Saturday College Basketball Betting Previews: Iowa State-Kansas State, Iowa-Rutgers
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cameron Lard
This weekend’s college hoops card is the most loaded one we’ve seen all season, and it comes at a prime time — with Selection Sunday just 29 days away.
Among the 19 ranked teams taking the court on Saturday, No. 23 Iowa State travels to No. 18 Kansas State before Rutgers faces No. 21 Iowa. The Hawkeye State has plenty of NCAA tournament implications within these two games, but where’s the value? Let’s break them down.
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Iowa State Cyclones at Kansas State Wildcats
- Spread: Kansas State -3
- Over/Under: 133
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
The Wildcats (14-10 against the spread) have covered in nine of their past 11 duels — en route to the top of the Big 12 standings — while the Cyclones (14-10 ATS) have dropped three straight contests ATS after covering in five in a row.
Steve Prohm’s unit has been prepping for this rematch for six consecutive days following a home loss to TCU. Not only does it have an advantage in that area with Kansas State going toe-to-toe with Texas on Tuesday, but Iowa State also has an edge with its perimeter attack.
The Cyclones own the conference’s third-highest eFG% (52.2%), along with manufacturing the fourth-highest scoring rate (35.4%) from behind the arc. While the Wildcats boast the second-highest Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (97.7 opponents’ points per 100 possessions) in the league, they’re allowing the third-highest 3-point scoring percentage (36.8%).
Bruce Weber’s crew will aim to negate that deficiency with its ball pressure. K-State is turning their conference foes over at the league’s highest clip (23.6%). But Iowa State has amassed the Big 12’s lowest turnover rate (16.0%), a credit to its efficient ball-handling group of Nick Weiler-Babb, Marial Shayock, Lindell Wiggington and Talen Horton-Tucker.
At the other end, Kansas State relies on its perimeter offense, too, notching the fourth-highest scoring rate (36.2%) in that department. But the Cyclones are limiting their conference opponents to the fourth-lowest 3-point scoring percentage (31.2%), as well as allowing a mere 33.3% clip from behind the arc.
In their last meeting on Jan. 12, the Wildcats covered (+9) in a 1-point win. They didn’t have Dean Wade (13.9 ppg) in their rotation, either, but Iowa State was lacking the 6-foot-9 Cameron Lard. Although Lard doesn’t start, he should be able to limit Wade’s effectiveness with his physical presence.
Snag the points in a critical revenge game for Iowa State’s chances to win the Big 12.
THE PICK: Iowa State +3
Iowa Hawkeyes at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
- Spread: Iowa -4
- Over/Under: 148.5
- Time: 6 p.m. ET
- TV: Fox Sports 1
The Hawkeyes (12-12 ATS) failed to cover against Northwestern on Sunday, yet they stormed back from a 15-point deficit with 4:30 left to win the game outright. On the flip side, the Scarlet Knights (12-12 ATS) covered in back-to-back contests, including a straight-up win at Northwestern on Wednesday.
Rutgers offense runs through the low-post, notching the Big Ten’s second-highest two-point scoring rate (57.2%). Iowa’s defense has regressed despite its three-game winning streak, allowing the league’s highest two-point clip (55.8%).
Look for Steve Pikiell’s bunch to control the paint, led by the 6-foot-7 Eugene Omoruyi (14.0 ppg), along with point guard Geo Baker (13.0 ppg) off the dribble drive. The Hawkeyes have been susceptible to the pick-and-roll in conference play.
Fran McCaffrey’s unit has also struggled on the glass while the Scarlet Knights have produced the 33rd- and 73rd-highest offensive (34.1%) and defensive rebounding (26.0%) rate, respectively, across Division I. They’ll be able to limit Iowa’s prowess for pushing the tempo as a result.
Despite the Hawkeyes amassing the fifth-highest free-throw rate (45.3%) in the country, much of that success comes in transition. Plus, Rutgers is limiting its opponents to the 73rd-lowest percentage (29.4%) in that area.
These aren’t your typical Scarlet Knights. Per our Bet Labs data, they’re 9-8 (52.9%) ATS as a dog this season, and they will get another win Saturday in a letdown spot for Iowa.
THE PICK: Rutgers +4