Campbell (left) and Brock Purdy (right).
2021 is here, which means two things: Iowa State’s Fiesta Bowl battle against Oregon and online registration for sports betting in Iowa.
What better way to combine both of those than by betting on the Cyclones from the comfort of your own home?
Two members of our college football staff see significant value on Iowa State in this matchup, and both writers took Matt Campbell’s squad to cover the four-point spread in a Fiesta Bowl victory.
Check out their reasoning for taking the Cyclones below, and take a look at the best apps, sportsbooks, and promos that the state has to offer.
Fiesta Bowl: Iowa State vs. Oregon
Iowa State -4
Quarterback Brock Purdy has been fairly efficient, throwing the ball for 7.7 yards per attempt, but he was the main reason Iowa State lost in the Big 12 title game, as he threw three picks. Going into the game, he had only thrown six all season long, so that was an uncommon performance from Purdy.
However, the Iowa State offense doesn’t entirely run through Purdy. The Cyclones also have a dynamic running game, led by running back Breece Hall.
The standout, who averages a ridiculous 5.9 yards per carry and has led the Cyclones to a ranking of 25th in Rushing Success, per College Football Data. The senior running back will be called on a lot, as Oregon’s weakness on defense is in its front seven.
The Ducks rank 88th in Defensive Rushing Success and are allowing 4.2 yards per carry. Hall will be the best running back they’ve seen since Oregon State’s Jermar Jefferson, who ran all over them for 226 yards and two touchdowns. If the Ducks can’t slow down Hall, it’s going to be a long day on defense.
Despite its 4-2 record, Oregon’s offense was incredibly efficient this season. Oregon gained a whopping 6.6 yards per play, which was top-15 in the country.
The reason for its success? The run game.
The Ducks rank third in Rushing Success Rate and gain 4.9 yards per rush as a team. However, this is going to be the best rush defense they’ve seen all season long, as Iowa State sits top-20 in both Defensive Rushing Success and explosiveness, per College Football Data. They held Oklahoma’s rushing attack to under 4.0 yards per carry, so they should be able to slow down Oregon’s rushing attack.
I have the Cyclones projected as -7.45 favorites, so I think there’s value on Iowa State at -4.5 or better.
Iowa State -4
This Oregon team was inconsistent all season and only found itself in the Pac-12 Championship game because Washington had COVID-19 issues. In that championship game, Oregon gained just 243 total yards but benefited from three USC turnovers.
Ducks quarterback Tyler Shough has been up and down all season, and Oregon clearly doesn’t fully trust him. Shough attempted only 15 passes in the Pac-12 title game, and backup Anthony Brown got his first playing time of the season, tossing two touchdowns himself.
Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy also struggled in the conference championship game, but that was uncharacteristic for him. Purdy had thrown 17 touchdowns and six interceptions prior to the game and was named first-team All-Big 12.
Purdy has plenty of weapons at his disposal, including Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-American Breece Hall, who led the country in rushing yards. Tight end Charlie Kolar and wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson were both named first-team All-Big 12 as well.
The Oregon defense has been brutal this season after suffering a ton of opt-outs before the season. The Ducks defense ranks 82nd in Defensive Success Rate, and teams have found success through the air and on the ground against them.
Oregon allowed 267 rushing yards to UCLA and 269 to Oregon State this season. Hall averaged 130.5 yards per game and had 19 touchdowns in 11 games. Oregon is really going to struggle to slow him down in this one.
It’s hard for me to trust Shough when his own coaching staff doesn’t appear to. The Iowa State defense has been terrific all season, and Purdy should bounce back from his performance last week.
Iowa State is in a New Year’s Six bowl for the first time in program history and will be motivated to cap off one of the best seasons in school history.