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Iowa State Cyclones (15) vs. Texas Longhorns (20) Betting Picks and Predictions

24 November 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Friday, November 27th
Time:12:00 PM ET
Network:ABC
Venue:Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium
Spread:Texas -2
O/U:61.5

The 6-2 Iowa State Cyclones will go on the road Friday to face off with the 5-2 Texas Longhorns at 12:00 PM ET in Memorial Stadium. You can tune into the top-25 matchup on ABC. The Longhorns come in as two-point home favorites and we’re looking at a relatively high 61.5 over/under. The winner of this game will work closer to the top-10 while the loser will rid of any chance they had of a big bowl game appearance. Let’s dive into how this one will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of my CFB Picks and Predictions for this upcoming weekend slate of games.

Trends

  • Cyclones are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
  • Longhorns are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
  • Over is 3-1-1 in Cyclones last 5 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Over is 6-1 in Longhorns last 7 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.

When The Iowa State Cyclones Have The Ball

The Cyclones are coming off a 45-0 rout over Kansas State in what was easily their most impressive showing of the season. 2020 hasn’t been all that great to Iowa State, but it sure looks like they’re putting everything together and they are still in a spot to play in a big bowl game with a win over Texas here. If both the offense and defense play like they did a week ago, the Longhorns don’t stand a chance.

It’s been an up and down season for Brock Purdy, but there’s no denying the upside he brings to the table. He’s up to 1,713 yards and 13 touchdowns through the air with 253 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He has thrown six interceptions, however, and he must take care of the ball against Texas as their offense will take advantage.

This offense is the Breece Hall machine and he’s one of the best running backs in the entire country. He’s carried it 180 times for 1,169 yards and 15 touchdowns on top of 15 receptions and another TD. The Cyclones are best off when Hall has the ball in his hands and he’s going to touch it 25+ times against a Texas defense that’s going to struggle slowing him down.

When Purdy drops back, he’s typically looking for Xavier Hutchinson or Charlie Kolar. Hutchinson is an outside threat and he leads the team with 41 catches for 518 yards and four scores while Kolar is one of the best tight ends in the country and he’s converted 25 catches into 286 yards and four scores of his own. If Iowa State wants to win this game, Purdy must keep the ball away from Texas and in the hands of the superstars.

When The Texas Longhorns Have The Ball

The Longhorns have been inconsistent this season, to say the least. They beat sixth-ranked Oklahoma State but lost close games to TCU and Oklahoma. When playing well, Texas can beat anyone in the country. They’re scoring 40 points per game and have allowed under 30. The Cyclones won’t give them an inch on either side of the ball and it will come down to the Longhorns offense taking care of the football and getting the correct weapons the ball.

Senior QB Sam Ehlinger is the heart and soul of this offense and they go as he goes. He’s up to 1,834 yards and 22 touchdowns with just five interceptions on top of 323 rushing yards and seven scores. His versatility makes the Texas offense nearly impossible to stop for four straight quarters. His favorite weapons are Joshua Moore (22 rec, 343 yards, 7 TD) and Brennan Eagles (19 rec, 286 yards, 5 TD), who are two of the best receivers in the conference.

The Longhorns deploy a three-headed backfield with Roschon Johnson, Bijan Robinson, and Keontay Ingram all getting between 51 and 53 carries. Robinson has been the most productive of the bunch with 5.8 yards per carry. He’s yet to find the end zone, however, and Johnson leads the squad with two scores. The offense is based around Ehlinger and the passing game, but still open things up with the running game.

Spread Prediction

With just a two-point spread, you can look at this game as basically a pick ’em. The Texas Longhorns are the better team here and they’ll have the advantage of playing at home. They looked great in their last game, finally showing the ability to win with defense. The Longhorns are still in a spot to play in a big bowl game and a win here would put them in an excellent spot.

Neither of these offenses have been super consistent, but the Cyclones have been downright terrible at times and the Longhorns will take advantage if given any opportunity. I surely trust Ehlinger at home more than I do Purdy on the road and the Longhorns defense has turned opposing offenses over at a higher clip. The Longhorns have two of the best receivers in the entire country and the Cyclones have struggled to stop superstar pass-catchers. Give me the Longhorns to win a close game.

The Pick: Texas -2

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Total Prediction

This number is just too low for a pair of offenses that can score like these ones can. The Longhorns defense is the only path to this going under, but I don’t think they have a ton of success against Iowa State. I just think Purdy will turn the ball over or make a silly throw when it comes down to the wire. The Longhorns are going to put up 30+ points as a near-guarantee and I actually project them for 40. When Ehlinger is on his game, he’s one of the best QB’s in the entire country and I simply don’t like the Iowa State defense. Give me the over all day, though Texas is my favorite bet in this game.

The Pick: Over 61.5

Final Score Prediction: Texas 41, Iowa State 34

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