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Saturday College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for Texas vs. Iowa State (Jan. 15)

Saturday College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for Texas vs. Iowa State (Jan. 15) article feature image

Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Beard (Texas)

  • The Texas Longhorns and Iowa State Cyclones meet on the hardwood on Saturday afternoon in a pivotal Big 12 conference basketball matchup.
  • Texas opened as 2-point favorites, and the point spread has swelled to -2.5 or even -3 at some sportsbooks heading into Saturday's 2 p.m. ET tipoff.
  • However, our college basketball analyst, Doug Ziefel, contends that the over/under offers superior value in today's Big 12 showdown. Which side is he on? Read on to find out.

Texas vs. Iowa State Odds

Saturday, Jan. 15
2 p.m. ET
Texas Odds
-110o / -110u
Iowa State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

If you are a fan of the Big 12 or defense, this is the matchup for you. The Texas Longhorns head of Ames to square off against the Iowa State Cyclones.

Chris Beard’s team showed what it is made of as it bounced back in a big way with its recent win over Oklahoma after an upset loss to Oklahoma State. The Longhorns will look to carry their offensive momentum into this matchup.

The Cyclones enter this game in the midst of a two-game losing streak. However, they did come within seconds of beating the Kansas Jayhawks in their most recent outing.

We have seen this team feed off the energy of their home supporters, but can they rally and pull off yet another big win?

Longhorns’ Offense Showing Signs of Life

It seems that the Longhorns are playing hot potato with who has the hot hand on offense.

Early in the season, we saw some great efforts out of Timmy Allen and Tre Mitchell. Just two weeks ago, it had appeared that Marcus Carr had broken out from his shooting slump. Now, last game, Andrew Jones took his turn, as he dropped a season-high 22 points to lead his team in a win over the Sooners.

The key for handicapping the Longhorns’ side of this matchup is figuring out who will go off this time around. Now, pinpointing one player or one area is difficult, as the Cyclones are a well-rounded and stout defensive team. Iowa State is fifth in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.

While I talked about how Jones recently took the reins offensively, there are multiple reasons why that will continue in this matchup. First, Jones was dialed in vs. Oklahoma, as he went 7-of-15 from the field and 2-of-5 from 3. That type of solid shooting night often puts you in a rhythm that can carry over.

Secondly, he is the team leader in steals, as he averages almost two a game. Jones even had four steals against Oklahoma. Having someone who can get steals like Jones is a massive edge, as Iowa State is 275th in offensive turnover percentage and 250th in steals allowed per game.

It looks like turning good defense into offense will be the X-factor for Texas in this one, and Jones will play a significant role in it.

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Cyclones Need Other Contributions

Much like their opponent in this one, the defense has not been the issue for Iowa State. Instead, the Cyclones have suffered back-to-back losses because they can’t put it all together offensively.

Iowa State’s only consistent source of offensive production has been Penn State transfer Izaiah Brockington. He does it all for this team, as he averages 17 points and eight rebounds while shooting nearly 50% from the field.

Brockington is in need of some help on the offensive end. The issue is not the talent around him, as guys like Tyrese Hunter, Tristan Enaruna and Gabe Kalscheur have all lit up the scoreboard on multiple occasions this season.

Instead, it is the inconsistency of their scoring that hurts this team. You can look at nearly every box score for this Iowa State team and you’ll see Brockington score and one other guy break into double figures. That typically will count for at least 50% of the team’s points.

If the Cyclones want to take the next leap and really prove that they can compete come March, we will have to see one or two other players step up with consistency alongside Brockington.

With that being said, it would be shocking to see anyone get much going against this Texas defense. The Longhorns are eighth in adjusted defensive efficiency and are excellent at contesting shots without fouling. They make their opponents earn every point, so it could be a long day for this Cyclones offense.

Texas vs. Iowa State Betting Pick

These two teams are so equally matched on both ends of the floor. They are elite defensively and streaky offensively. However, that will play in our favor for this handicap.

I will be looking toward the under here.

Pick: Under 121

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