Pick – Analysis
Oklahoma State has the most favorable Schedule in the Big 12 and that’s highlighted by this Game. After getting its biggest win of the season over TCU last weekend, the Cowboys have to travel to lowly Iowa State. Even so, they are just a -14 point favorite (at betonline) against the Cyclones.
OK State could’ve easily lost multiple times earlier in the season, but they made no mistake in the TCU Game, dismantling the Horned Frogs 49-29. That win was a bit surprising, but bettors still aren’t that impressed and only have the Cowboys as a two-touchdown favorite in this Game.
To compare, Iowa State was a 20.5-point home underdog to TCU earlier in the year. Even in road Games at Oklahoma and Baylor, the Cyclones were huge underdogs, by 24.5 and 35.5 points, respectively. Whether it’s letdown possibility or lack of respect for the No. 5 team in the AP polls, we’ll find out this weekend.
Iowa State hasn’t had too much to cheer about this year, but it did come away with a 24-0 win in its last home Game against Texas. This team continues to fight and that’s all that can be asked from them. OK State’s defense played up a level in last week’s Game, but can they bring that fierceness on the road? So far, that hasn’t been the case, allowing 53 points at Texas Tech a couple weeks ago, and at least 26 in all of their previous Big 12 road Games. But can the Cyclones capitalize on that?
Possibly. Sophomore quarterback Joel LAnning was given the go a few weeks ago and he’s put in some decent numbers with 6 TDs and one pick through Four Games (only started in two). He’s played similar to former starter Sam B. Richardson, but that’s not saying much. ISU still has a decent ground Game, which could come into play here. Freshman Mike Warren leads the team with 997 yards and could be in for another solid day after gashing Texas for 157 yards last home Game. That would help a ton for LAnning and experienced receivers, Allen LAzard and Quenton Bundrage, in the passing Game.
The bigger question for Iowa State is on the defensive side. Oklahoma State has figured out a rhythm in recent weeks and is piling points on. They have scored 177 points in the last three Games if that says anything. The Cyclones will probably have to keep OK State around the 40-point mark to cover this Game.
Quarterback Mason Rudolph was a monster against TCU, throwing for 352 yards and five touchdowns and that’s kind of what OK State has been hoping for all year. If Rudolph continues to run the offense like that, they can have success against anyone. Their receivers are deep, but James Washington has picked it up in the last three Games, running past defenses for 100-yard Games and six touchdowns. The problem remains in the running Game, where they didn’t really do anything against TCU. Then again, that obviously didn’t matter.
The Cowboys hope to build off last week’s win, but there is some letdown potential here. Yet it can’t be forgotten that OK State has covered this matchup three straight years with similar spreads.
The favorite is 9-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings between these schools and the Cyclones are just 0-5-2 ATS in their last seven home Games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Our Pick – This is the time of year where teams start to focus on qualifying for a Bowl Game. Obviously that is something Oklahoma State has already done. However for Iowa State, they must win out to qualify. Not likely, but it does place some added emphasis on this Game.
It’s not the best of matchups for the Cyclones. Their 109th ranked pass defense has to go up against the 8th ranked passing offense in the land. Yikes.
The possibility of a letdown by Oklahoma State and the Bowl picture is enough to give some thought to Iowa State here but we think the talent wins out and the Cowboys show up and continue their winning ways in blow out fashion. Oklahoma State -14