NCAAB Iowa State Vs. Iowa Prediction, Odds, Preview (12/8/22)

Self-deemed the “battle of the Midwest”, the Cyclones look to continue their impressive start against the high-powered Hawkeyes tonight in a battle of stylistic differences. The Cyclones have been one of the bigger surprise teams to start the season, garnering impressive wins over St Johns, UNC, and Villanova. Can they continue to roll with a win over in-state rival Iowa?

Iowa State Vs. Iowa Odds

Oddsmakers don’t think so as they opened the Cyclones as a +6.5 underdog. Bettors are in disagreement with oddsmakers as they have bet them down to +4.5 in some shops. Be sure to monitor Kris Murray’s availability as he is unconfirmed for tonight. Should he be unable to play, that would be a massive blow to Iowa and would drop this number even more.

As for the total, points are expected to be at a premium as oddsmakers opened this up at 140. Bettors are in agreement with the under, taking this as low as 138.5 in some shops with the potential to drop even lower should Murray’s scoring prowess not be able to give it a go. The Cyclones also lack scoring while being more than capable of slowing down Iowa.

Iowa State Vs. Iowa Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Under 139

With Kris Murray’s status being uncertain, I will shift my focus towards the total instead. This is an under for me as both units are going to struggle to score for different reasons but also note that I did grab Iowa State +5 for small and would play them down to +4. The Cyclones possess one of the best defenses in basketball while being inept to scoring themselves and now get a potentially depleted Hawkeyes squad who just banged with Duke a day ago. 

Speaking of the Cyclones defense, this unit is legit as they rank 13th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency per Kenpom and is more than capable of limiting the Iowa scoring effort. With the Hawkeyes relying on their scoring year in and year out, they may find themselves in trouble this time around with Iowa State limiting opposing scoring at a rate good for top-10 in the nation.

They use their height and athleticism to their advantage down low, smothering quality looks at the rim and turning them into empty possessions. They have held opponents to just 46.7% inside the arc, forcing teams to keep scoring pace with low quality looks which is not a recipe for success.

Even more friendly towards our under ticket, Iowa State wants to slow the tempo down to a snail’s pace with an Adjusted Tempo rating of 253rd in the nation. They have limited opposing offenses to well above half the shot clock, while keeping the same tempo on offense. With the ability to turn opposing possessions into stalled out sets while being inconsistent on their own offensive end, this sets up the under beautifully.

Iowa State Vs. Iowa Key Matchups

Can Iowa limit Iowa State’s offense as well? Who will step up in the potential absence of Kris Murray?

Iowa State scoring production vs Iowa defense

While Iowa is not normally known for their defense, they have sneakily improved on that end in comparison to years past. They currently rank 75th in the nation and have held opponents to below average shooting percentages from both inside the arc and on the perimeter.

Lucky for them, and our under tickets, Iowa State poses a little threat on offense in half court sets. They play nine players in meaningful minutes with only three in double digit scoring. Relying on guard play for a majority of them, Iowa can sell out to smother the perimeter and negate open looks for deep and force them to beat them inside at a slower scoring pace.

Iowa secondary scoring vs Iowa State defense

The loss of Kris Murray would be devastating for the Iowa offense as he is their leading scorer with 19.4 points per game. With his offensive production potentially gone, Iowa will have to focus more on facilitating and generating open looks for others. 

Two of their next three leading scorers are bigs with Patrick McCaffery and Filip Rebraca slotting in as forwards. Iowa will need to stretch out the defense for them as the Cyclones excel at smothering looks at the rim, making it difficult for them to do work. 

Verdict

With Iowa State limiting Iowa’s scoring production and being unable to consistently generate offense themselves, I will take the under at no lower than 138.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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