Fiesta Bowl Preview: Iowa State Slightly Favored Over Oregon

Written By Drew Ellis on December 31, 2020
ISU Ducks Fiesta Bowl

No. 10 Iowa State may not have claimed the Big 12 Championship this season, but the Cyclones can still cap off a strong 2020 season on Saturday.

Iowa State will be featured in one of the top games of the bowl season, the Fiesta Bowl.

The Cyclones square off with No. 25 Oregon, looking to secure a top-10 finish to the season.

Do oddsmakers think they can pull it off?

How to watch the Fiesta Bowl

  • What: No. 25 Oregon (4-2) vs. No. 10 Iowa State (8-3)
  • When: 3 p.m. CST on Saturday, Jan. 2
  • Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
  • TV: ESPN
  • Online livestream: ESPN+
  • Radio: Cyclone Radio Network
  • Online radio stream: TuneIn
  • Satellite radio: Sirius XM Channel 84
  • Live Stats:

Oddsmakers backing the Cyclones at Fiesta Bowl

The oddsmakers are liking Iowa State to prevail in Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl.

Oregon vs. Iowa State Fiesta Bowl OddsDraftKings FanDuelPointsBetWilliam Hill
Point spread
(-110 juice unless noted)
ORE +4 -112
ISU -4 -109
ORE +4.5 -115
ISU -4.5 -105
ORE +4
ISU -4
ORE +4
ISU -4
MoneylineORE +145
ISU -180
ORE +158
ISU -196
ORE +160
ISU -191
ORE +160
ISU -190
Total points
(-110 juice unless noted)
O 57.5
U 57.5
O 57.5 -108
U 57.5 -112
O 57.5
U 57.5
O 57.5
U 57.5

Most of the sportsbooks are listing Iowa State as a 4-point favorite against Oregon. FanDuel Sportsbook has the Cyclones at -4.5.

When it comes to the moneyline, Iowa State is ranging from -180 to -196. Oregon is listed from +145 to +160.

The over/under is unanimously agreed upon, as all sportsbooks are putting it at 57.5 points.

First matchup between Ducks and Cyclones

Impressively enough, Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl will be the first time Iowa State and Oregon meet on the football field.

While there is no matchup history to rely on for Iowa sports bettors, there are plenty of trends to consider.

Oregon comes into Saturday at 3-3 against the spread this season, while Iowa State is 6-5 ATS.

While the Ducks have covered in five straight against winning teams, they are just 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 non-conference games.

Iowa State is 5-1 ATS in their last six games as a favorite. The Cyclones also are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games following a loss.

The public betting for the Fiesta Bowl is strong with Iowa State. As of this writing, 71 percent of the wagers are going with the Cyclones.

ISU falls to Oklahoma in Big 12 title game

Iowa State saw its five-game win streak come to an end in the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 19.

The Cyclones suffered a 27-21 loss to Oklahoma. The Sooners established a 17-0 lead in the first half and Iowa State wasn’t able to find enough of a comeback effort.

Iowa State moved the ball on the Sooners, racking up 435 yards of offense. However, Brock Purdy threw three interceptions in the loss.

Moving the ball shouldn’t be too difficult an effort against the Ducks. Oregon allows over 400 yards per game on the season.

Purdy has thrown for 2,594 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season. Five of those interceptions came in their three losses.

Iowa State is likely to stick with its focus on running the ball effectively. Breece Hall is second in the nation in rushing with 1,436 yards. He has the most rushing yards of any Power 5 back. The sophomore also has 19 rushing touchdowns.

Hall recently was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Defensively, Iowa State has held opponents to 21.8 points and 344.3 yards per game this season. The unit faces an Oregon offense that averages 33.7 points and 429.7 yards per contest.

Junior linebacker Mike Rose was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year this week. He has 90 tackles, four interceptions and 1.5 sacks this season.

Matt Campbell rounded out the Big 12 Yearly honors, earning Coach of the Year in the conference. Campbell is 34-28 over his five seasons with the Cyclones.

Ducks on limited schedule

Oregon managed just six games this season as the Pac-12 Conference didn’t begin to play until November and the Ducks had one game canceled.

The Ducks are coming off a 31-24 win over USC on Dec. 18 to win the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Oregon managed just 243 yards of offense in the win but forced three USC turnovers.

Head coach Mario Cristobal earned a six-year, $27 million deal for his efforts this season. Cristobal is 25-9 in his time with Oregon, including a 12-2 record in 2019.

Moving the ball hasn’t been much of an issue this season for Oregon. Tyler Shough has thrown for 1,480 yards and 13 touchdowns with just five interceptions. He also has rushed for 263 yards and two scores.

The Ducks have a three-headed rushing attack behind Shough, Travis Dye and CJ Verdell. The three have combined for 939 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Verdell didn’t play in the Pac-12 Championship game, but could suit up against Iowa State.

Defensively, Oregon will be tasked with slowing down Hall. The Ducks are giving up 159.8 rushing yards per game, which ranks just 59th nationally. In a loss to Oregon State, Oregon gave up 263 rushing yards to the Beavers.

Photo by Brandon Wade / AP
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis has lived in Michigan his whole life and has been writing professionally 21 years. Ellis has covered anything from youth baseball in mid-Michigan, a top-25 college football program, and pro sports in the Detroit area. Always keeping busy, Ellis also has over 10 years of experience in covering sports betting, handling all major sports.

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