Iowa State vs. Iowa Odds, Picks | Cy-Hawk Rivalry Betting Guide

Iowa State vs. Iowa Odds, Picks | Cy-Hawk Rivalry Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Kris Murray (Iowa)

  • College basketball fans are treated to an intense rivalry on Thursday night as Iowa State heads to Iowa.
  • The Cyclones are 7-1 on the year and the Hawkeyes are coming off a loss, but there may be some value in backing the home side.
  • Keg previews the game and shares his best bet below.

Iowa State vs. Iowa Odds

Thursday, Dec. 8
8 p.m. ET
Iowa State Odds
-114o / -106u
Iowa Odds
-114o / -106u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Regardless of ranking, record, returning starters or the result of last year's game, the matchup of Iowa vs Iowa State is one of the most anticipated rivalry games of the season year in and year out. However, this year is one of the most anticipated in recent memory.

The Cyclones head to Iowa City on Thursday with a 7-1 record and are fresh off an impressive win over over a strong St. Johns team. The Cyclones only loss of the season was against a Connecticut team that's still undefeated.

Iowa, on the other hand, will be playing its second of three games in six days against teams ranked inside the top 50 per Kenpom. It will be a quick turnaround for the Hawkeyes, who have had just one day off since their game against Duke, in which the lost by 12.

The Hawkeyes struggled against the Blue Devils defense, and will now face a Cyclones team that has been even better at the defensive end. Can Iowa avoid its second loss in three days?

Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State has looked great so far this year.

The Cyclones are holding teams to a sixth-best in the nation 56.8 points per game, while also ranking 22nd nationally outscoring opponents by an average of 15 points per game. Jaren Holmes has led the charge on offense, averaging 14.8 points and 3.4 assist per game, while fellow Cyclones Caleb Grill and Osun Osunniyi are also averaging double-digit points per game.

The Hawkeyes offense will be a major challenge for the Cyclones. Iowa State's biggest advantages on defense are its ability to force turnovers and defend the perimeter. However, the Hawkeyes are one of the best teams in the country at protecting possessions and turn it over just nine times per game. Iowa isn't very dependent on perimeter shooting either, attempting just 22 three pointers per game.

With two of their biggest advantages challenged, can this Cyclones defense find answers to stopping the Hawkeyes?

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Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes looked to be in complete disarray against Duke, shooting under 40% from the floor and just 18% from three in their 74-62 loss on Tuesday night.

There were a lot of things to be concerned about against Duke, but the most troubling, in my opinion, was how the Blue Devils were able to shut down Kris Murray. The Hawkeyes leading scorer was held to just eight points, seven rebounds and three assists in the game.

One positive that came in the loss was Dasonte Bowen's impressive showing. The Iowa freshman set a career high with 12 points against Duke and shot 71.4% from the floor. Moving forward, I can definitely see him playing a more significant role in the Hawkeyes' rotation.

Iowa has to find an answer from beyond the perimeter. Dating back to the Hawkeyes first game in the Emerald Classic, they have made just 18 of 74 attempted three-pointers. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening against a Cyclones team that is holding opponents to just 26.3% from three-point range.

Iowa State vs. Iowa Betting Pick

I'm not sure Iowa could've looked any worse than they it against Duke. However, the Blue Devils ability to dominate Iowa came as a result of Duke's height and ability both in the paint and off the glass.

Iowa State won't have those same advantages. Over the past five games, the Cyclones have been one of the worst teams in the nation in defensive rebound percentage, coming down with a defensive rebound on just 62.9% of opponents missed shots.

Teams much worse than Iowa have found success around the rim against the Cyclones as well. Iowa State opponents are hitting 72.4% of shots at the rim, and 41.7% in the paint overall. The Hawkeyes struggled around the rim against a Duke team that's fifth nationally in average height. Iowa State (113th) won't present the same challenge.

Iowa did look awful against Duke, but will be back home in Iowa City against their rival Cyclones. And while Iowa State has been amazing on defense, its biggest advantages won't be a huge factor against this Hawkeyes team.

It's tough backing this Iowa team after its performance against Duke, but I think it's the right play in this game.

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