NCAAF Point Spread & Game Prediction: Iowa State vs Texas Tech

The Iowa State Cyclones will try to continue their October resurgence this week when they play host to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Game time will be at noon EST on Saturday, October 27, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa. The game can be seen nationally on ESPN2.

According to the Week 9 betting odds, the Cyclones are 4-point favorites at home. However, that line has come down after Iowa State was a 6-point favorite when the week began. The over/under for the game is set at 54.5 points. 

Iowa State vs Texas Tech Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds

Iowa State began the season with lofty aspirations after last year’s 8-5 campaign, only to begin the year 1-3. However, with freshman quarterback Brock Purdy taking over and running back David Montgomery returning from injury, the Cyclones are moving in the right direction. They have knocked off top-25 teams in their past two games, beating both Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

At 2-2 in Big 12 play, Iowa State still has an outside chance of reaching the conference championship game if they can run the table. Of course, their more immediate goal is to win at least three of their final six games in order to become bowl eligible. ISU’s schedule sets up well for that to happen, but only if they’re able to hold serve at home, starting with this week’s game against Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders have also enjoyed the month of October. Despite a loss to West Virginia, Tech has won their last two games against TCU and Kansas. Freshman quarterback Alan Bowman has helped carry the Red Raiders this season despite missing time due to a partially-collapsed lung. He returned last week against Kansas and should be good to go the rest of the season.

At 5-2, Texas Tech is just one win away from becoming bowl eligible. Doing so before the calendar flips to November would be a huge accomplishment for Kliff Kingsbury and company. Also, with a 3-1 record in conference play, the Red Raiders are also in the thick of the Big 12 race. Of course, they still have to play both Texas and Oklahoma. But a win this week would lock up a bowl bid and keep them in the conference title race.

Since the Big 12 went to one division and these two teams started playing every year, they have split their eight meetings. However, the Cyclones have beaten Texas Tech the last two seasons, including a 66-10 blowout the last time the Red Raiders visited Ames in 2016.

Free College Football Against the Spread Pick: Texas Tech +4

I’m a big fan of Iowa State, especially after their convincing win over West Virginia a couple of weeks ago. But this year’s Texas Tech team is much better than we’ve seen in the past. I respect how difficult it is to play in Ames, but I think the Red Raiders are good enough to keep this game close, so it’s tough to swallow the points. I’ll lean toward Texas Tech to at least beat the spread.

Bowman being back is definitely a game changer for Texas Tech. Even for an offense that’s usually quite potent, he’s made a big difference and his absence was felt during the 2nd half of the West Virginia loss and the win over TCU.

The Cyclones will no doubt present the biggest challenge Bowman has faced this season. However, as intimidating as the ISU offense can be, they have been vulnerable at times this season. Oklahoma managed to score 37 points against them while Oklahoma State put 42 points on the board against Iowa State. Even if Bowman and the Texas Tech offense are slowed down a little by the Cyclones, the Red Raiders will be tough to keep contained for four quarters.

On the other side of the ball, the Texas Tech defense may actually be the biggest difference between the Red Raiders this year and past seasons. The Tech defense had some rough moments early in the year, but they’ve been much better since Big 12 play started. The Red Raiders have managed to keep Oklahoma State, TCU, and Kansas to 17 points or fewer.

While Purdy has burst onto the scene as a freshman, the Iowa State offense still isn’t on par with some of the other dynamic offenses in the Big 12. We’ve also seen Purdy for less than two games worth of action. He’s had early success against a couple of subpar defenses, but he should face a tougher challenge this week. Unlike West Virginia, the Red Raiders should have some film on Purdy to look for any weaknesses that can be exposed.

More than anything, I think this will be a close game. Both teams have shown plenty of promise on both sides of the ball, but at the same time, both are far from flawless. A big part of me thinks Iowa State will find a way to win at home. But with the spread still higher than a field goal, I’ll take the underdog and the points.

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