Big 12 Conference Championship Betting Guide: Odds & Picks for Oklahoma vs. Iowa State
Credit: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images & John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured, from left: Breece Hall (28) and Brendan Radley-Hiles (44).
Oklahoma vs. Iowa State Odds
While the Big 12 Championship might not be the most highly anticipated rematch on Saturday’s conference championship slate, it’s shaping up to be an entertaining one.
Oklahoma fell to Iowa State in Ames on Oct. 3, making a conference championship appearance all the more unlikely.
The Sooners haven’t lost since, running over opponents week in and week out.
The Cyclones, meanwhile, hope to make a statement by becoming the first team to down the Sooners twice in a season since 1901. While it would certainly need some help, Iowa State would have a case for a College Football Playoff spot with a win.
Oklahoma vs. Iowa State Staff Best Bets
Our college football staff broke down a number of bets for this Big 12 Championship game, including two picks on the Iowa State spread, one on the Oklahoma spread, and one on the over.
Click on any of our staff’s picks in the table of contents below to skip to an individual author’s betting analysis.
Quarterback Brock Purdy has actually taken a step back in 2020 in terms of efficiency. He’s throwing the ball for only 7.4 yards per attempt, which is the lowest average of his career.
However, the Iowa State offense doesn’t entirely run through Purdy. The Cyclones also have a dynamic running game, led by running back Breece Hall. The standout, who is averaging a ridiculous 6.1 yards per carry, ran all over Oklahoma in the first meeting, rushing for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
During the Sooners’ six-game winning streak, their defense allowed just 4.4 yards per play. However, a lot of that came against some of the worst offenses in the Big 12. The one area Oklahoma has really struggled with is giving up explosive plays. The Sooners are 109th nationally in explosive plays allowed and 118th in rushing explosiveness allowed, per College Football Data.
Head coach Lincoln Riley has completely turned Oklahoma’s season around. The offense has been clicking on all cylinders, with quarterback Spencer Rattler at the helm. Rattler is averaging a stellar 9.7 yards per pass attempt, with the benefit of having a slew of different receivers at his disposal.
The rushing game has struggled by Oklahoma’s standards. The Sooners are averaging only 4.1 yards per carry as a team, good enough for 37th in rushing success and 117th in rushing explosiveness. The Sooners will also be facing one of the best rush defenses in the Big 12, as the Cyclones are top 20 in both defensive rushing success and explosive rushing allowed.
I actually have Iowa State projected as a -1.23 favorite in the Big 12 Championship, so I think there is plenty of value on the Cyclones at +5.5 points.
Iowa State has the 28th-ranked offense in the country, averaging 441.7 yards per game. The Cyclones have an offensive PPA per play of 0.27, good enough for 18th in the nation. Defensively, the Cyclones are ranked 25th overall, giving up 338.1 yards per game.
Oklahoma has the 15th-ranked offense in the country, averaging 485.1 yards per game. The Sooners have an offensive PPA per play of 0.32, ranking 14th nationally in the metric. Oklahoma’s defense ranks 16th in the country, allowing only 322 yards per game.
Both teams are evenly matched heading into this contest. My model has the game as Pick’em, given the neutral location. I think the value in this matchup resides with the Cyclones and taking the points prior to kickoff. Iowa State and Oklahoma are peaking at the right time following slow starts, but I think the Cyclones are the more complete team at this moment. Take Iowa State and the points.
Alternatively, I think there will be plenty of opportunities to place live wagers in this game. Keep an eye out for the Cyclones getting seven points or better and the Sooners at -1.5 or better as well.
No team has defeated Oklahoma twice in one season since Texas won a home-and-home series against the Sooners in 1901, triumphing by 12-6 and 11-0 scorelines.
Iowa State will get a chance to take down Oklahoma for a second time this year after coming away with a 37-30 win in Ames on Oct. 3. The Cyclones scored two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to take the lead before Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler threw an interception in the end zone with 1:02 left to seal the win for the hosts.
The Cyclones will face an improved Rattler this time around, as the first meeting marked the red-shirt freshman’s first road start. After throwing five interceptions in his first three Big 12 games, he has thrown just two picks over the past five games, establishing terrific chemistry with freshman receiver Marvin Mims in the process.
The Sooners have also benefited from the return of running back Rhamondre Stevenson and defensive end Ronnie Perkins. Both players missed the first five games of the season (including the Iowa State tilt) after failing a drug test during last year’s bowl week.
In the four games since Stevenson returned, he has rushed for six touchdowns and 95.5 yards per game. He has also added another 43.8 yards per game receiving to his résumé.
After being Oklahoma’s best edge rusher the past two seasons, Perkins returned and has totaled four sacks, eight tackles for loss and six quarterback hurries.
This Oklahoma defense does not get enough credit for how good it has been this season. The Sooners are 13th in country in defensive Success Rate, allowing just 88.1 rushing yards per game that’s good enough for fourth best in the nation. The Sooners are on pace to be the best defense out of Norman, Okla., since the 2009 campaign.
The Sooners’ defense has been even better since the return of Perkins and should be able to slow down Hall more than it did in the first meeting. Stevenson makes the Sooners offense more balanced and Rattler has done a better job protecting the ball.
by Matt Wispe
These teams combined for 67 points the last time they met, so I’m not entirely sure why the total for this week’s game is nearly 10 points less than that previous final outcome. Higher-scoring games have been the norm between these sides, as the total has gone over the number in eight of their last 10 meetings.
Oklahoma’s defense has generally improved since it allowed 45 points to Texas. The Sooners allowed an average of 15.6 per game this season, but none of the offenses they faced had an above-average offensive success rate. In fact, Iowa State’s offensive success rate is 4.5 percent higher than the next best team — Texas Tech — which scored 28 points against Oklahoma.
The Sooners’ offense has remained strong. It’s averaged 43.4 points per game this season, with an offensive success rate of 49.1%. Despite his early struggles, quarterback Spencer Rattler has helped Oklahoma have a passing success rate of 52.8%, plus he’s averaged 9.7 yards per attempt.
For Iowa State, it’s all about Breece Hall. He’s scored in every game this year, including seven games with two or more touchdowns. Hall rushed for 138 yards and two scores in that first game against Oklahoma. Behind an Iowa State line that has generated more than three line yards per attempt, he should find success again.
Some matchups just scream “over” on the total, with this being one of those games. While I don’t expect Oklahoma to look incompetent on defense, I also don’t expect it to look as good as it did over its last five games. This number seems about four points lower than what it should be.