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Cade McNamara of the Iowa Hawkeyes throws a pass against the Utah State Aggies at Kinnick Stadium as we share our favorite Iowa vs. Iowa State pick.
Cade McNamara of the Iowa Hawkeyes throws a pass against the Utah State Aggies at Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 2, 2023 in Iowa City, Iowa. Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images via AFP.

The Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones enjoyed easy wins over inferior Week 1 opponents, and now head battle for the CyHawk Trophy in Week 2 as we make our top Iowa vs. Iowa State prediction based on the best college football odds.

The Hawkeyes' offense wasn't much better than it was last season when Cade McNamara took over as the starting quarterback. The Hawkeyes were able to score 24 points against the defense, which allowed 30 or more in eight of 13 games last season, but came away with a narrow 10 point win. As projected, when the game was at 1:36 to go, the defensive unit held up well as it had in Week 1 and surrendered just eight of its 14 points.

The Cyclones’ offense may have been worse than the Hawkeyes’, who were actually outgained 279-250 in their Week 1 win over their FCS opponent. With quarterback Hunter Dekkers still out because of a gambling scandal, the Cyclones will continue to rely on freshman QB Rocco Becht to carry them through the season as this matchup kicks off our college football Week 2 predictions.

Here is our best Iowa vs. Iowa State prediction and college football picks (odds via our best college football betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Iowa vs. Iowa State prediction: Week 2

Iowa -4 (-110 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐

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The Hawkeyes were far from great in Week 1, but have so much more upside than the Cyclones that they're the pick this week. The Cyclones did nothing impressive in Week 1. Their D played well, as expected. They forced two turnovers and scored on a pick-six. But they also gave up 19 first downs and allowed the Northern Iowa Panthers to dominate the time of possession.

The Cyclones’ offense managed just 11 first downs, and scored just three touchdowns all game. Becht was 10-for-13 but passed for only 113 yards. And the rushing attack mustered just 134 yards, as no one in the backfield hit 50 yards in the matchup.

Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes looked really good early on, but then struggled offensively for the rest of the contest. After two TDs in the first eight minutes, they managed just 10 points for the remainder of the game. Luckily for them, their defense was outstanding.

This matchup is played in Ames, but there's no reason to believe in the Cyclones right now. Because of the inept nature of the two offenses, you may want to take the Under, but at 36.5, this number is simply too low. The Hawkeyes are better on both sides of the ball, and may shut out their in-state rivals.

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Iowa vs. Iowa State best odds

BetMGM (-110)


Four of our five best sports betting apps are in total agreement about this spread. The only outlier is FanDuel, where it's 3.5 for a price of -120. That elevated price is not worth it for a half-point, so place your wager at any of the other books.

If FanDuel eventually catches up to the other books, you may briefly get the opportunity to grab -4 at a price of -105 or so. It’s worth keeping an eye on as kickoff approaches, as it's very unlikely this spread moves much at all.

Iowa vs. Iowa State odds

Iowa vs. Iowa State odds analysis

The Hawkeyes opened as 3.5-point favorites, and the spread moved a half-point in their favor at most of the major sportsbooks. Over 60% of wagers are on the Hawkeyes to cover in this road contest. While the number may move around a bit, there's almost no chance it goes through any key numbers before kickoff.

The total opened at the incredibly low number of 36.5, and that's exactly where it's remained throughout the week. Even with the number as low as it is, 57% of wagers are on the Under. Look for this number to continue to drop before kickoff. While it may be tempting to take a side, stay away.

Iowa vs. Iowa State game info

  • When: Saturday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA
  • How to watch: FOX
  • Weather: 83 degrees, 4% chance of precipitation, 7-mph winds

Iowa-Iowa State prediction made 9/6/23 at 8:49 a.m. ET.

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