The No. 22 Kansas Jayhawks (6-2) visit the Iowa State Cyclones (5-3) in a Big 12 Conference tilt Saturday night. The Jayhawks climbed into the college football rankings after upsetting Oklahoma 38-33 last week. The Cyclones (5-3) need a win to become bowl eligible. The game was moved from Saturday afternoon to Saturday evening for ESPN, so you can be sure Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa, will be packed. The Kansas vs Iowa State odds have the Cyclones favored by 2.5 points, and the total on the game is at 54 points.
Day/Time:Saturday, Nov. 4, 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa
Line: Iowa State -2.5 | Total: 54
Kansas Offense Getting It Done
A large part of Kansas’ success this NCAAF season can be attributed to an offense averaging 35.8 points per game. Kansas can move the ball on the ground or through the air. The Jayhawks run the ball 38 times per game and throw 25. But Kansas’ frequent runs make the passing game that much more efficient. The Jayhawks are averaging 213.9 rushing yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry. Kansas throws for 229.5 yards per game, and the team’s 9.0 yards per pass attempt is tied for No. 15 in the NCAA football stats.
On defense, the Jayhawks haven’t been anything special. But they haven’t needed to be. Kansas is allowing 28.1 points to teams averaging 27.6 points per game. The Jayhawks allow 174.6 rushing yards per game and 227 yards through the air. So, Kansas is basically your average defense playing with a potent offense.
Iowa State Defense Carrying Team
The Clones don’t score a lot of points. But Iowa State allows even less. So the Cyclones can earn a bowl berth with a victory. Iowa State’s offense is averaging 23.9 points against teams, allowing 23.5. It rushes for 3.9 yards per carry against teams that allow 4.2 yards per rush. But the passing offense is a little better. Iowa State throws for 214.9 yards per game and 7.0 yards per pass attempt. Both numbers are slightly better than its opposition allows on average.
But the defense has been solid. The Cyclones have held six opponents to 20 points or less and are 4-2 in those games. Iowa State is allowing 19.8 points per game, and that’s after allowing 50 to the Sooners. The Cyclones have held their last three foes to a combined 42 points to go from 2-3 to 5-3 in the college football standings. Iowa State allows 3.9 yards per rush. But they’ll get a tough test in Kansas’ running game. The pass defense has been solid. Iowa State allows 54.6% completions and 5.8 yards per pass attempt. If Iowa State is going to cover the college football spread against Kansas, the defense will need to shine.
What to Expect
The biggest thing to expect is a bit of a letdown from Kansas. The Jayhawks hadn’t beaten Oklahoma since 1997. It was also the team’s sixth win of the season, so the Jayhawks will be in a bowl game. But if Kansas can find success on the ground, it can take away a bit of the letdown effect. Running the ball is what the Jayhawks do best, and there’s nothing than will take a crowd out of a game faster than seeing the opposition run the ball successfully. The Jayhawks will mix in their usual passes to try and catch the defense off-guard.
Iowa State will play for field position and try to capitalize on mistakes. The Cyclones need to get off to a good start. Iowa State isn’t designed to come back from a deficit. The Cyclones need to be able to move the ball on the ground to be successful. But they’ll throw the ball plenty against a Kansas defense that has shown some weaknesses.
Who to Bet On?
The Kansas vs Iowa State odds have a little bit of the letdown effect built into it. Kansas is ranked and viewed as being a better team. But there isn’t much difference in the overall strength of the two squads. The teams are completely different, with Kansas being offensive-oriented, and the Cyclones winning on the strength of its defense.
The Kansas vs Iowa State odds on the total make it a tough call. The Cyclones would like to see the game go under the total, but the Iowa State offense has picked-up the pace a little bit in the past few weeks.
Based on the situation for Kansas, the Cyclones are the side to be on in this game. It’s tough for a road team to bounce back after a huge upset victory like the Jayhawks had last week. Take Iowa State -2.5 for one of your college football picks.