The Oklahoma Sooners take on the Iowa State Cyclones. Check out our college football odds series for our Kansas State Iowa State prediction and pick.

This game figures to be a one-score game. Why can we say that so confidently? Iowa State regularly plays one-score games in the Big 12 this season. Iowa State suffered a rough loss to Kansas earlier this season due to missed multiple field goals in a game it lost by three points, 14-11. The Cyclones lost to Baylor by seven, 31-24. They lost to Texas, 24-21. They lost to Kansas State by one point, 10-9. Iowa State keeps playing close games and generally keeps losing them. Matt Campbell has made ISU a very competitive program, and on a game-by-game basis, that is still quite true, but the Cyclones are not living on the right side of close margins, and that clearly needs to change for his team as the season moves along, starting with this Saturday’s game.

Campbell and Iowa State played Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma Sooners very tough in recent years. Games in Norman have been very close as well, with last year’s game typically going down to the wire. Campbell and defensive coordinator Jon Heacock gave Riley problems, so just in case you think that Oklahoma is uniquely vulnerable against ISU just because Brent Venables is the new head coach, don’t be led into that misperception. Riley struggled against ISU. This is a brand-new matchup.

Oklahoma has had its well-documented series of struggles this season, particularly a defense which got shredded by TCU, Kansas State, and Texas. The offense, however, is fine as long as Dillon Gabriel is the quarterback. Oklahoma scored over 50 points in a win over Kansas, similar to the team’s 49-point outburst against Nebraska. With Gabriel back in the saddle, Oklahoma can reasonably expect to produce on offense; it’s the defense which is a huge concern due to Riley leaving the cupboard bare, Venables’ recruiting class not yet being available (the Class of 2023), and Venables not making good use of the transfer portal. It will be fascinating to see if the second half of Oklahoma’s season goes better than the first half, at least on the defensive side of the ball. The offense can score, but the defense faces a true gut-check test of its abilities, starting with this game after an off week in Week 8.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Oklahoma-Iowa StateCollege Football odds.

College Football Odds: Oklahoma-Iowa State Odds

Oklahoma Sooners: -1.5 (-110)

Iowa State Cyclones: +1.5 (-110)

Over: 56.5 (-110)

Under: 56.5 (-110)

Why Oklahoma Could Cover the Spread

Oklahoma getting a week off is exactly what this team needed. OU was not prepared for a scenario in which Dillon Gabriel went down with an injury. That was a worst-case turn of events for the Sooners. They got Gabriel back and won a game. Now they have been able to get some rest, go to the practice field, and work on their defense. Venables is too good a coach to not figure out some fundamental adjustments. It also helps that Iowa State’s offense has been subpar this season, managing just 10 points against Iowa, nine versus Kansas State, and nothing higher than 24 points in any of its four Big 12 games this year.

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Why Iowa State Could Cover the Spread

The Cyclones usually give Oklahoma problems, and after having some time off in their own right, they should be able to solve Oklahoma’s leaky, thin and unreliable defense. This is the game in which Iowa State will score in the 30s, enabling Jon Heacock’s defense to win the game.

Final Oklahoma-Iowa State Prediction & Pick

Iowa State will not score 30. The Cyclones’ struggles on that side of the ball, combined with some Brent Venables adjustments, will enable OU to win 30-26.

Final Oklahoma-Iowa State Prediction & Pick: Oklahoma -1.5