Richmond vs. Iowa Odds, Picks, Predictions for NCAA Tournament First Round: Hawkeyes Overvalued On Thursday?
Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Bohannon of Iowa
- Iowa is coming off a Big Ten Tournament title. Richmond is coming off an Atlantic 10 Tournament title.
- Which team will our college basketball analysts be backing in this NCAA Tournament clash on Thursday?
- Find out how they're betting this first-round matchup with picks and predictions based on the latest odds below.
Richmond vs. Iowa Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Iowa is so hot right now.
The offense is rolling. Keegan Murray looks like the best player in college hoops. The Hawkeyes won eight of their final 10 regular-season games and then rolled to a Big Ten Tournament title, breaking the conference tournament record for points in a game (112 vs. Northwestern) in the process.
Richmond was the big bid-stealer of Championship Week. It finished sixth in the A-10 regular season standings, but it pulled off upsets of Dayton and Davidson to win the conference tourney. Keep your eye on Jacob Gilyard, as he’s one of the best point guards in the nation.
But with how good Iowa has been, the Hawkeyes are laying over 10 points in this matchup.
Is that too many?
By Alex Hinton
Richmond entered the year with high expectations thanks to the return of a veteran group led by forwards Tyler Burton and Grant Golden, and guard Jacob Gilyard.
However, defense was an issue for much of the season, and it led to Richmond finishing sixth in the Atlantic 10 in the regular season. The Spiders picked the right time to pick up its defensive intensity, though.
In the Atlantic 10 Tournament, Richmond held its opponents to 62.2 points per game. That enabled the Spiders to knock off the top seed, Davidson, on its way to an auto bid.
Richmond’s offense consists of three double-digit scorers, but is led by Burton, who is averaging 16.3 points per game.
Iowa is one of the hottest teams in college basketball, with the best all-around scorer in the Big Ten in Murray. The Hawkeyes have a ton of depth and can beat you in a multitude of ways.
First, they hardly ever turn the ball over (third-lowest turnover percentage in the nation), they can torch you in both transition and in the half-court (top 45 in PPP in both, per Synergy), and the Hawks are incredibly efficient at attacking the rim (18th nationally in PPP, per ShotQuality).
There are a couple of worrying signs on defense that give me some pause on the Hawks. Iowa allows a ton of open 3-pointers (344th in the country to be exact), while Richmond is 48th in open 3-point rate on offense, per ShotQuality.
Iowa also really struggles defending off-ball screens and catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, ranking outside the top 200 against both. Those are two areas that Richmond is efficient at offensively.
However, Murray will have a tremendous advantage, as Richmond doesn’t have someone his size nor with the athletic ability to guard him.
So, Iowa will ultimately get by to the next round. But at -10.5? In a potential hangover spot for the Hawks coming off a Big Ten Championship victory? I am not so sure.
Richmond vs. Iowa Betting Pick
BJ said it perfectly. This is a hangover spot.
Iowa is due for a bit of a letdown game after dominating Big Ten defenses for four straight nights. Richmond isn’t great at contesting shots, but the Spiders are aggressive on defense by forcing turnovers, and they also never foul.
Meanwhile, Richmond should be able to put up enough points to hang around here. Between Gilyard and the Spiders’ 3-point shooting, I don’t see a blowout coming.
Meanwhile, KenPom makes this spread just Iowa -9, so we’re getting a bit of value with the Spiders in this spot.
I’ll take Richmond to keep it inside the number here.