NCAAB Odds, Picks & Predictions for Iowa State vs Missouri
Pictured: Jaren Holmes #13 of the Iowa State Cyclones. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)
Iowa State vs Missouri Odds
|Iowa State Odds|
-106o / -114u
-106o / -114u
The Big-12/SEC challenge takes place across the country Saturday, including a contest between two ascending programs in Iowa St. and Missouri.
An Iowa State road win would provide even more substance on an already impressive resume. A Missouri victory would help solidify its at-large hopes and further signify the Tigers reemergence under Dennis Gates.
Here’s my pick for the battle between the Cyclones and Tigers:
If you are a fan of a team like Georgetown, Cal, South Carolina or another team struggling to find hope, look no further than this matchup. Iowa St., in Steve Prohm’s last year, was buried in the cellar of the Big 12 standings.
Now, in coach T.J. Otzelberger’s second year, Iowa St. is back in the national conversation. Both Otzelberger and Gates are evidence that a coaching change, along with the transfer portal, can rapidly improve a program’s outlook.
St. Bonaventure transfer Jaren Holmes has fit Otzelberger’s team well in his first year in Ames. Holmes’ length and motor have been great at disrupting the rhythm of opposing backcourts all season. What has been most surprising is that he has coupled his defensive prowess with scoring. Holmes, averaging 13.5 points per game, has a narrow edge over Gabe Kalscheur (13.1) for the team lead in scoring.
Missouri guards Nick Honor, D’moi Hodge and Sean East will likely face their most difficult test this season against the Cyclones. Iowa St. can pressure ball handlers as well as any team in the country. Otzelberger is willing to play nine-to-10 players each night, which is key in allowing his team to stay fresh and energized defensively.
Of all Missouri opponents this year, only Alabama can rival the defensive intensity Iowa St. has consistently displayed. The Tide were able to defeat Mizzou in Columbia by 21, though the Tigers were without potentially their best player in Kobe Brown that night. Iowa St. utilizes a style of play different than anything Mizzou has seen thus far in Gates’ inaugural year. In a hostile road environment, the Cyclones can rely on their defense to make the trip from Ames.
More than nearly any team in the country, Missouri has a stark disparity in its offensive and defensive rankings. The Tigers scoring prowess thus far has amazingly resulted in them being ranked as the sixth-best offense in the nation per KenPom. What holds the Tigers back is their 194th-ranked defense.
Iowa St.’s 57th-ranked offense is not particularly scary, especially on paper. The Cyclones will not present an offensive threat that will require more attention than some Mizzou has already seen this season. The concern is the Tigers defense can make average and mediocre scorers look great for a night. Gabe Kalscheur, Holmes and sharpshooter Caleb Grill are more than capable of capitalizing on defensive lapses, especially from the perimeter.
Missouri’s offense has been a strength. Gates can rely on quite a few players to carry his offense for minutes at a time. Mizzou victories have often come from up-tempo scoring runs. Aside from Brown, no one has emerged as the clear second-best option.
However, that may change. Tigers fans were confused and frustrated by the lack of playing time Isiaih Mosley had been receiving early in the year. Both Gates and Mosley chose to handle things internally, keeping the fanbase wondering what was keeping a clearly talented player on the bench. As it turned out, Mosley was dealing with a personal family issue he preferred to keep private.
Having worked through that issue, Mosley is back on the court and helping the Tigers offense immensely. After scoring eight and 19 points in his first two games back in action, Mosley earned his first start this past Tuesday.
Iowa State vs. Missouri Betting Pick
Iowa St. will be thrilled to get a quick respite from the defensive pressure seen every night in the Big 12.
Missouri is undoubtedly improved and Mosley makes the Tigers even more dynamic than they have been for much of the year.
However, just because Missouri is improved, doesn’t mean it is a threat unlike any the Cyclones have seen throughout the first half of their conference schedule.
Motivation would be my only hesitation in taking the Cyclones here. I will trust Otzelberger to get his team prepared nonetheless, given his team has shown very little evidence of playing with no “juice.”
Pick: Iowa State -1.5 | Play to -2.5
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