College Football Picks Against the Spread: Iowa State Cyclones vs. Baylor Bears

Iowa State Cyclones at No. 25 Baylor Bears
Saturday, 10/8/11, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  N/A
Opening Point Spread:  Baylor -16.5
Current Betting Line:  Baylor -15.5
Opening Total:  61
Current Total:  63.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Baylor Bears are searching for their second consecutive 4-0 start at home Saturday

Iowa State is 3-1 after a 37-14 loss to Texas last week, as the team will now play its second straight games against a ranked opponent.  The Cyclones are known for coming back in games this season, as all three of their victories have come in comeback fashion.  “It was more like a baseball bat hitting them and the realization of the fact that you can’t play the 11th-ranked team in the country that way,” stated Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads about turning over the ball three times in the first quarter.  The team returned 16 starters from a squad that finished 5-7 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12.  Iowa State is 9-9 ATS as an underdog and the ‘under’ is 11-7 in those contests.

The Cyclones magic number defensively is 24 points, as Rhoads has led his team to a 13-1 mark when holding opponents under that number.  Iowa State’s junior quarterback Steele Jantz is having a solid season, throwing for seven touchdowns and running for two more.  He has also led the team to go-ahead touchdowns in the fourth quarter of all three victories.

Baylor is coming off its first loss of the season and failed to deliver as 3.5-point road favorites in a 36-35 defeat against Kansas State.  The Bears have out-gained all four of their opponents this year, which has been led by talented quarterback Robert Griffin III, completing 82 percent of his passes for 1,308 yards.  Offensively, Baylor is the only college football team nationally that is averaging 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing.  Griffin III leads the nation in pass efficiency and has thrown an NCAA-leading 18 touchdown passes.  Baylor is 13-14 ATS over the last two-plus seasons and the ‘under’ is 14-13 over that span.

The Bears have an incredible option on the outside in wide receiver Kendall Wright, who leads the nation in receiving yards per game and ranks fourth in receptions per game.  Baylor leads the Big 12 in scoring offense and ranks third in total offense.  Saturday is the 10th meeting between these two schools, trailing 5-4 in the series, including a 2-2 tie in four meetings at Floyd Casey Stadium.  Baylor has opened the 2011 season with three straight home wins and will be searching for its second consecutive 4-0 home start in the 62-year history of its home venue.

Bettors will likely back the Cyclones due to their 20-9 ATS mark as an underdog of 10.5 or more points, while the Bears are 0-4 ATS versus winning teams.

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