NCAAB Betting Guide for West Virginia vs Iowa State

NCAAB Betting Guide for West Virginia vs Iowa State article feature image

Pictured: West Virginia Mountaineers forward Jimmy Bell Jr. (15). (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

West Virginia vs Iowa State Odds

Monday, Feb. 27
9 p.m. ET
West Virginia Odds
-110o / -110u
Iowa State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

West Virginia and Iowa State will both look to bounce from losses suffered on Saturday to Kansas and Oklahoma, respectively.

For the Cyclones, that loss was their third in a row and fifth in a six-game stretch. This rough stretch has been the result of an offense that hasn't scored more than 60 points since Feb. 15th.

On the other side, West Virginia is coming off an impressive performance, despite falling to Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse. The Mountaineers had four players in double figures, including 20-point performances from Tre Mitchell and Erik Stevenson.

In the first meeting between these teams, West Virginia defended home court by getting to the free-throw line 31 times and converting 26 of those attempts.

To pick which team will win the rematch, let's take a look at the odds and make a prediction for West Virginia vs. Iowa State.

West Virginia Mountaineers

Despite their 5-11 Big-12 record, the Mountaineers are projected as an 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament, according to Bracket Matrix. This comes as a result of five Quad 1 wins and a 12-1 record against Quad two, three and four opponents.

As was highlighted in the first matchup, West Virginia has built its offense through its ability to create penetration and get to the free-throw line. The Mountaineers score 22.3% of their baskets from the charity stripe, the 18th-highest rate in college basketball.

This statistic is important because of Iowa State's inability to defend without fouling. The Cyclones allow teams to score 22.4% of their points from the free-throw line, which ranks 33rd nationally.

By getting to the free-throw line, the Mountaineers will be able to counteract an Iowa State defense thats ranks No. 1 in the Big-12 in turnover percentage, offensive rebounding percentage, block percentage and steal percentage.

Additionally, West Virginia will have success defensively against an Iowa State offense relying on its ability to create penetration.

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Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State's recent three-game losing streak can be attributed to an offense that ranks outside the top 200 in turnover and 3-point percentage. These shortcomings will be significant against the pressure of Bob Huggins' West Virginia defense.

Defensively, West Virginia ranks 50th nationally in turnover percentage, creating turnovers on 21% of its opponents possessions. As a result, the Mountaineers have the 14th-lowest average defensive possession length in the country at just 16.7 seconds.

The ability to speed up Iowa State will be significant as the Cyclones have averaged 18.6 seconds per offensive possession.

Additionally, just as West Virginia's ability to get to the free-throw line will give them an edge on offense, its ability to defend without fouling will give it a similar edge on defense.

The Mountaineers have allowed their opponents to score 22.5% of their points from the charity stripe, which is the 25th-highest rate in the country. However, Iowa State hasn't been able to create foul trouble for its opponents, scoring just 15.4% of its points from the free-throw line.

Although I expect a more favorable whistle for the Cyclones on their home floor, there are still advantages for West Virginia on both ends of the court.

West Virginia vs Iowa State Betting Pick

This is a unique matchup between two Big-12 teams that could greatly benefit from a win.

The Cyclones will be desperate to end their four-game losing streak as they return to their home floor, where they rank 11th nationally in Away/Home Court advantage, according to Haslametrics.

However, West Virginia has been in better form and has distinct advantages to keep things interesting.

Look for West Virginia to neutralize Iowa State's defense by getting to the free-throw line while using its interior defense to force the Cyclones to rely on outside shooting more than they'd like.

As has been the case in the Big-12 all season, I expect a highly competitive matchup in Ames.

Pick: West Virginia +4.5 (Play to +2.5)

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