Although it’s been over a century since the Iowa State Cyclones last won a conference championship in football, things have been looking up lately. Iowa State finished its 2020-21 season playing in a New Year’s Six bowl game and is among the contenders for a Big 12 title in 2021-22.
Like many other programs, the Cyclones have had their lean years. However, that may be in the rearview mirror now. Only time will tell. Regardless of their level of success, Iowa sportsbooks welcome action on Iowa State football games in a variety of ways.
This guide will give a little background on the Cyclones and explain how to legally wager on their games in Iowa. Like with any other form of gambling, being informed and responsible are two keys to having a great experience.
The first thing to check on is your eligibility to bet on sports in Iowa. That’s you if:
You don’t have to live in IA to bet in IA. The law in the state does require your presence in the state when you put your money down, though. You can do this either online (using a sportsbook app or website licensed by the IA Racing & Gaming Commission) or at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook inside a casino.
If you’re eligible and you want to bet online, the first step is to download the app of the sportsbook you want to use to your device. Whether Android or iOS, Iowa sportsbooks have you covered. Just search for the sportsbook’s name on the App Store (iOS devices) or visit the sportsbook’s website with a mobile browser (Android).
After that, you’ll have to register an account. You don’t have to be in IA to do this. The sportsbook does need to verify your eligibility and to gather some information for tax purposes. In the course of registration, the app may ask you to provide:
The final step to preparation is adding funds to your account. It’s illegal to use credit cards in this way in IA. IA sportsbooks will accept a variety of other payment forms, though. You can visit a retail sportsbook connected to the app of your choice to make a deposit with cash there, or choose any of the following electronic means:
Once the sportsbook accepts your deposit, you’re ready to go! Just navigate the app to the College Football section and browse the markets there. You’ll see a variety, some of the most popular of which we’ll break down here.
Iowa is one of the most open markets for betting on college sports in the country. That’s a good thing for sportsbooks in the state, as there are no NFL teams in IA. In addition to placing a moneyline or straight bet on individual games, there are many other bet types available.
Probably the most popular way to bet on college football is wagering on the point spread of a single game. Some bettors do like to parlay spreads from multiple games together, though. It’s up to you, after you understand how those markets work. An example of such a market from a real IA sportsbook is below:
|Iowa State||-2.5 (-110)|
In this market, you’ll see the two teams in the game. The home team is always on the bottom. Then, you’ll see what’s called the “line,” or what the sportsbook believes the margin of victory for the winning team will be. In this case, that’s 2.5 points.
As it’s impossible to score just half of a point in football, you might be wondering what that half of a point is all about. That’s called a “hook” in sports betting. It ensures that either you or the book will win the bet.
You probably also noticed the negative sign next to the Iowa State line. That tells you that the Cyclones are the favorite in this game. It also tells you what needs to happen in order for you to win your bet.
With this information, you now understand what the market is saying. If you think Iowa State will win this game by at least three points, you’d want to bet the Cyclones in this market. On the other hand, if you feel that the Iowa Hawkeyes will pull off the upset or the final score will be closer than three points, you’d bet the Hawkeyes.
The number in parentheses tells you what your payout will be if you win. American odds work with 100 as a base. Because these odds are negative, they tell you what you have to wager to make $100 in profit. So, if you put down $110 and win, your total payout would be $210 (your $110 wager back plus $100 in profit).
Another popular way to bet on college football in Iowa is futures wagering. These markets get this name because the events take place months into the future. An example of such a market on which team will win the Big 12 Conference championship is below.
|Big 12||Conference winner|
|Oklahoma +150||Iowa State +160|
|Texas +300||Oklahoma State +400|
|West Virginia +500||Kansas State +1000|
|TCU +2000||Texas Tech +2000|
|Baylor +2500||Kansas +3000|
In addition to selecting the right team in this market, the other trick is timing. You want to get the absolute best price for the team you want to stake. The odds in these markets can fluctuate throughout the offseason and season as activity that affects this outcome happen.
If you visit an Iowa sportsbook, you won’t find any betting markets on things like how many yards the Cyclones’ best running back will accumulate during a specific game. Why? IA law forbids all prop bets on individual college athletes’ performances.
Sportsbooks in IA are free to post prop bets on entire college teams, however. So, if you want to bet on how many points Iowa State will score in the second quarter of a game, that’s completely permissible and usually available.
Each year, the Cyclones play a total of 12 regular-season games. Nine of those are against other Big 12 teams, while the other three are non-conference games. One of those non-conference contests is always against the Iowa Hawkeyes, usually the second game of the season for both teams. As there are ten Big 12 teams, Iowa State plays every other team in the conference each season. For 2021-22, the schedule looks like this:
The Big 12 doesn’t have its own network like other conferences but it does have broadcast deals with Disney and FOX. Thus, if you have a cable or satellite package that carries the appropriate networks, you should be able to find Cyclones football games live on one of the following:
Disney and FOX have their own streaming platforms for the content that appears on those networks as well, ESPN+ and FOX Sports Go. You can access them using your cable or satellite credentials. Without subscribing to such a service, however, you may find it difficult to stream or watch Iowa State football games live.
The 2020-21 season was one of the best in Cyclones football history. Not only did they come close to winning their first Big 12 title ever, but also qualified for and won a New Year’s Six bowl game.
Iowa State finished 9-3 and ranked ninth in the final Associated Press poll. That is the highest postseason ranking in Cyclones football history. If not for a 27-21 defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 Championship Game, Iowa State may have been in consideration for the College Football Playoff.
Quarterback Brock Purdy threw for over 2,700 yards and 19 touchdowns while running back Breece Hall gained more than 1,500 rushing yards, finding paydirt through the running game 21 times. The Cyclones also allowed just 21.4 points per game on average, 25th in all of D1 FBs.
The biggest sporting event of the year in the state of Iowa is always the football game between Iowa and Iowa State. Although Iowa dominates the all-time record in this contest, it’s very likely that Iowa State will be the betting favorite in 2021.
As far as Big 12 opponents go, there aren’t really many strong rivalries simply because for many years the Cyclones were not that competitive. As Iowa State builds a stronger program, there’s no doubt that intra-conference rivalries will emerge.
While there isn’t a long list of Cyclones being drafted into the NFL in the first round, later round picks from Iowa State are abundant. The same goes for years in which NFL teams selected multiple Cyclones. Here’s a shortlist of the highest-drafted Cyclones ever.
As the Cyclones have struggled to put together winning seasons, Iowa State has spent the same amount of time searching for the right coach to establish a successful tradition. Just three of the head coaches in Cyclones history who spent at least three seasons in the role have winning records. Here are the top coaches in Iowa State football history:
The most successful years for the Iowa State Cyclones were 1911 and 1912. At the time, the team was playing in the MVIAA (the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association) and was coached by Clyde Williams. In each of those years, the Cyclones would finish as co-champions in the conference, losing just three games over the two seasons.
Since the advent of the Associated Press poll to rank college football teams, the Iowa State Cyclones have been ranked in the top 25 a total of 49 times. On three occasions they have finished the season ranked — in 1976 they were ranked No. 19 after an 8-3 season, in 2000 they were ranked No. 25 after a 9-3 season, and in 2020 they were ranked ninth with another 9-3 record.
In their history, the Cyclones have played a total of 16 bowl games, with the latest success coming in 2020 when they beat Oregon 34-17 in the Fiesta Bowl. Iowa State is currently on a streak of four consecutive seasons with a bowl game appearance.
Ed Bock was the first Hall of Fame inductee for the Cyclones, in 1970. His senior season in 1938 saw the team finish with a 7-1-1 record, and he would become the first consensus first-team All-American in the history of the team.
Earle Bruce was the head coach of Iowa State between 1973 and 1978, taking the team to only its second and third bowl appearances in team history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2002.
Troy Davis is considered to be the best running back in the history of the program. He twice earned consensus All-American honors and was the first-ever NCAA Division I-A running back to rush for over 2,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. In 1996 he finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting, the closest a player from Iowa State University has ever come to winning the prestigious award.
How many national championships has Iowa State won? Zero. The Cyclones have never played for a national title in football in any era. In fact, it’s been 109 years since ISU last won a conference championship in football. That’s never happened in the Big 12, as Iowa State played in the now-defunct MVIAA then.
What are the team colors/logo/mascot? The Cyclones’ colors are cardinal red and gold. The mascot is Cy the Cardinal. The primary logo is a large letter “I” with the word “State” written over it.
How much are Iowa State football tickets? The price fluctuates based on who the opponent is and where in Jack Trice Stadium you want to sit. Big 12 games always cost more than non-conference games, with perhaps the exception of the annual game against Iowa. As a rule, you shouldn’t expect to pay less than $100 per seat for a conference game and anywhere close to the field.
How many Iowa State football numbers are retired? Iowa State has retired only one jersey number. That is No. 30, which belonged to Mike Cox. Cox was a 1992 Iowa State Hall of Fame Inductee. He was All-Big 8 as a linebacker twice and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1965.