Iowa State vs. Kansas: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (1/11/22)

Iowa State vs. Kansas Betting Odds

This matchup will feature college basketball’s biggest surprise team and the Big 12 perennial Bloods. Iowa State plays Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.

What TJ Otzelberger has done is miraculous. The Cyclones went a perfect 0-18 in conference play last season on the way to a 2-22 season. This year, Iowa State has been ranked all season.

But Iowa State has dropped two of its first three conference games, and this will be the stiffest test yet.

Kansas is back in its rightful place in college basketball’s upper echelon. The Jayhawks are ninth in the AP Top 25 and fourth in KenPom’s ratings. Kansas has suffered tough losses to Dayton (neutral) and Texas Tech (road) but has several other solid wins.

But do the Jayhawks have the juice to cover a double-digit spread against a fellow top-25 team?

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Iowa State Cyclones Odds

Otzelberger was never a defensive guru at UNLV or South Dakota State. But he’s figured something out with this Iowa State squad.

The Cyclones are sixth in KenPom defensive efficiency and 10th in points per possession allowed. They’ve also been particularly active, ranking top-10 in defensive turnover rate and in pick-and-roll points per possession allowed.

I feel there’s regression coming for Iowa State, however. Opponents are shooting less than 27% from deep and scoring just .704 points per possession on jump shots – both numbers that rank top five nationally and are likely unsustainable.

In fact, ShotQuality’s metrics have Iowa State with an 11-4 record based on the quality of shots taken and allowed. That’s opposed to its current 13-2 record.

In terms of personnel, Penn State transfer Izaiah Brockington has been the Cyclones’ transformational piece. Not only is he dropping a team-high 17 points per game, but doing so while ranking in the 95th percentile of Division-I players in half-court points per possession allowed.

Brockington has been a dominant presence on both sides of the ball, and he should earn some Big 12 Player of the Year votes when the season concludes.
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Kansas Jayhawks Odds

The Big 12 is filled with defensive powerhouses. In fact, all 10 teams rank inside the top-50 in KenPom’s defensive efficiency ratings.

But for Kansas, it’s all about the offense.

The Jayhawks are scoring over 83 points per game, which ranks ninth nationally. They’re doing so with the fourth-best adjusted offensive efficiency and the ninth-best effective field goal percentage.

Kansas is efficient from all areas of the floor and has shot makers at every position.

It starts with Ochai Agbaji, who’s dropping over 20 points per game at crazy efficient levels. However, don’t overlook Christian Braun (16.4 points per game), Remy Martin (9.8 points per game), or David McCormack (8.6 points per game).

Iowa State vs. Kansas Prediction and Pick

My pick: Iowa State +12.5 (-110 at BetMGM)

This is so many points. In fact, this line is already starting to move, with most books having moved the Cyclones down to +12. So, grab this line quickly.

The projection market agrees. KenPom has this spread at Kansas -11, and BartTorvik has it all the way down at Kansas -8.5.

Moreover, the Cyclones are now 5-1 against the spread this season as an underdog. Kansas is just 7-7 against the spread as a favorite, and 4-5 against the spread at home.

Kansas will win this game. However, I’ll bet on the better defense to keep this one within double digits on the road. I’ll play Iowa State at +10.5 or better.

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Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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