The Texas Longhorns and the Iowa State Cyclones open Big 12 play Thursday night at Jack Trice Stadium in a scheduled 8 p.m. (ET) start on ESPN. Both teams are coming off a bye and looking to get off to a fast start in the Big 12 this year after posting some mixed results in nonconference play.
Texas Longhorns at Iowa State Cyclones (+6.5, 63.5)
It has been a tough start for the Longhorns with losses to Maryland at home and Southern Cal on the road sandwiched around a 56-0 rout of San Jose State on Sept. 9 as heavy 25.5-point home favorites. The total has stayed under in two of the three games. Texas did manage to play the Trojans tough in a 3-point loss as a 16.5-point underdogs, but wins are the only thing that matters with this program, and head coach Tom Herman is well aware of the situation.
Freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger has done a fairly decent job moving this offense through the air in place of an injured Shane Buechele with 520 yards passing and three touchdown throws, but his completion rate stands at just 53.7 percent with two interceptions and five sacks. Buechele could be ready to go Thursday night, but it will probably be a game-time decision. Texas also needs to get more production from a running game that is ranked 50th in the nation with an average of 190.7 yards per game.
Iowa State will be looking for a statement win on Thursday following its straight-up 2-1 start with a 2-0-1 record against the spread. It battled Iowa to a push in a 44-41 loss at home on Sept. 9 followed by a 41-14 romp over Akron on the road as a 10-point favorite. The total has gone over in two of the Cyclones’ first three games. They return home with a 6-1-1 record ATS in their last eight home games.
If the Cyclones are going to pull off the upset in front of the hometown crowd here, their chances could rest on the throwing arm of Jacob Park. The junior quarterback has completed 76 of his first 114 passing attempts for 935 yards and eight touchdowns against two interceptions. Wide receiver Hakeem Butler has been his top target with 15 receptions for 234 yards and three scores. Iowa State has averaged 41.3 points through its first three games while allowing an average of 27.3 points on the other side of the ball.
Texas at Iowa State Betting Trends
The Longhorns have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a SU winning record, but they are just 1-4 ATS in their last five Thursday games. The total has stayed UNDER in their last five games following a SU loss.
The Cyclones are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games at home and they have covered in five of their last seven games against a team with a SU losing record. The total has gone OVER in their last four home games.
Head-to-head in this Big 12 battle, the home team has covered the spread in four of the last five meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in three of those five games.
Texas at Iowa State Verdict
Texas should come into this Big 12 opener fired up in light of a poor start and a near miss against one of the top teams in the nation, but I still think that Iowa State can keep this a tight battle through all four quarters with a legitimate shot at pulling off the SU upset.
Article by David Schwab