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Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Iowa State Cyclones Odds & Game Pick (2021)

by September 8, 2021
Tyler Goodson

In-state rivals meet with both schools in the Top 25 for the first time in the CyHawk battle. The last time a ranked Iowa State team faced Iowa was in 1978 when they trounced big brother on the road, winning 31-0. The Cyclones are coming off a Big 12 Championship, Fiesta Bowl win, and Top 10 AP finish in 2020. All of that momentum, and they struggled to beat Northern Iowa in Week 1. Across the field, Iowa dominated their Week 1 Big 10 opener, toppling Indiana.

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Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

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  • Opening Line: Iowa State -3.5
  • Current Line: Iowa State -4.5
  • Over/Under: 44.5
  • Location: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA
  • Start Time: Saturday, September 11, 2021, 4:00 PM ET
  • Last Meeting: Iowa 18 at Iowa 17


Iowa is coming off a win, but QB questions remain despite the victory. Spencer Petras was 13 of 27 for 145 yards and no touchdowns in Week 1. To be fair, the Hawkeyes lost their entire 2020 receiving corps. Still, completing only 57% of passes last season brought plenty of questions into 2021 that remain unanswered still. RB Tyler Goodson is the Iowa offense, rushing for 99 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in their first contest. He’s carried the team on his back during their current 7-game winning streak, averaging 6.0 yards per carry and 110 rushing yards per game. Iowa’s defense is led by their coverage unit, one of the best in the Big 10.

Iowa State’s counter to Goodson is the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year LB Mike Rose. Rose had 96 tackles and five INTs in 2020. Picking up where he left off, he tallied 11 tackles versus Northern Iowa in the opener. Although, he may need to slide into coverage to cover TE Sam Laporta. On offense, controlling the line of scrimmage will be imperative. The Cyclones’ o-line may be the best in their history, and establishing the ground game will take the pressure off QB Brock Purdy. Purdy was inefficient in 2020 but showed renewed confidence in Week 1, throwing for 199 yards and completing 81% of his passes. Balance will be the sermon this week from Head Coach Matt Campbell.

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  • Iowa State was 7-5 ATS in 2020
  • Totals have gone UNDER in 8 of Iowa State’s last 12 games
  • Iowa is 5-2-1 ATS in its last 8 games overall
  • Totals have gone UNDER in 5 of Iowa’s last 8 games
  • Iowa leads the all-time series 45-22

Bottom Line

Offense will be at a premium considering the inconsistent play at QB on both sides. The UNDER is in play at 44.5 (-104) over at FanDuel Sportsbook. Iowa State looked shaky in Week 1 against an inferior opponent, but they face a taller task this week. If the Cyclones want national recognition in 2021, they must start by claiming Iowa as their state. The Hawkeyes are a proud program with excellent talent on defense, but questions about playmakers outside of Tyler Goodson will plague them all season. Still, their secondary will make State’s QB Brock Purdy’s day a difficult one, keeping Iowa close throughout. 

Prediction: Iowa State 21, Iowa 19

The Picks: Iowa +4.5 | 1.0 units, UNDER 44.5 | 1.0 units

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Aaron Pags is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Aaron, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyTriage.

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