Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#311 UL Monroe 56.5 vs.
#312 Iowa State -17.5
Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 12:00pm EDT
Jack Trice Stadium, Ames
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#311 University of Louisiana at Monroe
#312 Iowa State
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The Iowa State Cyclones will host the UL Monroe Warhawks in an inter-conference battle Saturday afternoon from Jack Trice Stadium. The Warhawks were narrowly defeated 45-44 at Florida State in week two before enjoying a bye last week, and the Cyclones were edged 18-17 at home by rival Iowa in their previous contest. This is the first meeting between these schools since 1980.

Warhawks Big Underdogs After Taking Florida State to OT

The UL Monroe Warhawks will be aiming for the upset win after nearly pulling off a stunning win in their latest action. They came up short in a tough 45-44 overtime road loss to Florida State of the ACC last week in a game that had FSU favored by 22.5 points. QB Caleb Evans has posted a strong start to the year, registering 424 passing yards with three touchdowns against one interception. The senior QB tallied a 16:12 TD to INT ratio as the starter last season, and he is also very mobile as he rushed for over 600 yards in 2018.

The Warhawks rushing offense is looking dangerous led by Josh Johnson. The junior RB was able to rush for 126 yards against the Seminoles last week, and he has notched 299 rushing yards in three games. He faces a daunting task against a strong Cyclones rush defense in this clash. Warhawks’ receiving leader Xavier Brown has stepped into a bigger role this year. He has made 11 grabs for 123 yards in two games. ULM was able to solve the FSU defense last week, and it will be interesting to see how they fare against an even better defense in this game.

The Warhawks defense had no problem in their 31-9 week one victory against FCS opponent Grambling State but surrendered 501 total yards against Florida State. Their rush defense has been an issue early, placing down at 120th in the country. ULM has averaged 37.5 points in two games, good for 34th overall, and they have allowed an average of 27 points, pegging them 82nd in the country.

Iowa State Falls to Rival Iowa

The Iowa State Cyclones have been involved in two very close games to begin their season. They needed overtime to avoid the upset and defeat Northern Iowa 29-26 in their season opener, and they could not hold a late lead in their tough 18-17 home loss to #19 Iowa on Saturday night. QB Brock Purdy was solid in the losing cause, racking up 278 passing yards with two TD’s. The sophomore QB is a big threat, and he has recorded 554 passing yards with three TD’s in two games.

The Cyclones rushing offense has been an area of concern early. They are splitting the duties between multiple backs as they wait for a clear #1 to surface. Junior back Kene Nwangwu has made the most of his 10 carries this season, amassing 84 rushing yards, while Johnnie Lang has rushed for 66 yards.

The Iowa State receiving core will make their mark felt in this game. They have three receivers with over 100 receiving yards in two games led by Tarique Milton with 162 yards on 10 receptions. The Cyclones offense should break free in this one after facing a stifling Iowa Hawkeyes defense last week.

The ISU defense was a bright spot in last week’s tough defeat. They limited a decent Iowa offense to only 313 total yards which is an encouraging sign heading into Big 12 play next week, but they cannot overlook a determined UL Monroe team in this one. The Cyclones have averaged 23 points in two games, ranking them 97th overall, while conceding an average of 22 points which places them 53rd in the FBS.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am taking the points with UL Monroe in this clash. UL Monroe deserves some respect after narrowly losing in overtime to Florida State of the ACC in their previous game, and I expect them to keep this one reasonably close. The Cyclones haven’t displayed a whole lot of offensive potential, and they barely managed to defeat a Northern Iowa team that isn’t even in the FBS in overtime in their season opener. Iowa State is only averaging 4.3 yards per rush attempt on the ground, and they have only scored a combined 46 points in their two games.

Furthermore, UL Monroe has enough offensive talent to make their presence felt against the Iowa State defense. Warhawks’ RB Josh Johnson was able to rush for 126 yards against FSU, and QB Caleb Evans was able to record two touchdown passes against the Seminoles. 

Prediction: UL Monroe Warhawks

Full-Game Total Pick

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I am opting with the under in this one. Iowa State is a defensive-minded team and they were able to neutralize Iowa last week. While I expect some offense from UL Monroe, this is a strong Big 12 defense that has only conceded an average of 288 total yards through two games, plus the under is 6-1 in the Cyclones’ last seven games in September.

In addition, as mentioned the Cyclones offense hasn’t particularly stood out. They only scored three touchdowns against Northern Iowa in week one, and two touchdowns against Iowa last week. The under is 4-1 in the Warhawks’ last five games and that trend should prevail in this one.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The over on the Warhawks team total is a solid option. I believe Warhawks RB Josh Johnson will have an impact on this game. The junior RB is averaging a sizzling 8.3 yards per attempt, and he was able to find some holes against the Seminoles defense. Also, QB Caleb Evans has completed 66% of his passes on the season, and Iowa State will give up yards in the air.

Prediction: UL Monroe Team Total Over

Half-Time Total Bet

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I anticipate a low scoring game from start to finish. UL Monroe only scored seven points in the first half at Florida State in their previous game, and this is another tough road game against a good defense. The same applies to Iowa State who has only scored a combined 10 points in the first half in their two games.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.