Iowa State visits Baylor in their Big 12 finale. Iowa State has been struggling and has lost four straight games, with the last one coming against West Virginia in a close game at home, while Baylor is coming off a close win on the road against Oklahoma State. This is a big matchup for Big 12 seeding in the conference tournament. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Iowa State vs. Baylor Odds
Baylor is a 7.5-point home favorite against Iowa State and is at -345 on the money line. The over/under is also at 136. Baylor being favored by this much makes sense because of how much Iowa State’s struggled recently and because Baylor’s playing at home too. This spread should also stay where it’s at before tip-off too.
Iowa State vs. Baylor Prediction & Pick
The pick: Baylor -7.5
Baylor is one of the best teams in a loaded Big 12 Conference. They are waiting on how healthy their leading scorer will be for this game, Keyonte George. He injured his ankle two games ago and was kept out in the last game Baylor played in against Oklahoma State.
If George can’t go, Adam Flagler is more than capable of picking up his slack. He’s behind George in scoring at 15.4 PPG and he also leads the team in assists at 5 per game. LJ Cryer is the other guard that is capable of helping replace George’s production. Cryer averages 14.7 PPG and 2 assists per game for the season. Jalen Bridges and Jordan Tchamwa Tchatchoua provide depth down low for the Bears and on the wing. Bridges averages 10 points, and then leads the Bears in rebounds at 6 per game and blocks per game for the season.
The Bears are better on offense than on defense this year. They’re second in the Big 12 in scoring at 78 PPG and 54th in college basketball. They’re also ranked 97th in assists per game at 14.8.
On the other side, Iowa State has really struggled recently and is on a 4-game losing streak. They’ve been missing something, and it could be their offense, but something isn’t clicking right now.
Jaren Holmes has been the biggest bright spot for the Cyclones on offense this season. He leads the team in scoring at 13.1 PPG for the season. Gabe Kalsceur has been the only other consistent bright spot for Iowa State on offense. He’s right behind Holmes in scoring at 12.8 PPG for the season. Osun Osunniyi is the starting center and has been great down low for the Cyclones. He averages 8.7 PPG and also leads the team in rebounds and blocks at 4 rebounds and 1 block per game for the season. Aljaz Kunc is also a good player on the perimeter and averages 8 PPG.
The Cyclones are one of the better defensive teams in all of college basketball, but their offense needs work. They’re 21st in points allowed per game at 62.3.
The game being at home and Iowa State struggling recently are two huge factors working in Baylor’s favor. Even without Keyonte George, Baylor should have no problem scoring and bothering Iowa State’s defense. The Bears should cover after Iowa State hangs around for a bit, but they’ll pull away in the second half.
Iowa State vs. Baylor Key Matchups
Can Gabe Kalscheur matchup with Adam Flagler? Can LJ Cryer matchup with Jaren Holmes?
Adam Flagler vs Gabe Kalscheur
Adam Flagler hasn’t gotten the attention he should this season. He averages 15.4 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Gabe Kalscheur most of the game, who averages 12.8 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds per game for the season. This matchup is all about how good Flagler is on offense, compared to how consistent Kalscheur can be there too. If Kalscheur can keep up and defend him well, then the Cyclones have a good chance of winning.
Jaren Holmes vs LJ Cryer
Jaren Holmes has been the best player for Iowa State this season. He averages 13.1 points, 3 assists, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against LJ Cryer, who averages 14.7 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds per game for the season. This is another matchup about the offense of Baylor vs the defense of Iowa State. If Cryer can outscore Holmes here, then Baylor should be in the driver’s seat to win this game.