(8-2, 5-5 ATS)
Iowa State Cyclones
(5-6, 5-6 ATS)
Arch rivals from the Big XII North collide in Ames on Saturday night in a crucial tilt that might go unnoticed by many. However, the stakes are very, very high in this college football wagering war between the Missouri Tigers and the Iowa State Cyclones.
Missouri has a chance to win the Big XII North still, but it seems awfully impractical. However, HC Gary Pinkel knows that this is a tough road ahead at ISU, as his team has not played well on the road during the entire campaign, save a win in College Station against the Texas A&M Aggies. The Tigers have failed to cover three straight NCAA football betting lines, though they did snap a two game SU skid with a 38-28 win over the Kansas State Wildcats last weekend. This offense is paced by QB Blaine Gabbert, who many thought could be a Heisman Trophy finalist at the start of the season. Obviously, that’s not the case anymore, but there’s still no shame in a season that will exceed 3,000 passing yards and features a TD/INT ratio of 14/5. A big time running back is missing in this system, which is why there have been a plethora of men carrying the rock. WRs TJ Moe and Michael Egnew are two men that we talk about all the time. They are quite often used as the long running game, as they catch a lot of extended handoffs on short outs and curls. Each has at least 70 receptions, making them one of the few duos in the land that can say that.
The season really comes down to this for the Cyclones. This is their last game of their season, and they need a win to have a chance at going to a bowl game. Even then, nothing is guaranteed, as there are several 6-6 teams that won’t end up making it to December this year. QB Jerome Tiller is going to have all of the pressure on his shoulders. He is replacing the injured senior QB Austen Arnaud, who is out for the rest of the season. Tiller has only thrown 51 passes this year, completing 51.0 percent of them for 208 yards with a score. The dual threat sophomore signal caller is going to be turning around and handing the rock to RB Alexander Robinson quite a bit on Saturday. Robinson had his three game streak of at least 100 yards on the ground snapped last Saturday in a devastating 34-14 loss to the Colorado Buffaloes, as he had just nine carries for 22 yards. Still, for the season, the senior, who will be playing in his final game in Ames, has rushed for 848 yards and nine TDs.
This isn’t a gimme game for the Tigers by any stretch of the imagination. Missouri is up against it versus an ISU squad that has already beaten the Texas Longhorns and darn near took down the Nebraska Cornhuskers as well. We’ll graciously take the 11 points given to us and know that this could be a game that comes down to the wire with everything on the line for the Cyclones.
College Football Free Pick: Iowa State Cyclones +11