Iowa State vs. West Virginia Odds & Picks: Back Mountaineers in Big 12 Blowout (Friday, Dec. 18)

Iowa State vs. West Virginia Odds & Picks: Back Mountaineers in Big 12 Blowout (Friday, Dec. 18) article feature image
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Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Derek Culver #1 of the West Virginia Mountaineers.

  • The No. 8-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers host Iowa State Friday in Morgantown in a Big 12 showdown.
  • With Cyclones guard Tre Jackson slated to miss tonight’s action, Iowa State enters the game as double-digit dogs.
  • Brad Cunningham details why he’s backing the Mountaineers to roll and where this spread loses betting value.

Iowa State vs. West Virginia Odds

Iowa State Odds +15 [BET NOW]
West Virginia Odds -15 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +900 / -1667 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 144 [BET NOW]
Time Friday, 9 p.m. ET
TV ESPNU
Odds as of Friday 3:30 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

Iowa State heads to Morgantown on Friday night to try and end a three-game skid against the No. 8-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers.

Bob Huggins has another loaded roster in 2020. In 2019, Huggins had an almost entirely new roster, which resulted in a lot of growing pains, as the Mountaineers stumbled down the stretch in the Big 12, losing six of their last nine games.

However, 2020 has been a whole different story. West Virginia has played a difficult non-conference schedule and outside of a loss to number one Gonzaga, they’ve taken care of business.

Iowa State is going to have another down year under Steve Prohm, who now may officially be on the hot seat. The Cyclone faithful already saw their best player Tyrese Halliburton leave for NBA and will need to rely on a handful of transfers to right the ship in 2020.

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Iowa State Cyclones

If you are still picturing the Cyclone teams of the “Hilton Magic” days open your eyes, because thing are looking really bleak in Ames right now. With Halliburton gone, Rasir Bolton is going to run the show for the Cyclones. However, even though he averaged 14.7 points last year, Bolton is not the “Halliburton” type of player Iowa State needs right now.

The reason Iowa State finished 12-20 last season, was because they flat out stunk on the defensive end of the floor. So far, those issues have carried over into 2020, as the Cyclones are allowing opponents to shoot almost 59% from inside the arc and is allowing a ridiculous 35.7% offensive rebound rate. Those are two things that are recipe for disaster when facing a Huggins team.

Iowa State’s offense shouldn’t see a huge drop off with the amount of depth coming in via the transfer portal, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll be able to find any consistency against one of the best defenses in the country.


West Virginia Mountaineers

Although West Virginia finished the 2019 season on sour note, they still finished inside the top 10 in the KenPom rankings. The reason for that was because they finished third in defensive efficiency and Huggins has a squad that could repeat those numbers again in 2020.

One of the benefits of playing a difficult non-conference schedule is you find out quickly what kind of team you have. For West Virginia, they have a loaded roster that has already made drastic improvements on the offensive end of the floor.

Last season, West Virginia was one of the worst shooting teams in the Big 12, ranking dead last in effective field goal percentage, three point percentage, and free throw percentage.  So far in 2020 though West Virginia has drastically improved their shooting numbers and is even shooting almost 10% higher from the charity strike.

Where West Virginia is going dominate in this game is one the offense glass. The Mountaineers were the number one team in the country last season in offensive rebound percentage. With their two big men Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe back in 2020, the Cyclones have no shot at keeping those two off the offensive glass.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

This game is set up perfectly for a West Virginia blow out. Iowa State’s game against Iowa was a perfect encapsulation of what happens when you give up offensive rebounds at a 44% rate. To make matters worse for Iowa State, guard Tre Jackson is going to miss this game due to injury.

With Jackson out, I have West Virginia projected as a -16.42 favorite, so I think there is some value in the Mountaineers at -15 (DraftKings). However, I wouldn’t play it any higher than that number

Pick: West Virginia -15 (-110).

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