College Football Odds, Pick for Iowa vs. Iowa State: Your Betting Guide for Week 2’s Marquee Matchup (September 11)

College Football Odds, Pick for Iowa vs. Iowa State: Your Betting Guide for Week 2’s Marquee Matchup (September 11) article feature image

David K Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Kirk Ferentz (left) and Matt Campbell (right).

Iowa vs. Iowa State Odds

Saturday, Sept. 11
3:30 p.m. ET
Iowa Odds
-110o / -110u
Iowa State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Although my entire heritage is from Iowa, I was the first person in my family tree born in the South.

The Iowa roots run deep in my personal life, with family that graduated from Iowa and Iowa State, along with new in-laws who are professors at Northern Iowa.

If you are new to the rivalry that plays for the Cy-Hawk Trophy, the fans start to party on Friday and will continue through Sunday morning in Ames. This is one of the more underrated and heated in-state battles outside of Alabama and Auburn.

College GameDay will make a return trip to Ames with plenty of storylines to be told.

Kirk Ferentz will look to capitalize off a 34-6 thrashing of Indiana in the opener. While the Hawkeyes look like clear contenders in the Big Ten West, Iowa State had another rough September start in the Matt Campbell era. The Cyclones scored just a single field goal in the second half to pick up a one-possession victory over Northern Iowa.

Week 1 marks three consecutive against-the-spread losses for Iowa State in September, dating back to Louisiana and Baylor last season.

Although the Cyclones have covered twice, Campbell has never beaten Ferentz in four previous tries.

Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes have a seven-game winning streak dating back to last season and will enter the Iowa State game with plenty of confidence.

Ferentz was not comfortable with the receiver unit earlier this year, but a win over the Hoosiers has the head coach showing full confidence in quarterback Spencer Petras' targets.

The head coach noted that the 3-3-5 scheme of the Cyclones defense will be new for Petras, but there's plenty of film on current players to study.

This will be the quarterback's first trip to a hostile environment, and it will also be the Hawkeye defense's first look at running back Breece Hall after he recorded just a single rushing attempt in 2019.

Hawkeyes Offense

Although the final scoreboard would indicate otherwise, Iowa finished near national averages in Success Rate in standard and passing downs.

Of 12 offensive possessions, two were explosive drives while five included two-plus first downs, each at a national average rate.

There were highlights, including Petras' five passes over 15 yards and Tyler Goodson's explosive runs, including a 56-yard touchdown on Iowa's first drive.

Tyler Goodson welcoming Indiana to Week 1🤝

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 4, 2021

Petras had a stellar training camp, drawing plenty of praise from his head coach for processing defenses, check-downs and his ability to make the right decision in a crowded pocket.

Indiana generated 12 pressures resulting in just a single sack, highlighting Petras' progression as a quarterback.

The stat box is missing touchdowns as Iowa fields new targets, but Petras ended with no turnover-worthy plays and a similar adjusted completion percentage in blitz attempts versus a clean pocket.

🙌 @HawkeyeFootball tacks on another! @spencerpetras gets it done with his feet 💪

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 4, 2021

Possibly by design, Petras attempted just two passes beyond 20 yards.

The most passing success came in between the hash marks, with tight end Sam LaPorta seeing eight targets, just one shy of the nine attempted to all wide receivers.

One of those targets is Charlie Jones, who received no targets in limited action during 2020. Jones had the largest average depth of target at 14.3 against Indiana and may be a critical piece for Petras against the 3-3-5 when LaPorta is covered.

Hawkeyes Defense

Have a day, Riley Moss. The fourth-year cornerback had two interceptions run back for touchdowns.

The Iowa defense limited Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. to just 156 yards and no touchdowns. The Hawkeyes defense tacked on a sack and six quarterback hurries, along with stuffing almost half of the Hoosiers' rushing attempts.

Riley Moss 14
Indiana 6@R_moss5 |

— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) September 5, 2021

The Indiana offense was nonexistent in passing downs, generating just 2.6 yards per attempt and a low 20% Success Rate. The Hoosiers had no explosive drives and two-plus first downs on just two possessions.

Despite the great highlights from the back seven of the defense, the preseason concerns around the size of the trench still exists for Iowa.

Tackles Yahya Black and Lukas Van Ness posted two of the three worst rush defense grades of the weekend. Edge Zach VanValkenburg logged one tackle and two missed tackles. Through a minimum of 10 dropback attempts by Indiana, edge Deontae Craig and tackle Logan Lee posted the lowest pass rush grades on the team.

The point of attack for Iowa State will most certainly be around Iowa's defensive line.

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Iowa State Cyclones

The Cyclones held injured players and possibly half the playbook back against Northern Iowa in the tight opening win.

During his weekly presser, Campbell announced full health for tight end Charlie Kolar and linebacker O'Rien Vance. The one injury that will roll into this rivalry is receiver Sean Shaw, who racked up 21 receptions last season.

Campbell addressed the tightness of this series, with the past three games decided by 14 points or less. The head coach had no other explanation for the four losses other than execution being the deciding factor in each of the games.

As for Northern Iowa, the head coach noted that ball security and finishing drives are a continued area of concentration. Hall was not at full health going into the game against the Panthers but will be fully healthy for the game against the Hawkeyes.

Cyclones Offense

Brock Purdy did enough to get Iowa State into scoring position against Northern Iowa.

Three trips to the red zone finished with a touchdown and two field goals. Purdy logged one big-time throw and no turnover worth plays on a 20-of-26 day for nearly 200 yards.

After the game, Campbell mentioned his disappointment in the ground attack.

The Beast is back.


— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) September 4, 2021

Hall played 27 snaps and ended with 23 rushing attempts despite reports of not being at full health.

The Heisman Trophy candidate had just one run over 10 yards and averaged 1.87 yards after contact, a number almost half of his respective career mark.

To compound issues in the run game, guard Darrell Simmons Jr. posted a subpar run-blocking grade with 60 snaps logged.

Iowa State was stuffed on nine of its 33 rushing attempts, coming in almost a full yard short of the national average in standard downs yards per play.

Cyclones Defense

Campbell's main area of focus for his 3-3-5 scheme is stopping the combination of center Tyler Linderbaum and Goodson.

Both J.R. Singleton and Isaiah Lee had a combined 44 defensive snaps lining up in the A gap.

The Hawkeyes fielded their best run-blocking grade from right guard Justin Britt, making this a continued point of attack for Goodson.

The biggest issue for Iowa State in this series has been the inability to get Iowa out of standard downs throughout every loss, with 47 snaps on schedule in 2019 to just 25 in passing downs.

Northern Iowa did not have much success on the ground, but the Panthers racked up 230 yards through the air.

Panthers quarterback Will McElvain was picked off twice in the second half, but the Cyclones couldn't cash in for any points.

Northern Iowa generated an above-average Success Rate in passing downs and had more receptions over 20 yards than the Iowa State offense.

Other signs of concern for the Iowa State defense include allowing eight third-down conversions in 17 attempts with an average distance to go of 6.7 yards for Northern Iowa.

Although the Panthers never made it to the red zone, this was not the best effort from a team that ranked 22nd in coverage last season.

Iowa vs. Iowa State Matchup Analysis

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

Iowa Offense vs. Iowa State Defense




Rushing Success
Passing Success
Line Yards
Sack Rate
Finishing Drives

Iowa State Offense vs. Iowa Defense




Rushing Success
Passing Success
Line Yards
Sack Rate
Finishing Drives

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
Rush Rate
54.4% (68)
55.% (65)
Seconds per Play

Data via College Football Data (CFBD) and FootballOutsiders; SP+ projection per ESPN.

Iowa vs. Iowa State Betting Pick

When entering Week 2 of a college football season, there's always a look for buy-low and sell-high opportunities after a one-game sample set.

Iowa was not nearly as good offensively as the final score indicates, generating national averages in standard downs Success Rate and a low 4.3 yards per play during passing downs. Iowa State is not as bad as the final score against Northern Iowa suggests, recording a 52% Success Rate on passing plays while averaging 7.3 yards per play.

There are reasons to believe this game starts slow, barring any further Moss pick-six plays from the Iowa defense.

The point of attack against Iowa is a fresh defensive line lighter in size than recent years. The return of Kolar not only helps in blocking and as a target for Brock Purdy, but he allowed Campbell to zip in and out of 12 and 13 formations as well.

Standard downs are certainly the question mark for the Cyclones after an uninspiring performance from Hall in the elusiveness and yards after contact numbers from Northern Iowa.

This will be Petras' second look at a defense that lines up in a 3-3-5 with intentions to disguise coverage and blitz. Minnesota fielded the scheme last season and was by far the worst pass-graded game of the season for Petras.

The Gophers spend only a third of their defensive snaps in that scheme, rotating out depending on down and distance. Iowa State runs the 3-3-5 on 92% of snaps and will send blitzes on 20% of snaps against the 11 formation and double that rate against a two-tight end set.

The scoring should start slow as Petras looks for targets against a difficult scheme and the Cyclones focus on the Iowa defensive front seven. There may be a rise in this total heading up to kickoff with heavy public interest and College GameDay on set.

A first-half under on any 22s in the market are suggested.

As for the spread, Iowa is expected to get the lion's share of wagers after last week's final scores and Campbell's against the Hawkeyes.

The Action Network projection puts this number at Iowa State -4 and a total of 53. An in-game over will be the look through the second quarter, but expect the 12 and 13 formations to expose an inexperienced defensive front.

Pick: First-Half Under 22 or Better | Iowa State -4 or Better

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