NCAAB Odds, Pick for Iowa State vs Baylor

NCAAB Odds, Pick for Iowa State vs Baylor article feature image

Photo by Lance King/Getty Images. Pictured: Ja’Kobe Walter (Baylor)

Iowa State vs Baylor Odds, Pick

Saturday, Feb. 3
8 p.m. ET
Iowa State Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Baylor Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Iowa State enters Saturday with the benefit of having a full week off to soak in the three consecutive victories it has strung together. Last weekend's win over Kansas moved the Cyclones to 5-2 in the Big 12, trailing only Houston in the standings.

Iowa State is now fully in the mix to earn a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament, and a win at Baylor would be another significant boost to its resume.

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Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State and Baylor are comparable teams that get results in very different ways. The Iowa State style of play under T.J. Otzelberger is to be defensively sound and force turnovers with intensity and relentlessness. Otzelberger is a phenomenal coach who uses the scouting report to take away or limit an opponent's best option.

Last weekend, the Cyclones' victory over the Jayhawks was in part due to their plan to trap Hunter Dickinson in the post and frustrate Kevin McCullar Jr. by face-guarding him at times. Kansas' two All-American candidates were searching for answers throughout the game, with McCullar being held to 4-of-18 shooting — by far his worst performance of the season.

Baylor has had exceptional guard play for years now. This year is certainly no exception, with Ja'Kobe Walter having stepped in admirably as a freshman to replace the production of Keyonte George.

RayJ Dennis transferred from Toledo to Baylor to provide veteran experience to pair with Walter in the backcourt. The challenge of containing Baylor's backcourt will rest primarily on the shoulders of Iowa State's Tamin Lipsey.

Lipsey is Otzelberger's unquestioned leader on the floor. On a nightly basis in the Big 12, Otzelberger challenges Lipsey to guard the opponent's best perimeter scorer while also facilitating the Cyclones' offense. In a league full of battle-tested veteran guards, Lipsey has become the quarterback in Ames in just his sophomore season.

If you've watched him play, you know he shows no signs of youthful inexperience or immaturity. Lipsey's consistent demeanor will be key in potentially leading his team to another Big 12 road victory at Baylor.

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Baylor Bears

Once again, Scott Drew has recruited an extremely quick, athletic and offensively potent team.

Baylor is blessed to be led by a freshman who projects to be an NBA lottery pick. George was ultra-impressive in his one-and-done season with Baylor last year before becoming a first-round pick. This year, the same can be said about Walter.

Walter is already showing signs he can be an elite scorer, whether that be in college or at the next level. He is shooting 37% from 3-point range this season on over 100 attempts and is an excellent off-ball guard to couple with Dennis. The issues for Baylor, as in past years, have been on the defensive end.

Drew's teams consistently attempt to play to their athleticism by playing up-tempo games with high possession counts. Baylor's fast-paced style certainly helps them score in transition, but it also allows opponents to counter by scoring before the Bears can set their defense.

Of the eight players that Drew plays consistently in his rotations, I would not identify any of them as a better defender than offensive contributor. In a league with as much talent as the Big 12, getting stops when needed is often Baylor's toughest challenge.

On the bright side, Baylor will not be facing the most imposing offensive threat they will have seen this year when facing Iowa State on Saturday. The Cyclones are admittedly coming off their best offensive performance from the perimeter in the win over Kansas.

With Hilton magic on their side, the Cyclones made 14 3-pointers on their way to taking down the Jayhawks. However, that total was the most 3s Iowa State has made in over three years, which may imply shooting regression is right around the corner.

Baylor will hope its home crowd and defensive pressure can force the Cyclones to miss some of the shots they have been knocking down in their three-game winning streak.

Iowa State vs Baylor

Betting Pick & Prediction

If this year has taught us anything, it's that winning on the road in conference is a heck of a challenge. Baylor's home-court advantage deserves respect, even though it may not be the strongest advantage in the league.

This spot sets up well for Baylor to end the Iowa State winning streak. I expect the hot shooting performances Iowa State has displayed of late to cool in Waco on Saturday night. I'm respecting the Big 12 home-court advantage here and trusting Baylor to step up the defensive intensity just enough to pull off a cover at home.

Pick: Baylor -3 (Play to -3.5)

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