Take Baylor to Cover vs. Iowa State College Football Betting

Darin Zank

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 3:41 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 24, 2014 3:41 PM GMT

For all its success over recent seasons Baylor is just 4-9 ATS in its last 13 Big 12 road games, and 2-6 ATS in its last eight games as a road favorite. The Bears are three-touchdown road faves for Saturday night's game against Iowa State in Ames (8:20 pm ET, Fox).

The Betting Odds
Most college football odds we checked opened Baylor at around -22.5 over Iowa State, with a total of 66. But as of Wednesday morning most shops had dropped the Bears to around -21, and bumped the total to upwards of 69.

Those bettors out there who think the Cyclones might win this game outright – both of you – could get a price of +885 on the moneyline at Heritage.

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The Match-Up
The Baylor Bears are off to a 3-0 start to this season both SU and ATS. The Bears opened with a 45-0 victory over SMU, covering the spread as a 31-point favorite. They then brushed aside FCS Northwestern State 70-6, cashing as 47-point chalk. And two weeks ago Baylor went up to Buffalo and beat the Bulls 63-21, covering at -33. The Bears then had last week off.

Through its first three games Baylor leads all of FBS ball in total offense and in scoring, at 59 points per game, and ranks third in total defense. Of course, much of that has to do with a very weak schedule so far.

Baylor returned just 10 starters this season, second-fewest in the Big 12, from a team that went 11-2 last year. Six starters came back on offense, including QB Bryce Petty and WR Antwan Goodley, but just two along the offensive line. And just four starters came back on defense.

Iowa State, meanwhile, is 1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS. The Cyclones opened with a 34-14 loss at home to FCS North Dakota State, falling outright as six-point favorites. They then lost at home to Kansas State 32-28, but covered as 11-point home dogs. And two weeks ago ISU upset rival Iowa 20-17 in Iowa City, winning straight-up as 13-point dogs. The 'Clones then also had last week off.

Iowa State outgained the Hawkeyes 337-275, but got outrushed 129-82 and lost the time-of-possession battle by a 34-26 margin. The Cyclones caught a couple of big breaks, though, including an Iowa defensive holding penalty that kept the game-winning drive alive, and a time-out blunder by Hawkeyes Coach Ferentz that allowed ISU's kicker a second chance at the game-winning field goal in the final seconds.

On the season the Cyclones have been outgained by a 417-303 margin, and outrushed 221-96.

Iowa State returned 15 starters this year from a team that went 3-9 last year. Ten starters returned on offense, including last year's leading rusher, top two receivers and the entire offensive line. But only five starters came back on defense.

 

Bears-Cyclones Recent History
Baylor is 3-2 both SU and ATS under Coach Briles against Iowa State. Last year the Bears bombed ISU in Waco 71-7, covering the spread as 33-point home favorites. Baylor led 64-0 before the 'Clones got on the board, outgained Iowa State 714-174 and ran for 291 yards.

 

Bears-Cyclones Betting Trends
Iowa State is 4-1 ATS in its last five Big 12 games. The Cyclones are also 3-1 ATS in their last four games as home dogs.

The totals have leaned toward the UNDERS by a 4-1-1 margin in the last six games in this series.

 

Bears-Cyclones Injury Update
Baylor WR Goodley, who caught 1,339 yards worth of balls last season, missed the Buffalo game with a sore leg, but will probably play Saturday.

On the other side of the field Iowa State WR Quenton Bundrage, who led the team in receptions, yardage and touchdowns last year, tore an ACL in the season opener and is lost for the year.

 

Free College Football Pick
Baylor beat ISU by 64 points last year, and while that might not happen Saturday, we like the idea of getting the Bears at a reduced line, rather than the one they might be burdened with if this game were being played in Waco. So we'll go with Baylor, at the -21 offered at 5Dimes, for our free college football pick in this spot.

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