The Iowa State Cyclones visit the Baylor Bears for a Saturday afternoon Big 12 Conference game. The Cyclones are off to a 4-3 start on the strength of going 3-1 in conference play. Baylor is off to a bit of a slow start, going 3-4. But the Bears are 2-2 in conference play, winning twice on the road. The Iowa State vs Baylor betting shows the Cyclones as 2-point road favorites and the total on the game is 47.5.
Line: Iowa State -2
Streaming: Big 12 Network/ESPN+
Iowa State Defense Getting Job Done
The Cyclones being 4-3 at this point of the season is a bit of a surprise, as Iowa State won its last two games as small underdogs. The offense hasn’t been bad, but it’s the defense that has come up big for the Cyclones. It will have to continue to do so for Iowa State to reach a NCAAF bowl game, as the NCAAF schedule sees the Cyclones close with Texas and Kansas State.
The Cyclones are averaging 23.0 points per game against teams allowing 21.4 points. Iowa State runs as much as it throws and the Cyclones are pretty average in both areas. The Cyclones run for 117.9 yards per game and throw for 211.6. Iowa State is +7 in turnovers for the season and that’s helped add some points on the scoreboard despite low yardage.
On defense, the Cyclones allow 20.0 points per game to teams scoring 25.7 points. Iowa State is a little better than average against the run and has been tough against the pass. The Cyclones are allowing just 53.9% completions and holding teams to 4.9 yards per play, tied for No. 27 in the nation.
Baylor Coming Off Key Win
The Bears are coming off a 32-29 victory at Cincinnati and are looking to even their season record at 4-4. One of those wins was over Long Island, so Baylor isn’t exactly playing just the top college football teams. The offense hasn’t been anything special this year. But the defense hasn’t made the plays when it needs to.
Baylor is averaging 22.0 points per game to teams allowing 23.4, so the Bears are a little below average. The running game has been weak, gaining just 90.5 yards per game and 2.8 yards per carry. The Bears are averaging 312 passing yards a game. But part of that has to do with the Bears throwing the ball 40 times per game.
On defense, the Bears allow 33.8 points to teams scoring 31.2, so Baylor may not be quite as bad defensively as it first appears. But it’s still not very good. The Bears allow 6.5 yards per play and rate out a little worse than average against the run and the pass.
What to Expect
Iowa State has shown a well-balanced offense so far this season and will probably bring the same mentality to this game. The Cyclones will look to mix things up and keep the Baylor defense off-balance as much as possible. It’s worked for Iowa State so far and there’s no reason to change.
The Bears are going to look to throw the ball often. It’s not because they’re a great passing team, but they’re not bad. And the rushing game has been dismal so far this season. Baylor has thrown for more than 215 yards every game this year, so you know what to expect from the Bears.
Who to Bet On?
The Iowa State vs Baylor betting line of Cyclones -2 is hard to argue with. Iowa State has played a little better than the Bears so far this year. The Cyclones are just 1-2 on the road this year, but the Bears are 1-4 at home. The implied score based on the college football odds and predictions is roughly Iowa State 25-23 and that doesn’t sound too far fetched.
The Iowa State vs Baylor betting line on the total might be a shade high. Despite how poorly the Bears have played defensively, the Cyclones aren’t a high-scoring team. Iowa State lets its defense take care of most of the work and plays the field position game and looks to not make mistakes. It’s a tough call, but the under 47.5 is likely the side to be on in this game.