College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Iowa State vs. Baylor: The Bet to Make for Saturday’s Big 12 Contest (Sept. 25)

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Iowa State vs. Baylor: The Bet to Make for Saturday’s Big 12 Contest (Sept. 25) article feature image

Chris Unger/Getty Images. Pictured: Brock Purdy.

  • The Iowa State Cyclones travel to Waco Saturday to take on the Baylor Bears in a Big 12 showdown.
  • The Cyclones are looking to get back in the top 10 after falling to Iowa and beating UNLV, entering this game as touchdown favorites.
  • Check out CJ Vogel's betting guide below, complete with odds, picks, and predictions for Saturday's Big 12 game.

Iowa State vs. Baylor Odds

Iowa State Odds-7 (+100)
Baylor Odds+7 (-120)
Moneyline-250 / +200
Over/Under45.5 (-115 / -105)
Time3:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Contrary to the Big 12 that we've grown to know and love, there's a growing emphasis on defense within the conference. The Big 12 has been heading away from the barn-burner offenses and into a new-aged defensive-minded conference.

Leading the charge in this movement to outsmart the spread offense has been none other than Iowa State and Baylor, but there's reason to believe there will be plenty of points put on the board this weekend in Waco.

For one, the two teams combined are 11-of-14 on fourth-down conversion attempts this year. Prolonging drives and creative play-calling are two reasons why I have my eyes on the game total.

Iowa State vs. Baylor Betting Preview

Saturday, Sept. 25
3:30 p.m. ET

Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State Offense

The Cyclones haven't looked like the team they were predicted to be coming into the 2021 season. The preseason No. 6 ranking is yet to be justified and as a result, Iowa State has fallen out of the top 10 and they're no longer unbeaten after losing two weeks ago to Iowa.

However, the notoriously slow-starting program had a glimpse of what fans and media across the country expected from Matt Campbell's squad last week with a 48–3 drumming of UNLV.

The rushing attack, led by Breece Hall, showed signs of life after back-to-back performances of 3.0 yards per carry. Hall eclipsed 100 yards rushing and found the endzone twice.

Meanwhile, quarterback Brock Purdy found his rhythm and completed 87.5% of his passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns.

The Cyclones' offense needed a performance like this and should carry the momentum to Waco for their Big 12 conference opener.

One guy specifically to look for to kickstart the offense is wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson. The All-Big 12 honoree from last season hauled in 10 receptions for 133 yards and two scores last week against UNLV.

Baylor has a talented secondary and even though there will be an added emphasis on Hutchinson, the biggest positional matchup to keep an eye on belongs to tight end Charlie Kolar. The future NFL player had a touchdown in last year's matchup against the Bears.

Iowa State Defense

The Cyclones' defense has allowed just three total touchdowns, but the competition hasn't exactly been stiff.

Northern Iowa is an FCS school, UNLV is 0-3 and Iowa relies heavily on its defense and special teams to successfully score points.

This will be the first major test for ISU.

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Baylor Bears

Baylor Offense

By all means, Baylor is rolling right now.

While the competition hasn't been great, the Bears have taken care of opponents and enter conference play having outscored its last two opponents 111–14.

I started this season with an under bet for the Bears and I am returning to the program with significantly higher hopes for the offense. Baylor is averaging the fifth-most yards per game of any team in the country through three weeks. This has come against some weak opponents, but the Bears are opening eyes with 558.7 yards per game.

Offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes has done a great job this year of finding ways to protect the ball, while still finding ways to include playmakers.

Quarterback Gerry Bohanon hasn't thrown an interception this year and go-to receiver R.J. Sneed has 260 receiving yards.

One other thing, the Bears are finishing drives. They've scored a touchdown in 13-of-17 red-zone attempts this season.

Baylor's offensive line this year has been nothing short of spectacular. The Bears rank as the top offensive line in the country in pass blocking and have not allowed a sack in three games this season, per Pro Football Focus.

Another area Baylor can really take advantage of field position is in the punt return game. Iowa State ranks 120th in net punt yards at just 34.3 yards per punt.

Baylor Defense

It was a turnover fest in last year's ballgame with Baylor intercepting Purdy three times in Ames. The interceptions forced Iowa State to pound the ground and rush Hall 31 times. Even though it worked out in the end for the Cyclones, it would be a great benefit for the passing game to be opened up once again.

Baylor has a top-50 rush defense through three weeks, but the attack of Hall and an offensive line with two preseason All-Big 12 players should be enough to move the ball effectively both through the air and on the ground.

Iowa State vs. Baylor Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Iowa State and Baylor match up statistically:

Iowa State Offense vs. Baylor Defense




Rush Success
Line Yards
Pass Success
Pass Blocking**
Big Play
Finishing Drives
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Baylor Offense vs. Iowa State Defense




Rush Success
Line Yards
Pass Success
Pass Blocking**
Big Play
Finishing Drives
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
PFF Coverage
Middle 8
SP+ Special Teams
Plays per Minute
Rush Rate
49.7% (93)
64.3% (17)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Iowa State vs. Baylor Betting Pick

Through three games, each team currently sits in the top-five nationally in total defense and both are within the top 15 in scoring defense. It's safe to say the defenses from both teams are grinding on all cylinders so far in 2021.

However, with Big 12 play here and an added importance on putting points on the board, those defenses will be put to the test and a total sitting at 47.5 is going to be pushed rather aggressively.

Last year's game saw a total of 69 points scored between these two teams. While I don't believe we'll see that many this year, I do expect this over to hit.

Take the over at anything up to 48.5.

Pick: Over 47.5

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