Iowa State vs. Ohio State Betting Guide: Which Team Shows Up in NCAA Tournament Opener?

Iowa State vs. Ohio State Betting Guide: Which Team Shows Up in NCAA Tournament Opener? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Lindell Wigginton and Kaleb Wesson

#6 Iowa State vs. #11 Ohio State: NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Iowa State -5.5
  • Over/Under: 140
  • Date: Friday, March 22
  • Time: 9:50 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS
  • Location: Tulsa, Okla.

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Iowa State (23-11) won the Big 12 Tournament Championship, defeating Kansas 78-66. The Cyclones finished just 9-9 in conference but battled through the 16th best strength of schedule with some ups and downs throughout the year, but ultimately put it together for that tourney run.

Ohio State (19-14) has finally returned to full strength after sophomore Kaleb Wesson missed three games due to a suspension for violation of team rules. The Buckeyes sputtered down the stretch of conference play with just an 8-12 Big Ten record. They were 14-16 ATS.

Which inconsistent group will show up Friday?

Who Is the Real Iowa State? 

As impressive as Iowa State looked in the conference tournament, the Cyclones also played that poorly at the end of the regular season. They lost their last three games of conference play, and five of their last six. There were reports of players-only meetings and turmoil in the locker room.

However, that all seemed to be forgotten in the Big 12 Tournament, where the Cyclones dominated. Their offense, ranked ninth in adjusted offensive efficiency, was perfectly balanced.

Senior guard Marial Shayok (18.6 ppg, 4.9) and sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton (13.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg) led the way for the Cyclones, who were second best in the Big 12 Conference in effective field goal percentage and offensive turnovers per game. That’s a great recipe for offensive success.

Ohio State Needs Inside Production

The Buckeyes finally have their roster at full strength after struggling to find offensive consistency for much of the season. They ranked second worst in adjusted offensive efficiency and turnover percentage in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes also ranked 10th in 3P% and 11th in 2P%.

They will need a big game from the previously suspended Wesson to compete. The 6-foot-9, 270-pound forward averaged 14.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. When Wesson has grabbed double-digit rebounds this season, Ohio State is 5-0.

The closer the Buckeyes can keep this game early, the better their chances. They rank 88th in the country with a 73.4 percent team free throw percentage.

The Pick

If the Iowa State team we saw in the Big 12 Tournament arrives, this game won’t be close. But if the Cyclones stumble, the Buckeyes’ 26th best adjusted defensive efficiency ranking will suffocate their offense.

While this game will be close early, look for the Cyclones to keep their hot shooting on target for at least one more game.

Randle’s Pick:  Iowa State -5.5, would bet up to -6

Our Projected Odds: Iowa State vs. Ohio State

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Iowa State -5
  • Total: 137.5
  • Proj Score: Iowa State 71.5 | Ohio State 66.5
  • Win Probability: Iowa State 66.1% | Ohio State 33.9%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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