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Phil Knight Invitational Championship Odds, Picks: Iowa State vs. UConn Betting Guide (Sunday, Nov. 27)

Phil Knight Invitational Championship Odds, Picks: Iowa State vs. UConn Betting Guide (Sunday, Nov. 27) article feature image
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Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images. Pictured: Caleb Grill (right).

Iowa State vs. UConn Odds

Sunday, Nov. 27
10 p.m. ET
ESPN
Iowa State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5.5
-115
133.5
-114o / -106u
+188
UConn Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5.5
-105
133.5
-114o / -106u
-230
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Phil Knight Invitational is one of the most talent-packed tournaments in all of feast week. However, this is probably not the championship game many expected.

Once again, the Iowa State Cyclones have caught fire early in the year. They enter this matchup 5-0 and now have two big wins over Villanova and No. 1 ranked North Carolina under their belt.

As for the UConn Huskies, they have impressed thus far. Every win this season has come in dominant fashion, as their lowest margin of victory is 15 points in the win over Alabama.

So, which of these red-hot teams will be crowned champions of the Phil Knight Invitational? Let’s take a closer look to find out.


Iowa State Cyclones

Just as they did last year with the talents of Izaiah Brockington and Tyrese Hunter, the Cyclones have burst onto the scene with great defense and hot shooting. However, what’s gotten them to this point is the fact that they have more than two offensive options this year.

St. Bonaventure transfer Jaren Holmes has come over and become the team’s leading scorer. He has shown that he can stuff the stat sheet, as he’s averaging nearly 18 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Although, he is not alone, as Caleb Grill is the reason the Cyclones are playing today. Grill put up a career-high 31 points in the win against North Carolina as he was on fire from downtown, shooting 7-for-11 from behind the arc.

While Iowa State has been fueled by sharpshooting, the Huskies will be their most formidable challenge to date. UConn is tenth in adjusted defensive efficiency, and they also rank 16th in effective field goal percentage allowed.

However, the area where the Huskies have been slightly susceptible is from behind the arc. We already know how deadly Holmes and Grill can be from deep, so if one or both of them get hot again, the Cyclones have the potential to pull off another upset.

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Connecticut Huskies

As I touched upon in the open, the Huskies have steamrolled all of their opponents thus far. Their dominance stems from excellence on the offensive end of the court, as they are currently 17th in the country in points per game.

It all starts with big man Adama Sanogo. The Huskies center has become an imposing presence down low but has shown he can stretch the floor, as he’s seven of thirteen from deep.

Last year, the Huskies’ offense was a team two-man show, as Sanogo paired well with RJ Cole. This year, Sanogo’s partner is sophomore Jordan Hawkins.

Hawkins has made tremendous strides from his freshman season, but the addition of ECU transfer Tristen Newton has enhanced the offense as well. Newton and Hawkins have been a deadly backcourt duo, but they and Sanogo will be tested today.

The Cyclones have been a stout defensive team under T.J. Otzelberger, and this year is no different. Iowa State enters this matchup 21st in adjusted defensive efficiency.

They have been excellent at creating havoc on the defensive end, as they are second in turnover rate. While that will certainly help them, the most significant edge is that they have the size to match up with Sanogo.

If Iowa State can contain Sanogo and force the Huskies to shoot from the outside, something tells me they won’t be down double-digits.


Iowa State vs. UConn Betting Pick

This UConn team has been extremely impressive in this matchup, but they are finally meeting a team that can match up with them on the offensive end of the floor. I expect the Cyclones to force the ball away from Sanogo and make someone else beat them.

On the other end of the floor, Iowa State will have the opportunity to shoot from behind the arc. While that strategy is volatile long-term, this tournament format helps their hot hands.

Back the Cyclones to give the Huskies a scare at a minimum here.

Pick: Iowa State +5.5 or better

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