Iowa State vs. Baylor Odds, Picks, and Predictions (03/05/22)

Iowa State vs. Baylor Odds, Picks, and Predictions (03/05/22)

The end of Men’s Division I regular season basketball is coming to a close. One of the last Big 12 matchups is between the Iowa State Cyclones and the Baylor Bears. The Bears have plowed through the last few weeks with a four-game win streak. The Cyclones recently took a beating from the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a 53-36 loss. This matchup will be one of the final chances to make an impression on the Big 12 tournament scheduled for next week. Baylor has a chance to win the whole tournament, but Iowa State is standing in the sixth seed with little room to steal the show in the tournament. They have a solid chance of March Madness tournament eligibility, but this game will help them determine a more solidified seed. This matchup is one of many for the Big 12 finale and will take place in Waco this Saturday, March 5th, at 5:00 PM CST and can be viewed on ESPN2.

Iowa State vs. Baylor Betting Odds

It’s no surprise that the Baylor Bears are the easy favorite walking into this matchup against Iowa State. When they last played, they only walked away with a win with a margin of five points but have continued to grow as a team while Iowa State seems to be fading into the background. The once top 10 ranked team of Iowa State has fallen to a sixth-place standing in the Big 12. That position in the most competitive basketball conference is not horrible, but the expectations for this team have not been met over the past few weeks. The ESPN matchup predictor gives Baylor a 91.8% confidence interval of success, which is the highest I have seen between two Big 12 teams. This interval is a fair representation of how both teams have been playing over the past few weeks. Baylor has been blowing through the competition as Iowa State has been hitting many bumps in the road with their team. The spread has been placed in favor of Baylor by -11.5 points, leaving Iowa State as a bug underdog with +11.5. However, the Big 12 has proven that there is much room for upsets after TCU took down Texas Tech and Oklahoma took down Texas Tech. In this case, I don’t see any indication that the Cyclones are ready or equipped to cause an upset of this magnitude. Their recent performance and lack of shot accuracy matched with the competitive Baylor defense leaves this to be an easy pick.

My Prediction: Baylor Wins, 77-61, Baylor Covers

Iowa State Cyclones Odds

The Iowa State Cyclones got demolished against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in their matchup. The team was wholly equipped to take the Cowboys down as they did in February but were shut down defensively and were unable to secure the points necessary to keep the game even remotely close. They shot 28.3% from the field, which is significantly low for any team, and shot 11.8% from the three-point line. The biggest disappointment shown by the team was the lack of versatility. Their leading player, Izaiah Brockington, carried the team with 13 points, with his right-hand man, Tyrese Hunter putting up 12. Collectively, they made up for 70% of the team’s points. Going up against Baylor, they will need to focus on making more players shooting threats. Baylor is the third-best team in the nation and the reigning championship team, so two offensive sharpshooters are not enough to keep a competitive game. The Cyclones showed how they can fold under pressure and have broken their confidence and momentum going into their final game and the Big 12 Tournament. Rebounding will be essential after being outrebounded against the Cowboys 45-27. 

When they previously played Baylor, their team was one of the most competitive in the nation, earning them a number eight ranking. They kept the game to five points and seemed to be one of the bigger threats in basketball. They shot 47.2% from the field but failed to stay competitive beyond the three-point line, only shooting 7.1%. Their toughest player was Tristain Enaruna, scoring 23 points in that matchup. However, Enaruna has not proven himself to be a threat on the court since averaging five points a game. He has been absent from the team in the last two games and is questionable for return for this Baylor meeting. Brockington will be the front of this offense but needs more assistance from his team if they want to defeat the #3 Baylor Bears on their own court.

Baylor Bears Odds

The Baylor Bears have re-established themselves as the dominant player in the Big 12 conference after taking down the Kansas Jayhawks. The team is currently on a four-game win streak and has not been slowing down for competitive competition. In their most recent game, they played the #21 Texas Longhorns and took home a victory of 68-61. Baylor showed their strength from beyond the three-point line, sinking 40.9% of their threes. They were impressively more successful with their threes than their shots from the field, where they shot 40.7%. Baylor has had a streak of high turnovers, but they have not fallen because of them. Their rebounding skill has been adequate and has assisted them in immediately scoring points under the basket and changing possession. As a team, they need to focus slightly more on their shots in the paint, either sinking shots under the basket or drawing the foul. Their long-range game has been impeccable, and if they can clean up their shorter-range shots, they may be an easy contender to go back to back on championship titles.

The triple threat of Adam Flagler, LJ Cryer, and James Akinjo makes it very difficult for defenses to protect their own basket. All three players average between 13-14 points per game and make up a force that is certain on scoring. They have a great connection that can draw defensive players in on drives and kick it out to each other to bring in the three-point shots. Akinjo is also proficient in assists and steals, leading the team in both categories. He averages 5.8 assists per game and two steals per game. Not only is Akinjo a major threat to any defense, but he can force turnovers against some of the best offenses. Baylor has the advantage of their home court against Iowa State, and they are the far more equipped team as a whole. They were victorious in their last meeting and should walk away with a final win in their last regular season again. 

Iowa State vs. Baylor Picks and Predictions

These two teams have shown vulnerabilities and strengths that have fluctuated over the season against different Big 12 opponents. Baylor had a bit of a sinking period where they were not as successful as they normally are, and Iowa State has continually been on a decline in play. The fact of the matter is that Baylor is a team that consists of many players that are able to be dominant on the court, and Iowa State has a few exceptional players. Basketball is a game that relies on team play, not individual skills. Although Iowa State may have their fair share of good shots, I think Baylor is the easy victor. When it comes to looking at the over/under, I am very wary. If Izaiah Brockington can show up as he has in the past, the game should hit the over. However, if he is shut down like he was in the last game, Iowa State won’t have the ability to stay afloat, and the under is the better bet.

Maggie is a current political science major at the University of Oklahoma and wants to pursue a Masters Degree in Sports Management in her future. She has followed the NFL, MLB, and NCAA Men's Basketball all of her life. She's been very excited with NLCS appearances by the Dodgers, but is still patiently waiting and crossing her fingers for an AFC Championship from her Cleveland Browns. She even named her dogs "Dodger" and "Jackie" in support of her favorite MLB team and the legendary Jackie Robinson.

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