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Week 4 of the 2022 college football season will start with a Big 12 showdown in Ames, Iowa. The Baylor Bears will hit the road to take on the Iowa State Cyclones. Handicapper Matt MacKay is here to make his predictions.

Iowa State vs. Baylor Prediction, Pick, and Odds: Can Hunter Dekkers, Cyclones Get Revenge Against Baylor?

The Big 12 conference was long-maligned for terrible defense due to the frequent success of air-raid offensive schemes. However, across the past few seasons, the shift to strong defensive units has occurred. There is still plenty of offense to go around, but the days of 400-500 passing yards per game with ridiculous scores of 70-63 may be permanently in the rearview.

Iowa State's head coach Matt Campbell is now in his seventh year with the Cyclones and has had sustained success, holding a 45-34 record through the first three games this season. The Cyclones are off to an undefeated start but are not ranked inside the top 25. Lopsided wins against Southeast Missouri State and Ohio University could be part of the reason, but a gritty 10-7 win against a talented Iowa defense showed the team's ability to grind out a victory during a slugfest.

Baylor is coming off of a legendary run in 2021, winning the Sugar Bowl and collecting 12 wins to lead to a Big 12 title banner. They looked dominant in the first game of the 2022 season against Albany, crushing them 69-10. The primetime road trip to Provo, Utah was where the Bears stumbled, losing to BYU 26-20 in overtime. Sophomore quarterback Blake Shapen did not play well, although he did not commit any turnovers either. It was a pedestrian outing that forced Baylor to turn to its rushing attack with mixed results. The Bears are still ranked 17th in the AP Top 25 entering this Big 12 matchup.

Baylor won a thrilling 31-29 game against Iowa State in Waco, Texas a year ago. Will Iowa State be ready for revenge in front of its home fans? Here are our picks, predictions, and odds for Saturday's game between Baylor Bears vs. Iowa State Cyclones.

Iowa State vs. Baylor START TIME and WHERE TO WATCH

Date: Saturday, September 24

Game time: 12:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPN2

Iowa State vs. Baylor Odds

Spread: Iowa State -3 (-105), Baylor +3 (-107)

Total: Under 45 (-105), Over 45 (-109)

Moneyline: Iowa State (-140), Baylor (+130)

Click Here for Iowa State vs. Baylor Odds

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Iowa State vs. Baylor INJURY REPORT


TE Ben Sims (Questionable - Head), WR Monaray Baldwin (Questionable - Head), RB Taye McWilliams (Questionable - Undisclosed)


OL Jake Remsburg (Questionable - Knee), RB Cartevious Norton (Questionable - Leg), DB Beau Freyler (Questionable - Upper Body)

Iowa State vs. Baylor PREDICTION

Let's dive deeper into how each team has performed on offense. Both units have sophomore quarterbacks under center. Hunter Dekkers leads the Cyclones with 78 completions for 745 yards, eight touchdowns, and three interceptions during a 3-0 start. He's not much of a mobile quarterback but Dekkers has secured a rushing touchdown on 18 carries for 24 yards, so it's not like he is incapable of utilizing his legs under pressure.

One of the most vital pieces on Iowa State's offense is junior running back Jirehl Brock, who is averaging 5.6 YPC and is the unquestioned RB1, handling 50 carries for 280 yards and a touchdown. Brock is great for moving the chains and winning the time of possession, keeping a stacked Baylor offense on the sideline. When the Cyclones need a big play through the air, Dekkers turns to senior wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson. Hutchinson has 28 receptions for 319 yards and five touchdowns already, far outpacing Jaylin Noel and Dimitro Stanley in the wide receiving corps. Even in the defensive win over Iowa, Hutchinson was producing, hauling in 11 receptions for 98 yards and accounting for the Cyclones' lone touchdown.

Baylor's offense struggled to pass against BYU's defense in its Week 2 loss. Shapen led several nice drives down the field, resulting in goal-line opportunities for running back Qualan Jones to hit paydirt twice. Craig Williams is the Bears' other running back who comprises the split backfield, with both players averaging at least 4.0 YPC. Shapen did not look particularly good against Texas State in Week 3 either, throwing an interception and recording a 57.7 percent completion rate. Fortunately, Baylor's rushing attack feasted against the inferior personnel of a Sun Belt team, collectively carrying 37 times for 293 yards and five touchdowns. Can they produce a similar output against Iowa State's defense?

Iowa State edge rusher Will McDonald will be a disruptor in the backfield, forcing Shapen to make poor decisions. The linebacking corps is a staple of the Cyclones' defense. Colby Reeder has two interceptions, while O'Rien Vance has 14 tackles, two TFLs, two forced fumbles, and a sack. Baylor's defense is a different story.

The Bears have not yet recorded an interception this season while forcing only two fumbles. There have been numerous pass deflections but Dekkers is averaging a 74.3 percent completion rate and has tossed at least three touchdowns in two games this season. He overcame a two-interception outing against a stout Iowa defense, showing his ability to battle through adversity, leading the Cyclones down the field to throw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Hutchinson with eight minutes left in the game.

Factor in the comeback effort that Iowa State mounted in the second half of last year's matchup, and you can expect a motivated Cyclones team to come out swinging in front of its home crowd. Dekkers is the superior quarterback and Baylor's defense has been underwhelming. Yes, Baylor can pivot to a strong, two-pronged rushing attack, but Iowa State has held its opponents to under 100 rushing yards in every game this year.

It's tempting to go with Iowa State to cover the spread as 3-point favorites at home but based on how close last year's game winded up, I prefer betting the safest outcome. Take the Iowa State moneyline in a matchup where the Cyclones could finally elevate their team into the AP Top 25.

Iowa State vs. Baylor PICK

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Article Author


Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.


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