Iowa State vs Ohio Odds, Predictions & Picks | Week 3 Betting Guide
David K Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Ohio quarterback Kurtis Rourke.
Iowa State vs Ohio Odds
Week 3 of the 2023 college football season may not have any super high-profile matchups, but there are still some intriguing games in the noon ET window, like LSU at Mississippi State and Missouri hosting Kansas State.
Those aren't the only good early games, though, because Ohio hosting Iowa State has the potential to be a very interesting matchup.
Both teams come in with a loss already, and it doesn't look like there's some massive gap between each team, so this one has the chance to come down to the wire in Athens.
Let's take a look at the odds for Iowa State vs. Ohio and make a pick and prediction in this college football betting preview for Saturday, Sept. 16.
Even with the recent sports betting scandal that has hampered the program, the Cyclones still have the profile of a typical Iowa State team under Matt Campbell.
The defense is once again leading the way for the Cyclones. After allowing just nine points to Northern Iowa in the opener, the Cyclones limited Iowa to just 13 offensive points. The Hawkeyes struggled to get much going through the air against an ISU defense that ranks 15th in Defensive Passing Success Rate.
Safety Jeremiah Cooper has been a big reason for the secondary's solid start, as he leads the nation with three interceptions this season.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Rocco Becht has been OK with Hunter Dekkers out of the picture. His performance against Iowa left a lot to be desired. He completed 23-of-44 passes for one touchdown and a pick-six — but not many quarterbacks have career days against the Hawkeyes' stingy defense.
Becht isn't exactly being helped by the Cyclones' run game, as the team averages just 3.8 yards per rush.
Even though Ohio's defense isn't as good as Iowa's, the ground game has to improve if Iowa State wants to pick up this road win.
Ohio is one of the few teams that has played three games already, and it might be 3-0 if starting quarterback Kurtis Rourke didn't get injured in Week 0. Nevertheless, the Bobcats are 2-1 after a close road win over Florida Atlantic last weekend.
Rourke has not put up great stats so far this season, but he's widely considered to be the best quarterback in the MAC and has generated a little bit of NFL Draft buzz thanks in part to his arm strength. The Canadian signal-caller put himself on the map last year by throwing for 3,256 yards and 25 touchdowns with a 69.1% completion rate.
There are a lot of Power 5 programs that could use a guy like Rourke at the helm, and his ability could be an equalizer against an ISU team with a struggling offense and an inexperienced quarterback.
Ohio's defense should also play well enough so Rourke doesn't have to carry the whole load. Action Analytics mostly likes what the Bobcats are doing on defense, and you can see why after they've given up only 10 points in each of their last two games.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Iowa State and Ohio match up statistically:
Iowa State Offense vs. Ohio Defense
Ohio Offense vs. Iowa State Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||53||132|
|Seconds per Play||29.6 (108)||28.6 (90)|
|Rush Rate||48.3% (79)||56.0% (67)|
Iowa State vs Ohio
Betting Pick & Prediction
Strange things can happen when a Power 5 team goes on the road to play a Group of Five team, and this game sure has an odd aura around it.
Two things stick out to me about this game. First, Iowa State feels like a typical Campbell-coached squad that plays hard-nosed football and leans on its defense to win games.
While that approach has led to one of the best eras in ISU football history, it also opens the door for lesser teams to hang around. Remember, the 2020 Cyclones team that won the Fiesta Bowl with Brock Purdy and Breece Hall lost by three scores at home to Louisiana in the season opener. Other decent ISU teams have struggled to pull away from Northern Iowa over the years as well.
The second thing that sticks out is Ohio's significant quarterback advantage. While Rourke hasn't had a breakout game so far this season, he's still a proven, successful starter who's fully capable of making a few plays that tilt the outcome of this game.
Add in the Bobcats playing at home, and Ohio +3.5 feels like the play.
I don't trust Iowa State's offense on the road one bit, and Rourke should be able to do enough to keep the Bobcats in the game. Plus, Ohio can lose by a field goal and still cover if you get this at +3.5.