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Iowa State Cyclones vs. TCU Horned Frogs Betting Picks and Predictions

25 September 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Saturday, September 26th
Time:1:30 PM ET
Venue:Amon G. Carter Stadium
Network:FS1
Spread:Iowa State -2.5
O/U:44

The 0-1 Iowa State Cyclones will go on the road to face off with the 0-0 TCU Horned Frogs at 1:30 PM ET in Amon G. Carter Stadium. The Cyclones will look to bounce back from a disappointing week one while the Horned Frogs look to open their season up on a winning note. Let’s dive into how this one will go when each team has the ball and who will end up covering the spread.

Iowa State Cyclones Look to Avoid Disastrous Start

Week one was devastating for Iowa State, as they lost 14-31 to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. They scored all of their points in the first half and were outscored 21-0 in the second. Superstar Brock Purdy threw for just 145 yards and an interception without finding the endzone. It was arguably his worst game as a Cyclone.

RB Breece Hall was a silver lining, and he’s starting to solidify himself as one of the best backs in the country. He ran for 103 yards and a TD while averaging over five yards per carry. The Cyclones would’ve had more success if they just ran the ball early and used their most dynamic weapon like he should be used.

The Cyclones will face an even tougher defense in the TCU Horned Frogs and if they have any clue, the ball will be in the hands of Breece Hall early and often. Purdy is not going to look that bad for a second consecutive season and he certainly has no interest in wasting this season. There’s a ton of hype around this team and they can get back on track with a W.

WR Tarique Milton led the team in 2019, but was quiet in week one and you can expect Purdy to get him involved a whole lot more. Xavier Hutchinson impressed on the outside with a few nice catches and he looks to be the new WR2. Sean Shaw Jr. is six-foot-six and there are few red-zone threats as dangerous in the country. While things looked ugly in week one, Iowa State is a solid team and they’re going to put it together before long.

TCU Horned Frogs Hyped-up Home Opener

It’s week one for TCU, which means we don’t know exactly what we’re going to get. They’re facing a weird team in Iowa State that lost as a huge favorite in week one, so we might not know what we have even after this game. We do know that this team is dangerous. Let’s start on offense.

QB Max Duggar has been cleared to play for week one, but it’ll be sophomore Matthew Downing that gets the start instead. While Duggar has been sick, he was able to practice since Tuesday and started last season, so this is either a skill or conditioning issue. Either way, the coaching staff believes in Downing and he’s going to have some dangerous weapons at his disposal.

This team is losing superstar wideout Jalen Reagor, but it’s not like they used him correctly in the first place. They sometimes fell behind trying to get him the ball in not so efficient ways. WR JD Spielman transferred from Nebraska and he’ll step in as the immediate WR1. Taye Barber remains from a season ago when he caught 29 balls for 379 yards.

At RB, it’s a pair of redshirt freshmen in Darwin Barlow and Daimarqua Foster. Barlow rushed for 99 yards and a TD (4.5 YPC) in 2019 before redshirting while Foster ran it for 66 yards and a score (8.3 YPC). While the loss of a workhorse like Darius Anderson won’t be easy, these two guys are more than talented enough to get it done.

Defensively, TCU is going to be extremely tough. They return nine starters and add a few promising sophomores. It does remain to be seen how they adapt to losing some depth and this shortened training camp. I expect the defense to be just fine and one of the best in the Pac-12 once again. This game sets up to be a phenomenal one.

Spread Prediction

The week one loss certainly throws a wrench into the plans of the Iowa State team, but Louisiana-Lafayette has proven to be the real deal and it’s a loss they might be able to afford if they win-out. If this game was a week ago, the Cyclones would be nearly double-digit favorites and that’s where I project this game ends up.

While TCU is dangerous, they have a lot of unknows to figure out while Iowa State knows exactly who they are. Look for Purdy to bounce back in a big way. While it won’t be an incredibly high-scoring game, he won’t be held scoreless or under 200 yards. Breece Hall will be utilized like he should have been a week ago and the Cyclones will comfortably win this one.

The Pick: Iowa State -2.5

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Total Prediction

This is a low number for two dangerous offenses. I expect Iowa State to spot close to 30 points themselves here and while the TCU QB situation is a bit of an unknown, the coaching staff trusts him over Duggan for a reason. Neither of these defenses is dynamite and they’ll be willing to bend, not break. Look for Iowa State to push the pace early and for TCU to respond with a few scores of their own. I’d be comfortable with the over up to 46.5.

The Pick: Over 44

Final Score Prediction: Iowa State 28, TCU 21

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

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