Texas vs. Iowa State kicks off this Saturday (11/18/23) at 8:00pm EST in Ames Iowa as a home game for the Cyclones. Get Texas vs. Iowa State predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on Iowa State +7.5 as they look to generate the massive upset.
Texas Vs. Iowa State Prediction
Even as one of the clear-cut best teams in the Big 12, Texas fans can’t help but wonder how the Longhorns screw this up. They have been toying with danger all season long and nearly gave up another second half lead, this time to the TCU Horned Frogs in what became a very tight contest in their last outing. Texas managed to pull out the win, but their postseason hopes are starting to look bleak with another lackluster performance.
Especially with the backfield suffering a massive loss, declaring star running back Jonathon Brooks out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. That is a huge loss to their already injury riddled offense as Brooks was their lead back who so far ran for 1,139 yards and 10 touchdowns. Without Brooks, Texas may struggle to generate any sort of rush success against a Cyclones front seven that ranks 43rd in Def Rush Success Rate, 20th in PPA, and 33rd in Explosiveness.
That will revert the Longhorns offense to a heavier dose of the pass attack, an area of the offense that has failed to generate any sort of consistency with Quinn Ewers. Especially when it comes to stretching the field with the deep ball as that has plagued Ewers in his college career. His short throw prowess will struggle against a Iowa State pass coverage that ranks 23rd in Def Pass Success Rate.
Better yet for Iowa State backers, they can rest easy knowing they have a massive advantage where it matters most when covering the spread. Texas has struggled all year converting their scoring opportunities into touchdowns, ranking 75th in Points per Opportunity. That is an area of the field that Iowa State’s defense thrives in, clocking in at 36th in Def Points per Opportunity. Forcing Texas into field goals instead of scores for six may be the deciding factor in Iowa State covering the spread.
As for the Cyclones offense, they are at a disadvantage in most metrics but not all. It’s tough to back a brunt of their success on their ability to connect on the big play but Rocco Becht will be in a favorable position to throw over the top of the Texas secondary. The Cyclones pass attack ranks 32nd in Pass Explosiveness, a sharp difference to the Longhorns ranking of 85th in that department. All it takes is one field flipping conversion to put them in scoring territory, allowing the Cyclones to stay within scoring pace.
Texas Vs. Iowa State Prediction: Iowa State +7.5
Texas Vs. Iowa State Best Odds
Texas may look as beat-able as ever, but oddsmakers still have this game as theirs to lose as they opened the Longhorns as a -8 favorite. Bettors believe that number opened a tad too high, backing the Cyclones down to the current spread of +7.5. They certainly have the defense to keep it tight, needing a score or too to bolster their chances of covering the number.
As for the total, oddsmakers believe points will be scored at a moderate pace by opening the number at 48.5. Like the spread, bettors believe oddsmakers opened the total a tad too high and have backed the under down to as low as 47 as of writing. The issue with backing the under is that Iowa State will base their offensive success off of explosiveness, creating momentum swings towards the over.
Texas Vs. Iowa State Key Matchups
With Brooks out, who takes over as the lead back for Texas?
CJ Baxter Vs. Iowa State Front Seven
With Brooks out for the rest of the season, CJ Baxter is expected to take the role of the Longhorns lead back. In his minimal exposure as the backup running back, Baxter has run for 390 yards and three touchdowns on 87 carries.
On3 5-star True Freshman RB CJ Baxter takes it 54 yards for the TD on 4th and 1🔥pic.twitter.com/6ghm1CCMN4
— On3 (@On3sports) November 4, 2023
That averages out to 4.5 yards per carry, a sharp decrease from Jonathon Brooks 6.1. He possesses some sort of receiving ability, potentially being used in the pass attack should he struggle against a stout Cyclones front seven. The issue is that it may not be enough as Iowa State may already cheat up in the Success Rate area until Ewers can prove to connect on a deep ball at a consistent rate.