TCU vs. Iowa State Odds & Picks: How to Bet Friday’s Big 12 Battle

TCU vs. Iowa State Odds & Picks: How to Bet Friday’s Big 12 Battle article feature image

John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Iowa State Cyclones tight end DeShawn Hanika (83).

  • The TCU Horned Frogs head to Ames, Iowa, on Friday to take on the Iowa State Cyclones.
  • It's Senior Day for the Cyclones, who enter as -15.5 favorites, according to updated odds.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down the Big 12 game and shares a betting pick below.

TCU vs. Iowa State Odds

Friday, Nov. 26
4:30 p.m. ET
TCU Odds
-110o / -110u
Iowa State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Iowa State looks to finish the season strong when it hosts TCU in Ames on Friday.

TCU barely beat Kansas last Saturday to pick up its fifth win of the season, which means the Horned Frogs will be playing for bowl eligibility.

It's been a weird season for TCU, which saw long-time head coach Gary Patterson step down in the middle of the season after 22 years in charge. However, the prospect of playing in a bowl game will be enough motivation for the players.

Iowa State now has nothing to play for other than pride on Senior Day in Ames. However, it will be a special day for the Cyclone team that has a ton of seniors — a big reason why they were a dark horse for the College Football Playoff coming into the season.

However, Matt Campbell's team is currently sitting at 6-5 in what has been a disappointing season. So, he will look to send his seniors out on a high note on Friday.

TCU Horned Frogs

Horned Frogs Offense

The TCU offense revolves around quarterback and Iowa native Max Duggan.

Duggan has been effective this season, averaging 9.1 yards per attempt and owning a 72.7 passing grade, per PFF. However, he has had trouble holding onto the ball, as he has 12 turnover-worthy plays in nine starts.

He also may be without his best receiver Quentin Johnson, who is questionable for this game and leads the team in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns.

The TCU rushing attack has taken a blow over the past month with star running back Zach Evans out. It was confirmed earlier this week that he's out once again on Friday.

TCU interim coach Jerry Kill says RB Zach Evans won't play at Iowa State. WR Quentin Johnston also doesn't sound promising, but Kill said QJ is "questionable."

— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) November 23, 2021

Without Evans in the lineup for the last four games, the Horned Frogs averaged over 4.0 yards a carry only once, and that was last weekend against Kansas, which has one of the worst run defenses in the country.

So, without its star running back and potentially its top receiver, I have a hard time seeing how TCU's offense is going to move the ball effectively on Friday.

Horned Frogs Defense

TCU's defense is one of the worst in the Big 12, allowing 7.1 yards per play and ranking 118th in Success Rate Allowed.

The Horned Frogs are having a lot of problems trying to stop the run, as they're 122nd in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 121st in Defensive Line Yards, 110th in Stuff Rate, and 121st in EPA/Rush.

Two weeks ago, they allowed 447 yards on the ground to Oklahoma State, which is outside the top 100 in Rushing Success Rate. So, how are they going to stop Doak Walker Award finalist Breece Hall?

The secondary is also having all sorts of issues, allowing 9.5 yards per attempt, which is 125th in college football. The Horned Frogs are also 112th in Passing Success Rate Allowed, 120th in passing explosiveness allowed, and 117th in terms of a coverage grade, per PFF.

To make matters even worse, TCU isn't putting pressure on the quarterback, ranking 122nd in Havoc.

The Frogs have one of the worst tackling grades in the country at 47.0, which ranks 126th nationally, and they're 120th in Finishing Drives.

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Iowa State Cyclones

Cyclones Offense

The Cyclones offense hasn't really been what we expected at the beginning of the season, especially on the ground with 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 ranks 82nd in Rushing Success, 81st in Line Yards and 67th in Expected Points Added (EPA) per rush.

However, the Cyclones will be facing one of the worst defenses in the Big 12 on Friday.

The Iowa State passing attack has been really good this season with Brock Purdy under center. Purdy is averaging 8.0 yards per attempt, as his team ranks 22nd in Passing Success Rate and 32nd in EPA/Pass.

Purdy is one of the best quarterbacks in the country in the intermediate passing game. He has a 93.2 passing grade and a 70.5 adjusted completion percentage on passes from 10-19 yards, per PFF, which is how Iowa State found a way to hang in the game against Oklahoma last weekend.

Purdy found his favorite target, tight end Charlie Kolar, 12 times for 152 yards.

TCU hasn't been able to stop anything on the ground or in the air, so Iowa State should move the ball with ease on Friday.

Cyclones Defense

Iowa State's defense this season has been the definition of average, ranking 42nd in EPA allowed per play and 70th in Success Rate.

The biggest thing that Iowa State needs to worry about in this matchup is the secondary. TCU is top-30 in Passing Success Rate and explosiveness, while Iowa State allows only 7.1 yards per attempt and ranks 50th in EPA/Pass.

The Cyclones did just hold Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler to 96 yards passing on 5.1 yards per attempt, so I think they should be able to slow down Duggan and Company.

Iowa State has been pretty solid versus the run this season, which is big with Evans out for the Horned Frogs this week. Iowa State has allowed only 3.8 yards per carry while ranking 41st in EPA/Rush allowed, and 47th in Stuff Rate.

TCU vs. Iowa State Matchup Analysis

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

TCU Offense vs. Iowa State Defense
Rush Success3973
Line Yards5664
Pass Success3759
Pass Blocking**6539
Big Play1966
Finishing Drives9789
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Iowa State Offense vs. TCU Defense
Rush Success82122
Line Yards81121
Pass Success22112
Pass Blocking**4885
Big Play6684
Finishing Drives69120
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling12653
Middle 88827
SP+ Special Teams4634
Plays per Minute75104
Rush Rate60.4% (26)49.3% (97)

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

TCU vs. Iowa State Betting Pick

With how bad TCU's defense has been this season, I don't know how it's going to stop the Cyclone offense.

On the flip side, with TCU potentially missing its two best skill position players, more pressure will be on Duggan to throw on a solid Iowa State secondary.

I have Iowa State projected at -18.5, so I think there's some value on the Cyclones at -14.5.

Pick: Iowa State -14.5

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