AT&T Stadium in Dallas is all set to host the Big 12 Championship Game this weekend. If you like offense, set your alarm for Saturday at noon because Oklahoma and Iowa State are going to put on a show.
#6 Iowa State and #10 Oklahoma will meet for the second time this season on Saturday. The only difference in this matchup is that when time expires, a new champion will be crowned in the Big 12 Conference.
The first meeting of the season between Iowa State and Oklahoma took place back in early October. Iowa State was down seven points with eight minutes to play in the game. The Cyclones went on to score two touchdowns in the final minutes of the contest to stun the Sooners 37-30.
At this point in the season, Iowa State didn’t have a spot in the Top 25, and Oklahoma was the 18th ranked team in the nation. A lot has changed for both teams since their first meeting, but this game still has all the makings of being one to remember in the Big 12 Conference.
Let’s take a look at the odds for Saturday’s matchup.
Big 12 Championship Game – #10 Oklahoma (7-2) vs #6 Iowa State (8-2)
Saturday, December 19th at 12:00 PM ET
Moneyline: Oklahoma (-210) Iowa State (+175)
Point Spread: Oklahoma (-5.5) Iowa State (+5.5)
Over/Under: 58 Points
Oklahoma will enter Saturday’s contest behind Iowa State in the national ranking. However, they’re favored to win their sixth Big 12 Championship game in a row. The Sooners had a rough start to 2020. They began the season as the 5th ranked program in the country, but dropped two of their first three games.
Kansas State was the first team to upset the Sooners. They took down Oklahoma by three points in Norman on September 26th. Following this game, Iowa State was the next program to get the best of the Sooners.
Iowa State earned every bit of their win over Oklahoma earlier in the season. The Oklahoma defense struggled which they have been known for in the past and this allowed the Cyclones to pull off the upset.
Following these two losses, there has only been smooth sailing for Oklahoma. They took down Texas in a 53-45 win and ever since that eight-point victory, Oklahoma has won every game by at least two scores.
Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler is a freshman and he played like one early in 2020. In the team’s two losses this year, Rattler threw four total interceptions. However, Rattler has looked like an upperclassman since the Red River Showdown. He has completed 178 of 260 passes on the season for 2,512 yards and 24 touchdowns.
The Fire Has Been Lit
Iowa State is an underdog for one reason. This reason is because it’s Iowa State and the Cyclones are supposed to be the punching bag of the Big 12. That hasn’t been the case in 2020. Iowa State is the sixth ranked team in college football. With a win and a little luck, they could punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff.
However, I don’t believe the Cyclones are thinking about that fact in any capacity. They’re just trying to prove a point to the nation that they’ve arrived in the Big 12 Conference. Saturday is their chance to make their talent apparent for doubters all over the country.
Iowa State started the season with a 31-14 loss that was given to them by the Louisiana Ragiń Cajuns. Louisiana is currently the 21st ranked team in the country so they were a reputable Week 1 opponent. Following this loss, Louisiana would go on to win three straight games before losing by one touchdown to Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
The Cyclones won their last five games which included a three-point win over #20 Texas inside Memorial Stadium. This win guaranteed the Cyclones a spot in Jerry World to compete for the Big 12 title.
The tandem in the Iowa State backfield that has been the secret to the team’s success is quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall. This combination has given Head Coach Matt Campbell the ability to attack teams in a balanced manner which is typically not the case in the Big 12. Iowa State is rushing for 200 yards per game and racking up just over 240 yards through the air each week.
Big 12 Championship Betting – The Matchup
Iowa State should feel disrespected because they do have a head-to-head victory over Oklahoma in 2020. Vegas doesn’t seem to care about this win when it comes to the odds for Saturday. However, if you discredit what Iowa State has done in 2020, you’re setting yourself up for betting failure.
Iowa State isn’t a traditional Big 12 offense in the sense that they rely on the run. Their offense won’t work if they’re unable to run the ball efficiently. The last time these teams met, Iowa State posted 135 yards on the ground.
This is exceptional considering the Sooners are giving up an average of 88 rushing yards per game. If Iowa State can run the ball efficiently like they did in October against Oklahoma, they’ll be competitive throughout this entire football game. The Cyclones set up their play action game on the ground so this couldn’t be a more critical part of the Iowa State game plan if they want to leave Dallas as the Big 12 Champions.
Oklahoma needs to shut down the run. They are going to need to be as stout as they have been since their thrilling win over Texas. The Sooners need to make Brock Purdy beat them because if he has support from Breece Hall, the Cyclones are a very dangerous football team.
It will be interesting to see how Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler performs in his first conference championship game as a freshman. I expect the 20-year-old gunslinger to be unphased by the spotlight. However, we won’t be certain until Rattler takes the field on Saturday.
Big 12 Championship Betting – The Picks
I don’t love the moneyline bet in this game. I think Saturday is going to come down to who has the football last. It’s very hard to beat a team twice and Oklahoma has looked outstanding since they got on the winning path against Texas in the middle of October.
Despite this, I’m hesitant to take Oklahoma straight up. The underdog factor plays a big role in college football. Iowa State has a chip on their shoulder, and they are on a mission to prove their worth. If they beat Oklahoma again, they will have officially let the country know that they have arrived in the Big 12 Conference.
I love Iowa State at +5.5. They’ve performed well against the spread in 2020. They’re 6-4 overall and on a three-game point spread winning streak. Iowa State has proven that they are deserving of a spot in the Dallas on Saturday and I don’t think they’re going to blow the opportunity.
In terms of the over/under, the teams are a combined 9-9-1. They totaled 67 points in their first meeting back in October. I believe this game will go down a similar path.
This is the Big 12 Conference where defense is often nonexistent. Does anything else need to be said?
I’m locking in Iowa State at +5.5 and over 58 points.
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