Iowa State got blown away by Baylor at home last Saturday, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to see them open up as double digit road dogs in Stillwater.
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The betting lines open up with Oklahoma State being 17-point favorites over the Cyclones. It’s slightly higher than the two touchdown deficit I was expecting, but I’m not surprised that’s where the line started at.
Some people may think it’s too low. They’ll question that if Iowa State were three-touchdown underdogs at home to Baylor, they’d have to be even bigger underdogs at the Cowboys’ home turf. It hasn’t been a close series lately. While Iowa State did get their biggest win against them three years ago, Oklahoma State won by 21 points in Stillwater two years ago and by 31 at Jack Trice Stadium last year.
The Cowboys’ defense is what’s in question. They’ve let people score on them this year, including some pretty weak opponents on their soft schedule. As many points as they’re likely to put up, Iowa State won’t be facing as tough of a defensive line as they did against Baylor. Meaning if they can finally get their running game going, they should be able to score and compete with Oklahoma State. OSU is 68th nationally in total defense (390.5 yards per game) and 76th nationally in scoring defense (27 points per game).
Plus, this is sort of a rebuilding year for Oklahoma State, and they’ve had to use a backup quarterback Daxx Garman with J.W. Walsh being shelved with a foot injury — possibly for the rest of the season. Their offense hasn’t exactly been blowing away teams like Baylor’s either. And take it for what it’s worth — Iowa State does have their lone victory on the road this year. As trivial as it is, Vegas takes all those things into account.
However, I expect the public to pound on the favorites and that line should move up. Depending on where you shop at Vegas or on the offshore sportsbooks, you can probably take even more points during the course of the week.