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Week 4: Northern Iowa vs. Iowa State Preview & Pick

Northern Iowa Panthers vs Iowa St. Cyclones Gambling Preview + Predictions

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Date/Time: Saturday, September 25, 7 PM ET
Venue: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA
Broadcast: None
Northern Iowa Panthers vs. Iowa State Cyclones Betting Lines from Justbet.com
Money Line: None
Spread: Iowa State -11 ½
Over/Under: TBA
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Northern Iowa Panthers vs. Iowa State Cyclones Preview

In a non-conference battle of the Hawkeye State this Saturday night Iowa State (1-2) host Northern Iowa (1-1). College betting lines have Iowa State as 11.5-point favorites in this game.

Iowa State started off the season well winning their first game, but they have lost 2 games in a row. The Cyclones had a breakthrough season last year finishing above .500 and winning a bowl game, but duplicating last season’s success will be an uphill battle. To say the Cyclones play a killer schedule is a major understatement, as after this game they face 4 ranked teams in their next 6 games including 3 in the Big 12 that are currently ranked in the top 10.

Northern Iowa is a Division I-AA Team, but the Cyclones cannot take them for granted since they are decent and went 7-4 last season. They also got off to a good start to the season winning their opener, but then lost a heartbreaker last week losing by 2 points at home.

In their last games Iowa State lost a tough one to Kansas State 27-20 and Northern Iowa lost to Stephen F. Austin 22-20.

Heading into this game Iowa State is 1-2 ATS while Northern Iowa is 0-0 ATS, as Saturday’s game will be their first against a Division I-A Team.

These teams have not met since 2007 when Northern Iowa scored an upset beating Iowa State at home.

Iowa State and their 82nd ranked passing offense is led by QB Austen Arnaud, who was decent in the loss to Kansas State going 15/27 for 122 yards with 1 TD and 0 INT. However, he only guided the Cyclones to 5/15 on 3rd down conversions and he fumbled with only 1:58 remaining, which sealed the Cyclones’ loss.

Austin will be facing a weak Northern Iowa secondary that gave up 356 passing yards to Stephen F. Austin last week. The Cyclones’ have allowed 5 sacks this season and protecting Arnaud is vital for them in this game. Luckily the Panthers do not feature a great pass rush and they are undersized up front.

Iowa State’s rushing offense was solid in the loss to Kansas State racking up 177 yards. RB Alexander Robinson is one of the better RB’s in the Big 12, but he will be facing a Northern Iowa defense that only gave up 79 rushing yards last week.

Northern Iowa’s offense is all about QB Tirrell Rennie, who passed for 162 yards with 1 TD last week and rushed for 132 yards with 1 TD averaging an impressive 8.8 yards per carry. Iowa State’s defense is ranked 75th in the nation and while their pass defense is great (ranking 13th) they are weak stopping the run. Rennie and RB Carlos Anderson will have to run the ball well for the Panthers to have any chance of pulling off the upset.

The bottom line for the Cyclones is that if they can contain Rennie on the both on the ground and in the air they should easily win this game.

Northern Iowa committed 3 turnovers against Stephen F. Austin and that really killed them. They have to hold onto the ball in this game or they will get killed.

Iowa State also cannot allow the Panthers to make any big plays. In their loss to Stephen F. Austin Rennie ran 75 yards for a TD on the game’s first play from scrimmage and later connected with Jarred Henning on an 83-yard scoring play, and then Carlos Anderson returned a kickoff 99 yards for another TD.

If the Cyclones can limit the big plays they should be in good shape since the Panthers do not have a dynamic or high-scoring offense.

This game will not be a repeat of 2007 when the Panthers pulled off a shocker. Iowa State will play well on both sides of the ball and they will get to .500 with a win and cover the spread.

Pick: Iowa State -11 ½

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Jason did OK last week going 4-4 for the week in the college game and while he has yet to be below .500 for any of the 3 weeks he wishes the Redskins could have played some D against the Texans in losing their first game of the season to the Lone Star State team.


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The Iceman's futures card for the 2014 FIFA WC might just be the single most INCREDIBLE achievement of his illustrious career. Not only did he pick Germany to win outright, he also correctly predicted 7-of -8 group winners. He DID IT AGAIN in 2018 and it's been more of the same since

About Jason Green

Jason Green is back with Cappers Picks again to give out his free sports plays. As always he's hoping the Braves and Redskins can win a championship since their last one in the 90’s was long ago. He’s starting to know the pain of Cubs fans.



  1. Tom Jenkins says:

    The Panthers don’t feature a great pass rush? They had eleven sacks against an NDSU team that beat Kansas where they were only sacked once! Yes NDSU is not FBS competition, but Iowa State didn’t really prove that it is either in their embarrassing affair against Iowa. If you look at FCS vs. FBS competition this season, there have been some really tight games. Massachusetts just took Michigan to the wire, and they’re ranked similarly to Northern Iowa in the FCS poll. Michigan, on the other hand, stands just a little ways above Iowa St. so far this season. The last time Iowa State proved anything was last season. Their one win was against a Northern Illinois team that would likely struggle in the FCS. I think an 11 and a half spread is a little big for this game.