Iowa State Cyclones vs. Iowa Hawkeyes: College Football Betting Odds and Picks

Iowa State Cyclones at Iowa Hawkeyes
Saturday, 9/8/12, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  Big Ten Network
Opening Point Spread:  Iowa -4
Current Betting Line:  Iowa -4.5
Opening Total:  47
Current Total:  47.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Iowa QB James Vandenberg needs to stay upright if he plans on beating Iowa State on Saturday

Iowa State earned a 38-23 season-opening victory over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane as two-point underdogs on Saturday, winning the statistical battle by 83 yards.  The Cyclones got a major performance out of quarterback Steele Jantz, who completed 32 of 45 passes for 281 yards and accounted for three touchdowns.  “He is still learning and there is a lot of upside,” stated Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads.  Iowa State has failed to cover its last two games when coming off a win by 10 points or more as an underdog.

The Cyclones defense will need to build off its performance last week, giving up just seven points after surrendering 16 points and 131 total yards in the first quarter.  On the other side of the ball, running back Shontrelle Johnson will need to be a reliable option if Jantz can’t put together back-to-back strong performances, gaining a career-high 120 yards last week.

Iowa rallied for nine points in the fourth quarter to pull out an 18-17 victory over the Northern Illinois Huskies as 7.5-point neutral-site favorites at Soldier Field.  “We certainly knew this was going to be a challenge,” stated Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz.  The Hawkeyes will need to get much better under new offensive coordinator Greg Davis, as scoring 18 points isn’t going to cut it down the road.  Iowa is 3-1 ATS as a home favorite of seven or fewer points the last two-plus seasons, while the “over” has cashed in three of those four contests.

The Hawkeyes have won 21 of their last 29 meetings with the Cyclones, including the last four inside Kinnick Stadium.  Iowa holds a record of 93-27-2 when playing its first home game of the season, which includes 11 consecutive victories.  Running back Damon Bullock figures to get another workout, rushing for 150 yards on 30 carries last week, with both of those figures being career highs.  If he’s able to establish the run, it will take some of the pressure off veteran quarterback James Vandenberg, who was sacked six times in the opener.

Sports bettors will likely back the Hawkeyes due to their 8-4 ATS record at home the last two-plus campaigns, while the Cyclones are 6-8 ATS in the first half of the season during the same period.

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