The start of the NCAA College Football season is upon us. And if the polls are any indication, Iowa sports betting and football fans are in for a treat. Why? Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones both start the season in the top 20 according to the AP polls.

In years gone by, there have been occasions for both teams to be ranked in the top 20. What makes this year’s polls extraordinary is the Cyclones have the higher ranking of the two teams. That place usually goes to the Hawkeyes. According to the AP Preseason Poll, Iowa State is sitting at #7 while Iowa is down the list at #18.

From a betting perspective, Iowa sports bettors might want to get a little futures odds action on both teams. The Cyclones are sitting at a juicy +2500 to win the 2021-22 College Football National Championship with the Hawkeyes at +10000. In our opinion, a $10 wager on both teams seems like a pretty good investment.


Scouting Report: #7 Iowa State Cyclones

While the 2020-21 warrants an asterisk (*) due to pandemic, the Cyclones did their fans proud last year. After winning the regular-season Big 12 conference title last year, the Cyclones fell short in the conference title game. They did rebound with a big in the 2021 Fiesta Bowl over the Oregon Ducks. The Cyclones finished the season with a fine 9-2.

The good news for interested sports bettors and Iowa State fans is the team is returning 20 of 22 starters. That includes all 11 starters from an offense that scored 32.6 PPG on the strength of an incredible offensive line. The offense was led by running back Breece Hall who rushed for 1,572 yards (5.6 yards per attempt) with 21 TDs. Bettors might want to consider a Heisman futures odds bet on Hall at odds of about +4000.


Scouting Report: #18 Iowa Hawkeyes

After starting off last year’s abbreviated season at 0-2, the Hawkeyes rattled off 6 straight games to finish the season at 6-2. It was good enough to win the West Division of the Big 10. It’s noteworthy that the Big 10 Conference title game and Iowa’s bowl game against the Missouri Tigers were canceled due to the pandemic. Iowa showed good balance on both sides of the ball with a stubborn defense leading the way. The defense gave up slightly less than 16 points per game.

This season, Iowa faces the challenge of replacing three top defensive players in Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Daviyon Nixon, defensive end Chauncey Golston and defensive tackle Jack Heflin. They also need to improve on a pedestrian passing game if they truly want to contend for the Big 10 title. What they do have going for them is a pro-caliber offensive line and a winning tradition.


The Big Matchup

Iowa college football fans won’t have to wait very long to find out which of these teams is the best in the state. This year, the Iowa State Cyclones will get the home-field advantage when the Iowa Hawkeyes visit on Saturday, September 12. It could be a tough game for the Hawkeyes who might need some time before all the new faces on the team gel. With that said, sports bettors are well aware that caution is the order of the day. When wagering on key rivalry games early in the season, anything can happen.