NCAA Football: Iowa State Cyclones vs. Baylor Bears Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 25, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: McLane Stadium, Waco, TX
Where to watch: FOX

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Iowa State -7.5; O/U 48; Iowa State -260, Baylor +210
BetMGM: Iowa State -7.5; O/U 48; Iowa State -303, Baylor +240
Caesars: Iowa State -7.5; O/U 47.5; Iowa State -300, Baylor +240

Season record
No. 14 Iowa State: 2-1
Baylor: 3-0 (1-0 Big 12)

Team Del Genio was a PERFECT 4-0 in all-sports on Saturday to further a 9 of 11 (82%) HOT STREAK this week, WINNING their 25* NCAA-F Pac-12 Game of the Month with USC and their 25* NCAA-F Saturday TV Total of the Month with the ASU/BYU under! Catch Del Genio’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Iowa State - Baylor preview and analysis


Recent form
Iowa State: won 48-3 at UNLV on Sept. 18
Baylor: won 45-7 at Kansas on Sept. 18

So, here’s the thing.

We’ve talked before about how teams can look really good for a stretch of games, but it’s expected of said teams to look good.

This matchup between the Baylor Bears hosting the No. 14 Iowa State Cyclones is the perfect mixture of that concept.

Iowa State will come to Waco one week removed from an absolute whooping to the UNLV Rebels, 48-3, at Allegiant Stadium one week ago.

The thing is, Iowa State did what it needed to do especially considering the awful performance it put on against the Iowa Hawkeyes the week prior. Brock Purdy looked like the Heisman Trophy contender he could be, throwing for 288 yards and throwing as many touchdowns as he did incompletions (3).

Running back star Breece Hall did the bulk of his work in the first half, rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns. It was the 15th consecutive college football game that Hall scored a rushing touchdown in, tying a Big 12 record set by Corby Jones in 1997-98 with the Missouri Tigers.

UNLV is one of the worst teams in the country, and Iowa State dominated the majority of that game despite looking sloppy at times in the first half. Two turnovers gave UNLV minimal life, but the Rebels struggled to do anything with it. UNLV started a freshman quarterback in that game, and it looked like it.

Iowa State is expected to contend for the Big 12 so long as that defense can make things happen. Its opponent on the other hand is off to a decent 3-0 start despite doing what, once again, it was supposed to do: win.

Baylor has scored 130 points through three games with wins against Texas State, Texas Southern and Kansas. Not exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to what Baylor did in years past; it’s not like this is Kansas State, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the Oklahoma Sooners, or even the Oklahoma State Cowboys. If Baylor played in Las Vegas, Nevada like its cohorts did on Saturday, it probably would’ve been just as bad an outcome.

But the Bears did their part in a 38-point road win in Lawrence against the Jayhawks. Gerry Bohanon threw only four incompletions in a 269-yard, two-touchdown effort in the victory. Abram Smith ran for 122 yards and a touchdown in only 16 carries.

If you’re a fan of offense, this is the matchup for you. If you like seeing the art of the interception, like most Big 12 matchups, you won’t see that here. Be prepared for many points and many offensive shenanigans.

Prediction


I really want to like Baylor here, but Iowa State has a much deeper team and that defense is likely going to decide this game. Purdy will have another big day to offset whatever Baylor tries to do. Iowa State by 8

Betting trends


Iowa State is 8-2 in its last 10 against the spread when they allow fewer than 100 rushing yards in consecutive games, and 7-0 when allowing 75 yards or fewer.

Baylor is 8-2 in its last 10 ATS when the over cashes the game prior. But as an underdog, the under is 8-3 in Baylor games.

Players to watch


Iowa State: Xavier Hutchinson doubled his season output in yards and touchdowns against UNLV on Saturday. Hutchinson had 10 receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns.

Baylor: Smith isn’t the only Bears running back Iowa State has to account for. Trestan Ebner doesn’t have a touchdown yet, but he’s averaging 7.5 yards per carry on five fewer carries than Smith.

Statistical leaders


Iowa State:
Passing: Brock Purdy -- 625 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Breece Hall -- 238 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: Xavier Hutchinson -- 243 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Isheem Young -- 2 INT

Baylor:
Passing: Gerry Bohanon -- 664 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Abram Smith -- 366 yards, 5 TD
Receiving: R.J. Sneed -- 260 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Terrel Bernard -- 19 tackles, 1 sack

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Iowa State - Baylor prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NCAA projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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