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Iowa State vs. Texas Odds, Picks, Betting Predictions: Cyclones Undervalued on College Football Black Friday Slate

Iowa State vs. Texas Odds, Picks, Betting Predictions: Cyclones Undervalued on College Football Black Friday Slate article feature image

David K Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Breece Hall.

  • Friday's nine-game college football slate kicks off with Iowa State vs. Texas meeting in Austin at noon ET in an all-important Big 12 conference matchup.
  • Darin Gardner offers in-depth matchup analysis, including which positional battles are most important to Friday afternoon's handicap.
  • Below, you'll find his full betting guide, including updated odds and his pick for Friday's matchup between the Cyclones and Longhorns.

Iowa State vs. Texas Odds

Iowa State Odds +1.5 (-112) [BET NOW]
Texas Odds -1.5 (-109) [BET NOW]
Moneyline -103 / -118 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 56.5 [BET NOW]
Time 12 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday afternoon and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today.

Iowa State is coming off a 45-0 drubbing of Kansas State and will try to stay atop the Big 12 standings as it heads to Austin to play Texas. Coming into this week, the Cyclones are the only Big 12 team with fewer than two conference losses.

On the other side, Texas is sitting on two conference losses and will need a win here to stay in the race for the conference championship game. The Longhorns could also be battling some rust, as they will be going 20 days between games due to COVID-19 cancellations.

In the past five years, the Longhorns have gone 3-2 against the Cyclones. Will Iowa State stay atop the Big 12, or will Texas shake up the conference championship race?

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Iowa State Cyclones


Entering the season, there was a lot of hype about quarterback Brock Purdy and the Iowa State passing offense. While it has been efficient for the most part, the Cyclones have really excelled in the ground game behind Breece Hall. He currently leads the nation in rushing yards and is second in rushing touchdowns. The Cyclones rank 15th in Expected Points Added (EPA) per rush.

Iowa State’s running game has been great all year, and as a result, the entire offense has thrived. Purdy has not been mentioned quite as often this season with the emergence of Hall, but Purdy ranks 31st in EPA per play among quarterbacks with at least 100 snaps.

On the season, the Iowa State offense ranks 27th in EPA, 21st in Success Rate, and 31st in Touchdown Rate. The offensive line has been good as well, ranking 20th in Sack Tate. This offense finds a way to be incredibly balanced and can move the ball in multiple ways. If a defense has any weaknesses, there’s a good chance the Cyclones can find a way to exploit it.


Similar to the offense, Iowa State’s defense really does not have any significant weak links. The Cyclones’ defense ranks 17th in Success Rate, 38th in Available Yards Allowed, and 18th in Finishing Drives. Up front, the defense has been solid against the pass and the run. It currently ranks 21st in Sack Rate and 17th in Stuff Rate.

In its past five games, Iowa State has allowed more than 24 points only once. The Cyclones have also played five of the same opponents as Texas and have performed much better defensively against those teams.

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Texas Longhorns


Based on what most of us expected from Texas in the preseason, the offense has been disappointing.

The Longhorns rank 79th in Success Rate and 82nd in First Down Rate. They have gained just 46.8% of available yards, which ranks 67th in the country. They’ve been better in the explosiveness and Finishing Drives departments, however. The Longhorns rank 45th in explosive play rate at 7.3% and are 22nd in Finishing Drives.

What is odd about Texas’ offensive struggles is that quarterback Sam Ehlinger has played better than the overall offensive efficiency would have you believe. He is currently 32nd in EPA per play among quarterbacks with at least 100 snaps and is the second-highest graded quarterback in the Big 12, per Pro Football Focus.

If Ehlinger is playing well, what is to blame for the offense’s lack of efficiency? For one, the offensive line ranks 67th in Sack Rate and 68th in Stuff Rate. Additionally, the Longhorns’ receivers have been really disappointing. Their highest-graded receiver, Brennan Eagles, ranks 126th in the nation in PFF grade.

The Longhorns also only have one receiver with at least 300 yards this season. Joshua Moore leads the team with 343 receiving yards, but 37% of those yards came against UTEP in Week 1. The Longhorns will definitely need an improvement from their receivers going forward.


Texas’ defense ranks 34th in explosive play rate allowed (good!) and 78th in Success Rate allowed (not good) on the season. One reason why the Texas defense has been so good against the explosive plays is its rush defense, which ranks 11th in EPA allowed per rush attempt. However, that ranking may be inflated due to strength of opponent.

Texas has not faced a single team that ranks in the top-65 in EPA per rush. Its highest-ranking opponent in that area was Oklahoma, which ranks currently ranks 66th. The Sooners really struggled to run the ball early in the season without starting running back Rhamondre Stevenson, which included the Texas game.

The Longhorns have yet to face anything like this Iowa State rushing attack, and it will be interesting to see how they hold up.

Betting Analysis & Pick

As I said before, these two teams have faced five of the same opponents (Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and TCU).

In those five matchups, Iowa State was more efficient than Texas on both offense and defense. Against the same five opponents, Iowa State averaged a 46% Success Rate and a 36% Success Rate allowed on defense, for a net Success Rate of 9.3%. Texas averaged a 40% Success Rate on offense and allowed a 46% Success Rate on defense, for a net Success Rate of -5.4%.

I really think Iowa State is the better team here. The team is very balanced on both sides of the ball, while Texas has weaknesses that the Cyclones should be able to exploit. I make the game Iowa State -4.3 and looked for a reason to think twice about it but really couldn’t make much of an argument for Texas. I like the Cyclones quite a bit in this matchup and would lean toward the moneyline.

Pick: Iowa State moneyline -106 or better.

[Bet the Iowa State moneyline (-103) now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

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