College Basketball Odds & Picks for Iowa State vs. Iowa: Early Betting Value on Hawkeyes in Cy-Hawk Showdown

College Basketball Odds & Picks for Iowa State vs. Iowa: Early Betting Value on Hawkeyes in Cy-Hawk Showdown article feature image
Credit:

Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Luke Garza.

Iowa State vs. Iowa Odds

Iowa State Odds +14 [BET NOW]
Iowa Odds -14 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 159.5 [BET NOW]
Time Friday, 9 p.m. ET
TV Big Ten Network
Odds as of 7 p.m. Thursday and via PointsBet, where you can get $250 free when you deposit $250.

Friday’s late-night matchup features one of college basketball’s great intrastate rivalries, as the Iowa State Cyclones battle the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like much of a rivalry this year. Iowa’s early dominance has been a huge storyline this college basketball season, while its opponent just lost at home to South Dakota State.

Everybody should be excited we have college basketball in 2020, but Cyclones fans shouldn’t be excited for this matchup.

Iowa State Cyclones

The Cyclones do some things well.

Iowa State is efficient from inside the arc, as it ranks sixth in 2-point% (63.4%) and has an overall eFG% over 50%. Additionally, its 17:12 assist-to-turnover ratio shows that the Cyclones have been sharing the ball well and limiting turnovers.

Iowa State also does some things very poorly — specifically, rebounding.

The Cyclones are so bad on the boards that they were outrebounded by both South Dakota State and Arkansas Pine Bluff. Steve Prohm’s 2019-20 squad finished 314th in defensive rebounding percentage, and this year’s squad through two games ranks 292nd in total rebounds per game. That should be incredibly concerning for Cyclones fans.

Looking over Iowa State’s roster, one has to wonder who is going to box out Luka Garza. Its starting five, which plays 37.1% of the total minutes, has only one guy over 6-foot-6 in senior Solomon Young, who is 6-foot-8 and weighs 255 pounds.

Furthermore, the Cyclones shoot free throws at one of the lowest rates in the league. Last season, their 17 free throws attempted per game were 265th in the country. This season, they only have attempted 14 per game through two games.

The Cyclones are also very inefficient 3-point shooters. Last season, they shot just 31.6% from behind the arc on 22.4 attempts per game. Through their first two games this season, they’re a measly 16-for-55 (29%) from 3-point range.

Finally, they also aren’t good on defense. Last season, they allowed their opponents to shoot 50.6% from 2-point range and 35.9% from 3-point range. That added up to a 51.8 eFG% against, which ranked 292nd in the country.

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Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa has been running up the score against its early opponents in 2020.

Though North Carolina made it competitive in the second half, Iowa largely dismantled the Tar Heels in a 13-point win. Plus, it did so with Garza only shooting 6-of-20 from the field.

Instead, the Hawkeyes received major contributions from Jordan Bohannon, CJ Fredrick and Joe Wieskamp. Those three combined for 64 points with 17 made 3-pointers.

Iowa’s 3-point shooting is elite. The Hawkeyes are shooting 40.2% from beyond the arc on almost 30 attempts per game.

In a way, this Hawkeye team reminds me of the Dwight Howard-led Orlando Magic teams. They have a dominant interior big man (Garza) surrounded by great perimeter shooters.

The Hawkeyes are actually efficient from everywhere on the floor. They shoot 55.1% from inside the arc and have an overall eFG% of 57.3. Additionally, they take care of the basketball. The Hawkeye’s 13.4% turnover percentage is the 14th-lowest in the country.

Plus, unlike the Cyclones, Iowa is a solid rebounding team. Iowa pulls down 44 rebounds per game (44th in the country), and its 36.1 offensive rebounding percentage is 27th in the country.

But let’s get to the point: Iowa’s success is only possible because of Garza. Through Iowa’s first four games, the senior superstar is averaging 29.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game while shooting 63% from the field. His offensive repertoire is immense, and he pairs that with an elite rebounding game, making Iowa a force on the interior.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Simply put, there’s nothing that entices me to take Iowa State +14 tonight. Statistically, Iowa State is bad at everything Iowa does well. Physically, there’s nobody on the roster talented enough or big enough to guard Garza. Mentally, Iowa State just dropped a home game to South Dakota State while Iowa just dominated North Carolina.

However, Iowa did cool off in the second half against the Tar Heels. With a 14-point spread tonight, that makes me hesitant. This game has potential for a backdoor cover by Iowa State.

In the first half, however, Iowa has been unstoppable. Through four games this season, Iowa has a first-half point differential of +52. In the second half of games, however, Iowa’s point differential drops to +39. The Hawkeyes come out of the gates swinging and often let up later in the game.

I’m expecting Iowa to grab a huge, double-digit lead in the first 20 minutes. Therefore, I see the smart play as Iowa 1H -9.5 or better.

Pick: Iowa 1H -9.5 or better.

[Bet Iowa now at PointsBet and get $250 FREE.]

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