Iowa State Cyclones (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) at Connecticut Huskies (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS), Friday September 16th, 2011 8:00PM EST, College Football Week 3
Rentschler Field East Hartford, CT
By Jay Horne, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ISU +4/UConn -4
Over/Under Total: OFF
The Iowa State Cyclones knocked off their rivals in the Iowa Hawkeyes last week in a 44-41 triple overtime thriller. The win marked the Cyclones first victory over the Hawkeyes since the 2007 season and confirmed that Coach Paul Rhoads has Iowa State on the path to success. This week Iowa State takes the road and travels to East Hartford to battle with the Connecticut Huskies in attempt to reach the 3-0 mark for the first time since the 2005 season.
Their opponent is a Connecticut Huskies team that suffered a close loss on the road to Vanderbilt last week 24-21. The loss snapped a Huskies 6 game regular season winning streak and marked the first loss for new head coach Paul Pasqualoni moving the Huskies to 1-1 on the season. The Huskies are a team still trying to find their identity in the post Randy Edsall era and just maybe they will get the chance to right the ship when they take the national stage this Friday night in a big 8:00PM EST ESPN televised match-up.
Neither offense entering Friday night’s meeting had much to cheer about throughout the 2010 season. Both Connecticut and Iowa State ranked 95th and 99th in the nation in total offense averaging less than 325 yards per game. Last week Connecticut appeared even worse if that is even possible. The Huskies offense managed just 193 yards of total offense while giving up 4 turnovers against the Vanderbilt Commodores who are among the worst teams in the SEC.
The Huskies’ offensive problems starts and stops at the quarterback position. Last week, QB Johnny McEntee completed just 10 of 27 passing for 99 yards with 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. To say McEntee struggled, would be the understatement of the decade. Furthermore, there are not any clear answers if the quarterback situation is going to get better this season. Backup Michael Nebrich has only completed 4 of 10 passing this season without any touchdowns and 1 interception. The quarterback problems appear to be a problem that will not be going away any time soon.
However, the good news is Connecticut has had many successful seasons over the last few years without a premiere passing attack. The Huskies consistently produce strong rushing attacks year in and year out. This season freshman running back Lyle McCombs has shown some promising potential posting 100 yard plus performances in both games. McCombs is not a big powerful back, but has extreme quickness that can be dangerous in the open field. Expect Iowa State to focus their defensive attention on stopping McCombs and the Connecticut rushing attack.
The Iowa State offense biggest hurdle over the last two seasons has been inconsistency. The Cyclones offense was completely shutout by Oklahoma and Missouri in 2010. However, this is the same offense that posted 52 points in a win over Texas Tech and then scored 30 points in a close overtime loss to Nebraska. This season we have already seen similar performances through the opening two games. In the season opener, Iowa State struggled on offense and just barely skated by Northern Iowa 20-19. Then last week, the Cyclones torched the Iowa defense for 473 yards and 44 points.
This week the Cyclones offense will look for a repeat performance from the Iowa game. The Cyclones have the personnel to have a balanced offensive attack. QB Steele Jantz is a dual threat behind center. Jantz has rushed for 122 yards and two scores in the opening two games. Running back Shontrelle Johnson has rushed for 135 yards while averaging 5.0 yards per carry as well through those opening two games.
The Cyclones can definitely move the ball on the ground, but the x-factor relies on the arm of Steele Jantz. Jantz struggled in the opener against Northern Iowa tossing 1 touchdown compared to throwing 3 picks. However, the junior quarterback bounced back against the Hawkeyes last week completing 25 of 37 passing for 279 yards with 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Obviously when Jantz throws the ball well, the Cyclones are extremely tough to defend. Therefore keep an eye on how Jantz starts this Friday night as it will likely set the tone for the Iowa State offense throughout the night.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread – I like Iowa State to win this game straight up. Therefore the points are just extra. Take the ISU Cyclones plus the four points.
Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!
Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
Favorite of the Week Pick - Giving points means we start the game down. We're not a real big fan of betting college football favorites as it's similar to trading field goals for touchdowns but stick with us as we buck the odds each week, selecting the favored team with the best chance of covering the spread.
Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.
College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.
Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.
Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.
2014 College Football Predictions - Badger gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2015 National Championship game.
2014 Heisman Trophy Predictions - Jameis Winston is favored to win the award at 3-1 odds but Jay says this is a sucker bet! Marcus Mariota should be a contender and ball carriers TJ Yeldon and Melvin Gordon look good as well!
2015 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football handicapper Jay Horne gives his picks on who he thinks will win the 2015 National Championship. Despite not liking to side with heavy favorites, he believes the Alabama Crimson Tide are unstoppable and he has high expectations for them to cash his betting ticket at season's end!
Sportsbook - Get a free $100 bet after making an initial deposit of $100 or more! Great at getting Visa cards to work for deposits.
Bovada - Boasts the highest credit card acceptance rate on the internet! HUGE menu of wagers for you to choose from! One of few online sportsbooks to offer Texas Hold'em! 50% bonus up to $250 in free cash!
5Dimes - 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Reduced juice betting odds! Buy up to 15 points! Most props on the web!
GTBets - Offers a HUGE 100% sign up bonus up to $500! Cool offer allows for you to pick 2 of your favorite college football teams and move the line a full point every time you bet those teams!
Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - This article is outdated and will be updated next year for the 2014 college football season.
Odds to Win the 2015 BCS Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +500 followed by Oregon at +800, Ohio St. +850, LSU/Texas A&M +1200 and Florida/FSU both at +1400. Check out your school's odds here!
Heisman Trophy Winners - A full list of college football quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers who have made history on the field and won the prestigious award.
Fantasy College Football - Draft a fresh team every week! Leagues range from $2 to $420! You can play head to head or in big groups! Payouts take place approx. one hour after the final Saturday game.
The Spread - Who will cover the spread? They will! Offers scores, odds, free game predictions, current news and more!