Iowa vs Iowa State Betting Odds, Predictions: Our Top Pick for Saturday’s College Football Rivalry Game
Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Iowa wide receiver Arland Bruce.
Iowa vs Iowa State Odds
-110o / -110u
|Iowa State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Iowa looks to extend its streak in the Cy-Hawk rivalry to seven wins in a row when it hosts rival Iowa State at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.
Iowa State got its season off on the right foot in Week 1, beating FCS foe Southeast Missouri State, 42-10. The Cyclones are in rebuilding mode after Matt Campbell lost a ton of production on both sides of the ball, so it’s going to be a tall task to go into Kinnick Stadium and take down a bitter rival with a lot of new faces.
Iowa started its season off on, well… maybe not the right foot — but a foot nonetheless — by beating the third-ranked FCS team in South Dakota State, 7-3.
The offense did not look good and neither did quarterback Spencer Petras, but the Hawkeyes look like they have one of the best defenses in the country in 2022.
OK, everyone had a good laugh about what happened in Iowa City last Saturday. Iowa put up 2.7 yards per play. Petras posted a career-low 33.3 PFF passing grade while averaging 4.4 yards per attempt and putting up a 1.1 QBR — the lowest mark in a win since 2013.
However, that’s not to say Iowa didn’t have any opportunities; it just couldn’t capitalize on them.
The positive side is that the Iowa defense and special teams played well enough to give the offense six opportunities inside South Dakota State’s 40-yard line.
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Iowa lost a lot of skill position players from last season, most notably wide receivers Tyrone Tracey and Charlie Jones, both of whom transferred to Purdue.
But the Hawkeyes still have one of the best tight ends in college football in Sam LaPorta, who led the team with 53 catches and recorded a 79.7 PFF receiving grade.
Tyler Goodson has moved on to the NFL, which means Gavin Williams and Leshon Williams will split carries.
With Gavin Williams missing Week 1, Leshon Williams had a less-than-stellar showing in the opener. He averaged only 3.0 yards per carry on 24 attempts.
However, Iowa is replacing three starters on the offensive line, including All-American center Tyler Linderbaum, so this unit will take some time to improve. But eventually, it will.
The Iowa defense is pegged to be one of the best in the Big Ten this season. It showed that in Week 1 by allowing only 2.1 yards per play and forcing two safeties.
That mainly has to do with the linebacking duo of Jack Campbell and Seth Benson, who combined for 248 tackles in 2021.
Iowa also lost just one starter on the defensive line, so a front seven that ranked 12th in EPA/Rush Allowed last season is going to live in Iowa State’s backfield.
On top of that, Iowa returns Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year Riley Moss and adds five-star freshman Xavier Nwankpa at safety.
So, a secondary that ranked 10th in EPA/Pass Allowed and 13th in Passing Success Rate Allowed is going to give Dekkers all sorts of problems.
Iowa also has a fantastic punter in Tory Taylor, who helped Iowa rank third nationally in average starting position on defense last year. In Week 1, South Dakota State’s average starting field position was its own 16-yard line.
Brock Purdy, Breece Hall, Charlie Kolar and two offensive linemen are gone from the Cyclone offense that finished just 50th in Success Rate and 33rd in EPA/Play.
Hunter Dekkers — a four-star in-state quarterback — now takes over under centerk. He’s a big lefty with great arm strength, but he’s unproven.
Dekkers actually played in the second half of the Cy-Hawk game last year after Purdy got benched, going 11-of-16 for 117 yards and a touchdown when the game was already out of hand.
This will be his first big test on the road in a hostile environment, so we’ll see if he’s ready for the moment.
Iowa State brings back its top target in Xavier Hutchinson, who hauled in 83 passes and posted an 83.4 PFF receiving grade in 2021. However, everyone else is gone, and Iowa held Hutchinson to just three catches for 22 yards in last year’s game.
Even with Breece Hall in the backfield in 2021, the Cyclones ranked 51st in EPA/Rush, 86th in Rushing Success Rate, 72nd in Offensive Line Yards and 105th in Stuff Rate Allowed. So, this game is truly going to be in Dekkers’ hands if the run game can’t get going against an elite front seven.
Campbell lost a whopping eight starters from last year’s defense and hasn’t made any moves in the transfer portal to replace that production.
First-team All-American Will McDonald Jr. is back on the defensive line, but that’s it. A defensive line that finished 63rd in Defensive Line Yards is likely going to regress drastically in 2022 — especially going up against a run-heavy Iowa offense on the road.
Three starting linebackers and three of the Cyclones’ top four tacklers are gone from 2021, leaving Iowa State extremely inexperienced in the front seven.
To top things off, three starters in the secondary are gone, including both starting cornerbacks from a defense that ranked 59th in EPA/Pass, 52nd in Passing Success Rate Allowed,and 80th in explosive passing allowed.
The ceiling is very low for this defense even if it’s facing Iowa’s putrid offense.
Iowa vs Iowa State Betting Pick
You can laugh all you want, but this line is saying that Iowa and Iowa State would be a pick’em on a neutral field. That’s definitely not the case given how elite Iowa’s defense is.
I have Iowa projected at -8.9, and our Action Network PRO Projections have the Hawkeyes projected at -10.8. I like the value on Iowa at -3.5 and would play it to -5.