The No. 14-ranked Cyclones hit the road for their first Big 12 game of the season, and the public is backing the home Bears, making for an interesting Baylor-Iowa State prediction for Week 4. Iowa State struggled in Week 1, defeating Northern Iowa (FCS) by just six points, before losing to No. 10 Iowa on the road by ten in Week 2. The Cyclones got back in the win column with a 45-point win over UNLV — the worst FBS team in the country — and now face a Baylor team the public seems to be very high on despite being 7-point home underdogs. The Bears are 3-0 and have outscored opponents by 106 points, albeit against Texas State, Texas Southern (FCS) and Kansas. The public is currently backing the Baylor ML with 73% of ML bets and Baylor +7 with 69% of the spread handle and 57% of the spread bets.
Longtime college sports writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 and The Field of 12 Network is here to break down the tantalizing matchup and provide his Baylor-Iowa State prediction for Week 4 of the college football season.
BAYLOR-IOWA STATE PREDICTION:
BAYLOR BEARS (3-0) vs. #14 IOWA STATE CYCLONES (2-1)
GAME: 3:30 p.m. ET, FOX
MONEYLINE: Iowa State -275 ML, Baylor +215 ML
SPREAD: Iowa State -7
TOTAL: 47 points
BAYLOR-IOWA STATE PUBLIC TRENDS:
Iowa State ML: 52% handle, 27% bets
Iowa State Spread: 31% handle, 43% bets
Over: 52% handle, 88% bets
It took Iowa State a couple games to finally look like the team that we all thought could push Oklahoma for a Big 12 championship, but that’s exactly what happened last weekend against UNLV. It does not, however, erase the sour taste that was left by a disappointing performance against Northern Iowa in the opener that was followed by a shellacking at the hands of Iowa in the Cy-Hawk game in Week 2.
At least with the Cyclones, we know that they’re supposed to be good. Maybe all they needed was a get right game for Brock Purdy and Breece Hall to get back into a rhythm.
Baylor is, more or less, the exact opposite. The Bears entered this season without too much expectation, and after needing a little effort to get past Texas State in the opener on the road, they whipped up on Texas Southern and Kansas the last two weeks, scoring a combined 111 points in those two games.
They’ve been utterly dominant on the ground in the first three weeks, as both Abram Smith and Trestan Ebner have averaged more than 100 yards per game. Gerry Bohanon has been terrific through three weeks. Combine all of that with the fact that Iowa State’s struggles have been more on the offensive side of the ball than anything, and the under feels like the play.
At the same time, I do like Baylor’s side here as well. The Bears are getting a touchdown at home in a game where the visitor’s A) might not be all that good, and B) have struggled to score against relevant competition.