Iowa State-Kansas State Betting Preview: Wade Injury Swings Spread in Big 12 Tournament
William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Iowa State bench
Kansas State (25-7, 14-4) earned the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 tournament and knocked off No. 8 TCU in the quarterfinals on Thursday. But that hasn’t stopped bettors from fading the Wildcats in the semifinals.
Immediately after opening as a 1.5-point favorite over No. 5 seed Iowa State (21-11, 9-9) for their semifinals matchup tonight, the line immediately swung towards the Cyclones, shifting by as many as four points at some books.
Kansas State forward Dean Wade — its second-leading scorer at 12.9 points per game — is expected to miss the rest of the conference tournament because of a nagging foot injury. His status for March Madness is up in the air, too.
Bettors are apparently concerned by Wade’s absence given its already-inconsistent offense, but is that where the value sits for this matchup? Let’s break it down.
Betting Odds: Iowa State Cyclones vs. Kansas State Wildcats
- Spread: Iowa State -2
- Over/Under: 130
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
>> All odds as of Friday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time CBB odds and live win probabilities on your bets.
The Wildcats (19-13 against the spread) have covered in three consecutive games while the Cyclones (17-15 ATS) snapped their three-game losing skid ATS with a 17-point victory over No. 4 seed Baylor on Thursday.
These programs split their two regular season meetings — both straight-up and ATS. Iowa State got the best of Kansas State on Feb. 14, shooting 58.3% from behind the arc. Bruce Weber’s crew had no answer for 6-foot-4 freshman Talen Horton-Tucker, who went off for 20 points with six 3-pointers.
Although the Wildcats allowed the third-lowest 3-point shooting percentage (33.8%) in Big 12 play, they’re still letting up the fourth-highest scoring rate (36.1%) from that department.
Expect the Cyclones’ 64th-ranked 3-point clip (36.8%) to give K-State issues from that vicinity once again, especially without Wade’s size and presence to disrupt their 3-point arsenal.
At the other end, Iowa State reverted back to its midseason success against Baylor because of its much-improved interior defense. It limited the Bears to a sound 1.05 points per possession after surrendering 1.26 points per possession over his final three regular-season affairs.
That allowed Iowa State to push the pace vs. Baylor with its 73rd-ranked average possession length (16.6 seconds per possessions), creating open 3-point looks as a result. While K-State guard Cartier Diarra is healthy after missing their last meeting with a hand injury, his defensive tenacity won’t be able to single-handedly slow down Horton-Tucker and Co. in transition.
Kansas State’s attack thrives off the fifth-highest free-throw rate (32.2%) in conference play, setting up its underrated perimeter shooting. But the Cyclones are yielding the lowest rate (25.3%) in that area, a credit to their ability to get back in transition.
Expect the Wildcats half-court offense to struggle, too, with Wade delivering a massive threat from the low-post.
If you’re interested in the total, Iowa State hit the under in 53.3% of their matchups this season (16-14-1), including both meetings with the Wildcats. The Cyclones’ offense is starting to get on a roll, though.
Even though Weber’s crew racked up a one-point victory at Hilton Coliseum minus Wade on Jan. 12, Prohm’s Iowa State offense will be too much to handle on Friday.
THE PICK: Iowa State -2