Texas Tech vs Iowa State Odds, Picks: Defenses to Rise in Big 12 Duel

Texas Tech vs Iowa State Odds, Picks: Defenses to Rise in Big 12 Duel article feature image

Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Iowa State running back Jirehl Brock.

Texas Tech vs Iowa State Odds

Saturday, Nov. 19
7 p.m. ET
Texas Tech Odds
-110o / -110u
Iowa State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Neither of these teams has had its best season, but both still have a chance to gain bowl eligibility in the last two weeks of the season, making this a must-win for both programs.

The Cyclones would need to win out, including an upset over No. 4 TCU next Saturday. That would be quite the task, but if they even want to get to that point, they will need to take care of business in their last home game of the season.

Texas Tech has an easier path to bowl eligibility, but it’s still not a given it'll get there. The Red Raiders will need to beat either Iowa State or Oklahoma next week in order to get Joey McGuire to a bowl game in his first season as head coach.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Red Raiders Offense

A couple of weeks ago, Texas Tech quarterback Behren Morton was injured against TCU, giving way to Tyler Shough, who started in Week 1 before getting hurt and then sitting on the bench.

Shough had a strong showing against Kansas in his second start of the season and led the Red Raiders to a 43-28 victory.

The Red Raiders have the 18th-most explosive offense in the country but are 77th in Success Rate. They pass at the 16th highest rate in FBS. However, Texas Tech ranks just 98th in Passing Success Rate and 109th in passing PPA. 

The ground game has been very effective for the Red Raiders when they have gone to it. They rank 42nd in Rushing Success Rate, 15th in PPA and sixth in rushing explosiveness. In last week’s game against Kansas, Texas Tech averaged 0.29 EPA per rush (88th percentile).

This Red Raiders offense has been solid and it remains to be seen how good Shough will be, but Iowa State’s defense is much better than Kansas’ and will provide a tough task.

Red Raiders Defense

After years of its defense being a laughing stock, it seems as if Texas Tech has finally started to turn the corner defensively.

The Red Raiders now have a respectable unit, ranking 24th in Overall Success Sate (39th vs. run, 16th vs. pass). SP+ doesn’t seem to be buying this improvement as it still ranks Texas Tech as the 84th-best defense in FBS.

The biggest issue for this unit has been allowing explosive plays. They are 104th in explosiveness and it comes from both facets of the defense.

Texas Tech ranks 110th in rushing explosiveness against the run and 104th against the pass. Luckily, Iowa State’s offense isn't an explosive unit.

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Iowa State Cyclones

Cyclones Offense

Hunter Dekkers and this Iowa State offense have struggled to match the firepower of their Big 12 counterparts this season. Iowa State passes the ball at the 13th-highest rate in the country but is 59th in Success Rate and 103rd in explosiveness.

Dekkers is tied for the Power Five lead with 13 turnovers. According to PFF, Dekkers ranks 65th out of 78 qualifying quarterbacks in turnover-worthy play percentage, meaning he hasn't played nearly as risky as his interception number would lead you to believe.

Part of Iowa State’s reliance on Dekkers and the pass game is likely based on the fact that it hasn't been able to run at all. Despite its low volume of rushes, Iowa State ranks 123rd in Success Rate, 125th in PPA and 122nd in explosiveness.

I wouldn’t expect much out of the Cyclones this weekend.

Cyclones Defense

The Cyclones have had one of the strongest defenses in the Big 12 this season.

In fact, they have the seventh-highest rated defense by SP+, which is the highest of any team in the conference. PFF ranks Iowa State 43rd in their defensive grades and the Cyclones are also 43rd in Defensive Success Rate.

They are one of the best at preventing opponents from getting into the end zone, as they're second in defensive explosiveness and fifth in points per opportunity.

This season, the Cyclones have been most successful in stopping the run. They rank 41st in Rushing Success Rate, 10th in rushing PPA and second in rushing explosiveness. Pass defense hasn’t been a huge issue for them either. The Clones sit 59th in Passing Success Rate, 46th in PPA and ninth in passing explosiveness allowed.

Texas Tech vs Iowa State Matchup Analysis

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

Texas Tech Offense vs. Iowa State Defense
Rush Success3841
Line Yards5421
Pass Success9860
Pass Blocking**8675
Finishing Drives765
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Iowa State Offense vs. Texas Tech Defense
Rush Success12340
Line Yards12546
Pass Success6017
Pass Blocking**8941
Finishing Drives8560
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling3370
PFF Coverage9248
SP+ Special Teams73122
Seconds per Play20.8 (3)26.8 (77)
Rush Rate46.4% (109)44.1% (115)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Texas Tech vs Iowa State Betting Pick

These two defenses match up very well against their offensive counterparts.

Iowa State’s ability to limit explosive plays should force this Texas Tech offense into long, sustained drives, which they have struggled to generate this season. On the opposite side, Texas Tech is very good at defending the pass, which is what Iowa State wants to do.

Iowa State’s past six games have all seen the under cash. I think this will also end up being a low-scoring affair with solid defensive matchups and a backup quarterback playing for Texas Tech.

Pick: Under 47.5 (Play to 46.5)

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