#16 Iowa -2 @ Iowa State O/U 44.5 Prediction
Every fan loves hard fought rivalry games, but these games can be a sports betting nightmare. Six of the last eight meetings between these two have been close games and I don't expect anything different this year. I do expect a relatively low scoring game, unlike the 2017 meeting 44-41 shootout.
Iowa State is 0-1 against the spread failing to cover against Northern Iowa. Iowa is 1-1 against the spread, covering against Rutgers and failing to cover 25 points in a 24 point win against Miami (OH).
The Cyclones are coming off a much needed bye week, after narrowly escaping Northern Iowa in OT week 1. This game being the only sample makes me believe Iowa State is going to be faded hard by the public and we could see this line cross over a field goal. There were some bright spots for Iowa State, Brock Purdy completed 77.5% of his passes for 278 yards and 2 TDs, hitting Deshaunte Jones 14 times for 126 yards, and La'Michael Pettway had 2 TD catches. Iowa State's offense doesn't stop their, they have the running backs to chew the clock, control the game and wear down defenses. Three backs had over 10 carries and all three average 4.3 yards per attempt.
Iowa State struggled to finish drives against UNI, but it was a good tune up game right before a bye to tweak both sides of the ball before this big match up. I expect Iowa State is focus on efficiency and getting the ball in the endzone against a stout Iowa defense.
The Hawkeyes shut down a Rutgers offense that showcased their explosive ability week one. The held the Scarlet Knights to 125 total yards and forced three turnovers in the shutout. While Iowa won 30-0, it arguably should have been much worse. Iowa struggled on 3rd downs going 2-13 and 2 of the turnovers force resulted in field goals instead of touchdowns. Nonetheless, they win handily and covered the 18 point spread by 2 scores.
Iowa will have it's hands full this week with a Iowa State team that can and will spread the ball around the a wealth of options. Their focus has to be win the 3rd down battle. If they can get Brock Purdy and this offense off the field on 3rd downs and they can do better than 2 for 13, they will put themselves in a position to win.
How Will The Game Play Out?
We know the battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy will likely be a battle late into the game and a strong fourth quarter could be the difference. I expect this to be a defensive battle and the scores on both sides will come as a result of short fields and double digit play drives. In the end Iowa will make enough stops and force a late turnover to come out victorious. As long as the spread is under a field goal, I like Iowa to cover with a score like 27-24.
Iowa will improve to 3-0 heading into a much needed bye week, while Iowa State will fall to 1-1, with a match up with LA-Monroe before Big XII play starts on the 28th.