Oklahoma State plays the two-loss Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State has respectable losses on the resume, and they have one of the best running backs in the Big 12. They have what it takes to win this game, but it is still surprising to be favored heavily. Here are details for the game and NCAAF pick.
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Saturday, October 23, 2021 – 03:30 PM EDT at Jack Trice Stadium
The college football regular season is coming to a close, and the College Football Playoff picture is still hazy. Some teams are definitely eliminated from the CFP race, but others remain because of the ease of their schedule. There are plenty of big games down the road that will give us clarity, and these teams need to simply survive and advance.
An example of this is the Oklahoma State Cowboys. OSU remains undefeated, and they have three straight wins against ranked opponents. They started the season off slow, but their wins against Kansas State, Baylor, and Texas have helped their resume.
They didn’t look great against Texas, but OSU bounced back and won the game. Despite remaining undefeated, NCAAF odds favor their unranked opponent this week.
Keys for Iowa State to Cover the Spread
When you’re favored by a touchdown, the expectation is that you are not settling for field goals. Because of that, Iowa State needs to win in the red zone in this game. They have a great running back, so this should be a given. However, they still have to execute so that they can finish drives with seven points.
The Cyclones also need to get off to a strong start. They are at their best when Breece Hall is actively involved in the scheme. To do that, they need to be in a close game or ahead. If they are coming back from a deficit, they will need to pass the ball more, and that will make everything harder for them.
This will likely be a close game until the final few possessions. Both teams have made mental mistakes in previous games this season.
Iowa State needs to avoid these game-ending mistakes in the final few drives. If it is close, they need to have that long drive that ends with a score. Any bad turnovers or sacks allowed could stall their progress, which is a non-starter when you are trying to beat a ranked team by over a touchdown.
Keys for Oklahoma State to Cover the Spread
Oklahoma State has to flood the box to stop the run. Iowa State’s success hinges on Breece Hall’s ability to take over a game. If you can hold him to less than 100 yards, you are in a great position to win this game outright.
Oklahoma State also has to win the turnover battle. When you play on the road, it is crucial that you avoid momentum-swinging mistakes like interceptions or fumbles in the red zone.
It’s more than the lost opportunity to score. It gives the home team more hope, and that can be detrimental to a team’s success. Sanders already has five interceptions this season, so this will be a point of emphasis as OSU prepares.
Oklahoma State has a lot on the line in this game. They can’t let the moment get too big for them. They have made mental errors early in games before in the season, and they’ve had to claw back in some of their wins. That won’t work against Iowa State. We’ll have a good idea of who is prepared in the first quarter of this one, and that will determine who covers the spread.
Predictions for This Game
Iowa State is a solid team with better stats on the year, but they haven’t executed in every game. Oklahoma State has more on the line, and they have been battle-tested already this season.
It is rare to see an unranked team be favored at best online sportsbooks by a touchdown against a top-10 team. It’s even stranger when you realize that there are no major injury concerns with the Cowboys. Unless OSU has an injury that hasn’t been reported on, this is a stretch. Iowa State could easily win this game, but I have the Cowboys covering.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.