Iowa State vs. Oklahoma Odds, Predictions, Picks: Why to Bet Cyclones

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma Odds, Predictions, Picks: Why to Bet Cyclones article feature image

Brian Bahr/Getty Images. Pictured: Caleb Williams.

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma Odds

Saturday, Nov. 20
12 p.m. ET
Iowa State Odds
-115o / -105u
Oklahoma Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Oklahoma looks to rebound from its first loss of the season when it hosts Iowa State in Norman.

Iowa State's chances of reaching the Big 12 title game ended in Lubbock last Saturday night, when the Red Raiders walked off with a 62-yard field goal. Now, we'll see whether the Cyclones will be able to get up for a big game in Norman and get some revenge for last season's Big 12 Championship Game.

Oklahoma finally had to play a decent defense in Waco and Caleb Williams played his first bad game of the season as the Sooners only scored 14 points against Baylor.

The Sooners are still in the driver's seat to get to the Big 12 Championship, but this could be a look-ahead spot with Bedlam looming next weekend in Stillwater.

Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State Offense

The Cyclones' offense hasn't really been what we expected at the beginning of the season, especially on the ground with Breece Hall.

Hall is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and already has 16 touchdowns this season. From a Success Rate standpoint, though, the Cyclones are struggling. Iowa State is 75th in Rushing Success, 80th in Line Yards and 75th in Expected Points Added (EPA) per rush.

However, that is not how you beat Oklahoma's defense.

The Iowa State passing attack has been really good this season with Brock Purdy under center. Purdy has actually put up better numbers than he did in 2020, averaging 8.3 yards per attempt — compared to 7.5 last season — and his passing grade is 80.4 this season, when it was 74.2 a season ago, per PFF.

Purdy is one of the best quarterbacks in the country in the intermediate passing game. He has a 92.0 passing grade and a 67.6 adjusted completion percentage on passes from 10-19 yards, per PFF.

That is the main reason why the Cyclones' passing attack is 20th in Passing Success and eighth in EPA per pass attempt. Iowa State should be able to move the ball on an Oklahoma secondary that has been awful this season.

Iowa State Defense

Iowa State's defense this season has been the definition of average, ranking 46th in EPA allowed per play and 68th in Success Rate.

The Cyclones don't have one distinct strength on defense, but they also don't have a weakness. However, what Baylor showed last weekend is to stop the Oklahoma offense, you have to shut down the running game.

The Sooners gained only 2.9 yards per carry, which put a lot of pressure on Williams. Additionally, as we saw in Waco, Williams is not that great when he's under pressure, his PFF pass grade is 54.5 when he's hurried.

Iowa State has the 38th best pass rush grade, per PFF and actually has a better secondary by Pass Success, EPA allowed per pass — you get the picture — than Baylor this season.

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Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Offense

Williams has been a revelation ever since taking over for Spencer Rattler, but last weekend was the first time that he's actually seen a quality defense.

While Williams is a good quarterback and Oklahoma is averaging over eight yards a play since he came in during the second quarter against Texas, he was doing it all against some of the worst defenses in college football.

The biggest advantage for the Sooners in this matchup is that they're ninth in Finishing Drives, while Iowa State's defense is 87th in that category. If Oklahoma can get past the Cyclones' 40-yard line, it should be able to put points on the board.

Oklahoma Defense

The Sooners defense is having all sorts of issues right now, even though it only allowed 27 points to Baylor last weekend.

Oklahoma is allowing opposing quarterbacks to throw for 8.5 yards per attempt this season, which ranks 112th in the nation. The Sooners are also near the bottom in just about every single category when it comes to passing defense.

Stat CategoryRank
Passing Success Rate Allowed90th
Passing Explosiveness Allowed103rd
EPA/Pass Allowed126th
PFF Coverage Grade81st

Now, Oklahoma wasn't exploited against the pass last week because Baylor features a run-heavy offense and Gerry Bohanon only threw the ball 21 times. Purdy will be able to exploit the Oklahoma secondary better than any opponent has this season.

The front seven has been pretty good for the Sooners, allowing only 4.0 yards per carry and ranking 56th in Rushing Success and 33rd in Line Yards. OU should be able to slow down an Iowa State rushing attack that has been below average this season.

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma Matchup Analysis

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

Iowa State Offense vs. Oklahoma Defense
Rush Success7556
Line Yards8033
Pass Success2090
Pass Blocking**484
Big Play1978
Finishing Drives3867
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Oklahoma Offense vs. Iowa State Defense
Rush Success2667
Line Yards6865
Pass Success1267
Pass Blocking**4038
Big Play2149
Finishing Drives987
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling6576
Middle 81218
SP+ Special Teams3812
Plays per Minute10588
Rush Rate50.5% (93)50.5% (92)

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

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma Betting Pick

This line opened at Oklahoma -6.5 and has since been bet down to -3.5 at a lot of books with 67% of the money coming in on the Cyclones.

Iowa State has big advantages in the passing game over Oklahoma's poor secondary and if last weekend is any indication, Williams may not be the all-world quarterback we think he is when he has to play a decent defense.

I only have Iowa State projected as +1.78 underdog on the road in Norman, so I think there is some value on the Cyclone at +4, which you can still get at BetMGM as of Thursday afternoon, and would play it down to +3.

Pick: Iowa State +4 (Play to +3)

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