Iowa State vs West Virginia Odds, Picks: Target This Side of Big 12 Spread

Iowa State vs West Virginia Odds, Picks: Target This Side of Big 12 Spread article feature image

Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Bob Huggins (West Virginia)

Iowa State vs West Virginia Odds

Wednesday, Feb. 8
7 p.m. ET
Iowa State Odds
-110o / -110u
West Virginia Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

West Virginia looks to keep the ball rolling on Wednesday night as it welcomes Iowa State to Morgantown. The Mountaineers have won three of their last four and draw yet another Quadrant I opportunity against the Cyclones.

Iowa State is 7-3 in Big 12 play and took down Kansas in dominant fashion on Saturday. The Clones have surprised many with a successful 2023 campaign, but they haven't won away from Ames since Jan. 7.

Can the Cyclones storm into WVU Coliseum and take down the Mountaineers on Wednesday night, or will West Virginia's physicality on the interior prove too much?

Iowa State Cyclones

After one of the worst collapses of the season against Texas Tech, Iowa State responded with a 15-point win over Kansas.

T.J. Otzelberger has a defensive-savvy, experienced squad in Ames. The Cyclones are first in turnover rate and apply a ton of on-ball pressure.

They look to speed up opponents and their aggression defensively leads to a high-percentage of 3s. It also leads to foul trouble and second-chance opportunities.

The Clones' defensive pressure paid dividends in non-conference play, but they have struggled a bit against Big 12 opponents. From a ShotQuality PPP perspective, the Cyclones are last in off-the-dribble 3s and sixth against catch-and-shoot 3s.

Teams haven't been able to fully take advantage from the perimeter, but they've attacked inside with success. A lot of that can be attributed to foul problems with bigs and a lack of size on the perimeter. Opponents can use physicality through their guards and forwards to force their way into the paint.

Against Texas Tech, the Cyclones committed 28 fouls in a 23-point second-half comeback. They're 332nd in FTA/FGA.

Offensively, the Cyclones have their issues. They play at a snail's pace, have turnover issues and have not been efficient. They're just 306th out of the half-court, per ShotQuality, and are below average in nearly ever metric.

Finishes at the rim? 171st. Catch-and-shoot 3s? They're 279th. From the mid-range? 311th.

Iowa State relies on its physicality inside to create offense and second-chance opportunities. It rarely shoots from the perimeter — 293rd in 3PA/FGA — and doesn't get to the line often.

It's also important to note that in Ames, Iowa State has yet to lose. But it's 0-4 in its last four road games.

Offensive woes have held back the Cyclones in Big 12 play, but they have proven their ability to remain competitive and win ugly through defensive intensity.

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West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia is one of the most interesting teams in the Big 12. It began conference play with five straight losses, but has since won four of six.

The Mountaineers are a team analytic-minded folks love and enter as No. 14 in KenPom's rankings.

This is an extremely athletic and physical WVU squad. The Mountaineers rank inside the top 30 in offensive rebounding and are top-10 in free-throw rate. This is a brand new squad for Bob Huggins, with a starting five of all transfers.

Like Iowa State, the Mountaineers have their struggles out of the half-court. They're 300th, per ShotQuality, preferring to run transition and attack the rim above all else.

This isn't an impressive 3-point shooting team, with just two consistent perimeter threats — Erik Stevenson (38.3%) and Tre Mitchell (37.1%). Instead, they rather find success attacking the rim and finishing through contact.

Huggins deploys a very deep rotation to keep the ball pressure and defensive intensity up. He also runs the offense through Stevenson. Stevenson takes 32.5% of all shots while on the floor and leads the team in points (14.9).

Similar to the defensive profile of Iowa State, the Mountaineers' aggression on the defensive end leads to consistent turnovers. It also leads to foul trouble (336th in FTA/FGA).

Most teams try to break down the Mountaineers' defense through the pick-and-roll (19%).

What is extremely promising for the Mountaineers, though, is that since Jan. 18, they've been the fifth-best team, per T-Rank. WVU ranks top-20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and has been one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the entire country.

And that has come against the Big 12's length.

It seems like West Virginia is finally trending in the right direction after a brutal non-conference schedule. Finishing the next month strong is of utmost importance if the Mountaineers want any shot at earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Iowa State vs West Virginia Betting Pick

I'm not the biggest believer in this Iowa State team. While its defense has been dominant, the Cyclones' offense has clear issues that will likely go unchanged. 

As I've mentioned earlier, West Virginia has been one of the best teams from both an offensive and defensive efficiency perspective over the last three weeks. I expect the Mountaineers to continue rolling here against an aggressive Iowa State defense known for fouling.

The edge to me comes down to WVU's athleticism and interior presence. It should have no issues controlling the offensive glass and commanding the paint, and ISU's turnover issues should remain an issue against the on-ball pressure Huggins' squad deploys.

We've seen Iowa State struggle away from Ames in Big 12 play, and Wednesday poses as no different.

West Virginia should slow down the Cyclones to a halt and force them to play out of the half-court, where they struggle.

Barring a 3-point barrage from Gabe Kalscheur, the Mountaineers hold all the cards inside WVU Coliseum. They should be able to withstand the ISU defensive pressure, and I expect them to pick up a much-needed Quadrant I win on Wednesday night.

Pick: West Virginia -3 (Play to -4)

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Nick Sterling
Jun 20, 2024 UTC