Neither one of these teams has been easy to figure out. Iowa State has two losses by a combined three points, which means it’s not far from being undefeated.
Texas Tech has had some bad losses, but then beat OK State and should’ve won at Baylor last weekend. The Cyclones were still early -7 point road favorites with an over/under of 55.5.
Both of these teams have covered their last two games, though only the Cyclones are getting respect. The Red Raiders went toe-to-toe in Waco last weekend and while they lost, it was still an impressive performance.
That’s the main reason to take the home team in this spot and because they dominated their previous home game by 10 points. ISU also lost in Waco, though it didn’t score until the fourth quarter.
There’s no use in looking at previous results between these teams because Tech doesn’t play the same brand of football under new head coach Matt Wells and that’s why it’s been a weird start to the season.
The new hope is quarterback Jett Duffey, who has looked better than the injured Alan Bowman as he’s averaging almost a full two yards per attempt more at 8.5.
He holds onto the ball a tad too long which has resulted in more sacks, but his upside has been evident with a balanced core of receivers led by T.J. Vasher. But the reason Tech is different from Air Raid versions is that it can run the ball consistently.
SaRodorick Thompson is averaging 5.4 yards per carry to go with 17 receptions and he had 153 yards at Baylor last week. The key is to keep that going because ISU has one of the better rush defenses in the conference, allowing just over 100 yards per game.
If Thompson can’t find those same holes, it’ll be up to Duffey and while that could be a good thing, interceptions are what cost the Red Raiders an upset last week.
The other problem for the home team is that their defense remains a work in progress, allowing 185.2 rushing yards and 27.3 points per game. They haven’t truly stopped anyone which is why it’ll be important for Duffey to continually put points on the board.
The Cyclones maybe don’t have the most consistent offense, but they’ve turned it up a level the last couple games, highlighted by the 49 points scored against TCU.
Quarterback Brock Purdy’s road splits are worth keeping in mind for this matchup because he’s averaging 7.6 yards per attempt on the road compared to 9.8 at home.
Some of that has to do with competition, though he also carved up a good TCU defense at home. Deshaunte Jones has been his top guy in the slot with 37 receptions, while Tarique Milton is averaging 21.7 yards per catch. Purdy also helps a bit in the running game with 188 yards and six touchdowns.
ISU will likely lean on that in this matchup with Breece Hall possibly seeing the most action after rushing for 132 yards last weekend.
Iowa State may have an edge in the trenches, but Texas Tech is getting seven points at home. Both teams are playing their best football of the season and that could lead to another close Big 12 matchup.
The over is 5-1 in Tech’s last six games against a team with a winning record, while Iowa State has covered four of its last five overall. The Cyclones have covered the last three in this meeting, including when it was a 7-point road favorite two years ago.
Our Pick – Iowa State -7