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Pitt vs Iowa State Picks, Odds: First-Half Bet to Make

Pitt vs Iowa State Picks, Odds: First-Half Bet to Make article feature image
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Getty Images. Design by Matt Roembke/Action Network. Pictured from left: Jaren Holmes of Iowa State and Blake Hinson of Pitt.

  • No. 6 seed Iowa State faces off against First Four participant, No. 11 seed Pittsburgh in the second round.
  • Will the Cyclones be the fresher team since they didn't play earlier this week, or will that benefit the Panthers?
  • Dive in below for the full betting breakdown and a pick from Doug Ziefel.

Pitt vs. Iowa State Odds

Friday, March 17
2:45 p.m. ET
CBS
Pitt Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+4.5
-110
131.5
-110o / -110u
+167
Iowa State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-4.5
-110
131.5
-110o / -110u
-192
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

It wasn’t a performance to write home about, but the Pitt Panthers earned the right to be in this matchup.

However, their poor offensive performance does not inspire much hope as they get to face the Iowa State Cyclones.

Speaking of the Cyclones, they come into this opening-round matchup with their eyes set on making another deep run. Iowa State boasts a very impressive non-conference resume, but its Big 12 record is mixed, with notable victories and rough losses.

However, the same can be said about their opponent.

So, which team will bring their best and advance into the weekend? Let’s take a closer look to find out.


Pitt Panthers

The Panthers’ performance in their First Four matchup against Mississippi State was rough, as they were unable to get much to fall when inside the arc.

Although, we shouldn’t put much stock in those numbers, as working the ball inside is not really their game. The Panthers prefer to shoot from the perimeter, and they may have the opportunity to do so in this matchup.

Nearly 44% of the Panthers’ shot attempts this season have been from beyond the arc, and almost 47% of the shots Iowa State has allowed this season have been 3s.

Pitt not only pulls up from deep at a high rate, but it converts those looks at a pretty good rate (68th in 3-point percentage).

Working the ball around the perimeter is a dangerous game against this Iowa State defense, though. What makes the Cyclones one of the best defensive teams in the country is their ability to create turnovers.

Iowa State is second in the nation in turnover rate, and while the Panthers are not a team that typically commits turnovers, they have yet to face a defense of this caliber.

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Iowa State Cyclones

While the Cyclones are known for their work on the defensive end of the court, you don’t take down the top teams in the Big 12 if you can’t put the ball in the bucket.

The Cyclones do a majority of their work in the paint, and they have a number of forwards who are excellent in that area of the floor.

Seniors Gabe Kalscheur and Jaren Holmes have led the way this year, and they should be heavily involved in this matchup.

Pitt is a middle-of-the-road team when it comes to defending inside the arc — 49% of the points it allowed this year came from 2-pointers, and it ranks 92nd in 2-point percentage allowed.

However, the Panthers could be even softer inside for this matchup as their big man Federiko Federiko missed their First Four matchup and will likely be a game-time decision for this one. His absence is critical, as he’s the only rim protector the Panthers have.

Although, another area where the Cyclones will have an even bigger edge if he’s out is on the offensive glass. Iowa State is one of the better offensive rebounding teams in the country, and Pitt is 198th in defensive rebounding rate.

The Clones’ work on the board will lead to more easy buckets, as they are 21st in converting second-chance opportunities.


Pitt vs. Iowa State Betting Pick

Pitt’s victory to get to this matchup did not do much to get it back on track, as it’s 342nd in positive momentum.

In addition, the Panthers are in for a unique challenge against the Iowa State defense, which could completely take them out of their element.

On the other end, the Panthers are not strong inside or on the glass. Without Federiko, the Cyclones could put together some extended runs in this matchup and really separate themselves.

Although, for a pre-game look, the first-half spread has value. Iowa State will be the fresher team, which should only help its impressive defense wreak havoc.

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