Texas vs Iowa State Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Longhorns Defense Still Vulnerable?

Despite Texas' status as the top dog in the Big 12, the defense has been quite forgiving in recent weeks and our NCAAF betting picks think Iowa State quarterback Rocco Becht can take advantage — find out how below.

Last Updated: Nov 18, 2023 3:56 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Rocco Becht Iowa State Cyclones Big 12 college football
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Two teams with eyes on the Big 12 Championship Game clash tonight at Jack Trice Stadium in Iowa as the No. 7-ranked Texas Longhorns visit the Iowa State Cyclones.

Since losing to Oklahoma, the 'Horns have ripped off four straight to climb to the top of the Big 12, setting them up as 7.5-point favorites over Iowa State in the college football odds.

Iowa State has picked up wins in four of their last five contests and is stuck in a four-team logjam for second in the Big 12 with Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Kansas State.

Find out where the betting value lies in my free college football picks for Texas vs. Iowa State on November 18.

Texas vs Iowa State best odds

Texas vs Iowa State picks and predictions

Sitting at 9-1 overall, the Texas Longhorns are enjoying their best 10-game run since 2009. However, there are signs of slippage as the Longhorns close in on the coveted conference crown.

They’ve barely survived the last couple of games, including last week’s 3-point win over TCU, where they surrendered 20 fourth-quarter points and nearly blew the 26-6 lead they held through three quarters. Prior to that, they watched a 13-point fourth-quarter lead disintegrate, needing overtime to outlast Kansas State 33-30.

In both games, the Horned Frogs and Wildcats exploited a suspect Longhorns passing defense, allowing both teams’ quarterbacks to toss for over 300 yards. 

Texas ranks 106th in college football passing defense at 247 yards allowed per contest, a mark that ranks third last in the Big 12. 

Enter Iowa State pivot Rocco Becht, who's coming off a solid 15-for-23, 203-yard, two-TD effort in Iowa State's 45-13 whipping of BYU. That’s a passing figure lower than his 210.5-yard total set against the Horns, but that broke a streak of three games in which he had gone Over this total. 

The Cyclones aren’t a great passing team — they rank 12th of 14 teams in the conference, producing just 209.5 yards per game, but there’s really no alternative. The Cyclones offer the fourth-worst rushing attack in the conference at 129.2 yards per contest.

After opposing QBs threw for 203 yards or less in four of the first five games this season, Texas has allowed a 300-yard passer in four of the last five. You won't need Becht to go berzerk considering he averages 212.1 passing yards per game on the season.

I believe Iowa State goes down early and must play from behind, but not too far back — giving Becht ample opportunities to pick apart a suspect secondary.

My best bet: Rocco Becht Over 210.5 passing yards (-114 at FanDuel)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.

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Texas vs Iowa State same-game parlay

Rocco Becht Over 210.5 passing yards

Over 47.5

The Longhorns are scoring at a Top-25 rate in the nation, pouring in an impressive 33.8 points per game. They also happen to rank first in the Big 12 in points allowed per game at 18.4, though their recent play doesn’t seem to fit with this figure.

Iowa State can legitimately put up points (25.7 ppg) and they’ve been even better of late. In its current run of five wins in seven games, the Cyclones are averaging 33.2 points per game in the victories. 

It's notable, though, that in the two losses to the only ranked teams they’ve entertained in this stretch, Iowa State is scoring just 20.5 points per game while surrendering 39 per tilt.

That’s enough information for me to slam the Over, breaking a streak of eight straight head-to-head meetings that finished below the total.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Texas vs Iowa State spread and Over/Under analysis

There was a time earlier this week when Texas was favored by 11 points, but that number whittled down to -9 and it’s mostly settled at Texas -7.5.

Despite taking just a single loss all season, it’s a little surprising to see the Longhorns with just a 4-5-1 record against the spread. The Cyclones check in at 6-4 ATS on the campaign.

As for the total, it's shortened since offering a high mark of 48.5 points. Now, you can find a figure as low as 46.5. 

Consider that six of Texas’ last seven games have had them crossing the total set for Thursday’s tilt at 47.5 points, while Iowa State has reeled off three straight games where they have gone Over this total themselves.

Texas vs Iowa State betting trend to know

The Longhorns are 2-2 ATS when playing on the road this season, while the Cyclones are 3-2 ATS at home. Find more college football betting trends for Texas vs Iowa State.

Texas vs Iowa State game info

Location: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. ET

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Texas vs Iowa State weather

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