Utah State vs. Iowa Odds, Picks: Betting Value on Hawkeyes Moneyline

Utah State vs. Iowa Odds, Picks: Betting Value on Hawkeyes Moneyline article feature image

Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Fran McCaffery

  • The Iowa Hawkeyes take on the Utah State Aggies at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Saturday night.
  • The Hawkeyes enter as -6.5 favorites, according to updated odds, as the line has moved quickly.
  • Check out Shane McNichol's full betting guide for the game below.

Utah State vs. Iowa Odds

Saturday, Dec. 18
9 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Utah State Odds
-110o / -110u
Iowa Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

When Utah State and Iowa meet at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Saturday night, fans will be treated to a matchup between two of the nation's best and most under-appreciated players.

Even in a year saturated by excellent big men in college basketball, Utah State's Justin Bean and Iowa's Keegan Murray are having noteworthy seasons.

The winner of that individual matchup will give his squad a major leg up in this battle between two teams with tournament aspirations. However, there are plenty of intriguing subplots for bettors to dive into, as well.

Utah State Aggies

Bean, a senior in his fourth year in Logan, is the engine that makes the Aggies go. He looks like a player with a conventional, old-school style game. He works beautifully in the post with an impressive arsenal of drop steps and finishes at the rim.

He's also able to play a modern game by stretching to the perimeter, hitting half of his 3-point attempts so far this season. Bean dominates the glass, nabbing more than 11 rebounds per game.  His ability to battle on the offensive glass creates a ton of extra possessions for Utah State.

The Aggies use those possessions effectively, boasting a top-50 offense and the second-best assist rate in the nation. This is a well-rounded team that shares to ball to find the open man or correct matchup.

Rylan Jones is a capable point guard that operates the Utah State offense in the half-court or gets things pushing in transition.

On both ends of the floor, Utah State is focused on the 3-point line. The Aggies rank in the top 60 of percentage of points scored from long range and allowed from that distance, as well. It leaves them open to high variance results, like a win over Oklahoma or a home loss to UC Davis.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Murray is a game-changer for Iowa. Fran McCaffrey has built good offenses before, centered around talented scorers like Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp. This version of the Hawkeyes' attack might be the sharpest on the offensive end of the floor, currently ranking top five nationally in offensive efficiency.

Everything revolves around eventually finding Murray a chance to score, yet it's the impressive play of the supporting cast that makes that possible.

Iowa leads the nation with a 11% turnover rate. That is even more impressive considering the Hawkeyes play bench players the highest percentage of minutes in the nation. McCaffrey's team is deep and he knows he can trust his entire rotation.

It all comes back to Murray, though, who has been marvelous. He is big, strong, rangy and skilled. Few teams have a player capable of guarding Murray without help, on the block or off the dribble.

This game marks a key point in Iowa's schedule. The Hawkeyes have lost three straight, including their first two Big Ten games. This is a perfect non-conference test for Iowa to try to turn things around.

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Utah State vs. Iowa Betting Pick

This is an intriguing clash. As I said in the opening, the winner of the Bean-Murray showdown puts his team in a really strong position to win this game. Beyond that, however, there are advantages to be found elsewhere on the court.

Iowa's turnover success this season is likely real. McCaffrey has always preached smart offensive basketball and the Hawkeyes are no stranger to the top of the turnover rate rankings.

Iowa led the nation in the statistic just last season. There is, on the other hand, a chance we see some regression there and Iowa has a few high turnover games in the coming weeks.

Utah State isn't exactly the team to make Iowa make those mistakes, yet the Aggies will find a leg up elsewhere. Iowa has struggled to protect the glass, ranking outside the top 300 in defensive rebounding rate this season. That has Bean licking his chops.

This game should be close and high scoring, hence the total hovering around 154. Every play, especially in crunch time, has the chance to swing this game.

With my money on the line, I'm more inclined to trust Murray's athleticism and Iowa's shooting. These Hawkeyes are too good to drop four games in a row, but I'm not willing to give the Aggies any points. I'll stick to the moneyline.

Pick: Iowa ML -165

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Nick Sterling
Jul 14, 2024 UTC