Iowa State Cyclones vs. Texas Longhorns Betting Odds and Pick to Cover the Point Spread

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Longhorns vs. Iowa St. Cyclones Pick

Iowa State Cyclones (3-4 SU 3-4 ATS) vs. No. 19 Texas Longhorns (4-2 SU 2-4 ATS) Week 8 NCAA Football, Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium Austin, TX 12 PM EST Saturday, October 23, 2010
by Jason Green of

Betting Odds: ISU +21/UT -21
Over/Under Total: 48

What the hell is up with the Longhorns? A few weeks back they suffer their first loss of the season to UCLA at home and then in their next game lost to Oklahoma in the Red River rivalry, which dropped them out of the top 25 for the first time since 1999. Then last week they faced 5th ranked Nebraska and beat them saving their chances to play in a BCS bowl game. They are back in the top 25 and this Saturday they face an Iowa State squad that has lost 2 in a row and both were major blowouts. The Cyclones have given up 120 points in their last 2 games and have only scored 27 AND those 27 points were in one game, as they got shutout last week.

Texas turned their season around last week by playing great defense and with QB Garrett Gilbert using his legs more and running the ball to the tune of 71 yards and 2 TD. Texas wants Gilbert to run more and he will likely not need any encouragement to do so in this game against an Iowa State team that ranks 114th in the nation in rushing defense and last week gave up 325 rushing yards to Oklahoma in their blowout loss. Look for Iowa State to struggle defending the run, big time, in this game.

These 2 teams have not met since the 2007 season when Texas won easily 56-3 with some guy named Colt McCoy under center for the Longhorns.

This game points to another lopsided affair, but betting on Texas is a little sketchy since the Longhorns have not been a good ATS team for the past season and a half. They have only covered the spread twice in their 6 games this season and only one time in their last 6 home games. Also, in the last 4 games between these 2 teams the road team has covered the spread every time.

This game is a tough call to lay some green on with Texas because of their ATS woes and even though Iowa State is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a SU loss they have only covered the spread one time in their last 5 games when facing a team that has a winning record.

In their last games Iowa State was absolutely killed losing to Oklahoma 52-0 while Texas beat Nebraska 20-17.

The Cyclones do not feature a strong passing game so for them to have any chance to win RB Alexander Robinson will have to play well. He is still a little banged up with a foot injury and he only had 7 carries in last week’s loss to Oklahoma. The Texas rushing defense gave up 125 yards on the ground last week, but kept Nebraska’s duel threat QB Taylor Martinez and RB Roy Helu Jr. in check, as neither could get it going running the ball. The Texas defense will be very confident in this game and they will shut down Robinson and not allow him to run the ball well.

QB Austen Arnaud leads Iowa State and their 98th ranked passing offense, but he only had 102 passing yards last week and will have another low total facing a Texas pass defense, which is stellar ranking 3rd in the nation only allowing an average of 138 passing yards per game.

With Gilbert and his newfound confidence in running the ball he and RB’s Cody Johnson and Foswhitt Whittaker will rack up big yards on the ground against an Iowa State D that simply cannot stop the run.

Overall Iowa State ranks 112th in the nation on defense and I guess you cannot call it a strength, but they are better at defending the pass than the run with the nation’s 88th ranked pass defense. Gilbert was only 4/16 for 62 yards last week against Nebraska, but he will definitely improve upon those numbers this Saturday. He will not be bothered much by the Iowa State pass rush, which only has a grand total of 6 sacks in 7 games this season.

Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Man, this is a tough one to call, as I am going with Texas to buck their trends and easily win this game and cover the spread. I will also bank on the Under total since Texas will run the ball all game long and eat up the clock while the Cyclones will not be able to move the ball and they will not score a lot of points. In an Over/Under trend the Longhorns have an Under record of 4-1 when they are the favorite and the Cyclones have an Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 games.