In this year’s March Madness tournament, we see a lot of Big 12 and SEC teams with solid placements. The Iowa State Cyclones and the LSU Tigers are two teams we’ll see face off this Thursday in true Big 12/SEC fashion. The Cyclones took the #11 seed, and the Tigers are in the #6 seed in the midwest region of the bracket. The teams have a similar history in their conferences, but LSU has been more consistent than Iowa State, leaving this game very intriguing. The game is taking place on Thursday, March 18th, with tip-off set for 6:20 PM CST and can be viewed on TBS.
Iowa State vs. LSU Betting Odds
Going into this matchup, the LSU Tigers are given the favor of -4 (-110) points, leaving the Iowa State Cyclones as the underdog with +4 (-110) odds. LSU has a history of scoring higher points throughout the season with 73.1 points per game, which is six more than Iowa State. Both teams have played very competitive opponents in their conferences. LSU is also picked by 65% of all bracketology, which is arguably every close for a six seed against an 11 seed. The LSU moneyline has been placed at -190, and Iowa State’s is +160. These odds are semi-close compared to all of the other moneylines in round one, leaving the probability of a close game very apparent. In the end, I don’t trust the Cyclones to have their strategy right to take down this LSU team or advance far in this tournament.
My Prediction: LSU Wins 70-60, LSU Covers
Iowa State Odds
The Iowa State Cyclones have been one of the most inconsistent teams in college basketball this season. They played in the Big 12 and brought home substantial wins but have also taken huge losses to their opponents. They finished their regular season 20-12 but quickly lost their top 25 ranking from the beginning of the season. They ended the season on a three-game losing streak, with two of the three games being losses of over 20 points. Izaiah Brockington has been the rock to this team, scoring 17.2 points per game and shooting 46% from the field. He was assisted by Tyrese Hunter, who averages 10.8 points per game and has 4.9 assists per game. As a collective team, they struggle to put up points evenly. This team is heavily reliant on Brockington, which leaves defenses with an easy job to put heavy coverage on one player. To advance in this tournament, they need to add versatility to their shots and make more players active in the game. However, it may be too late to change their style of play.
LSU Odds Odds
The LSU Tigers had heavy competition in the SEC all season. As a team, they placed remarkably well against some very high-profile teams. They had success against Kentucky and Tennessee early in the season, which is no easy feat. In the end, they finished in fifth place in the conference but secured their bid with their 9-9 conference record. Collectively, they score 73 points per game with specific strength in their forwards. This team has great forwards with short-range and impressive long-range abilities. Tari Eason scores 16.9 points per game, shooting 52% from the field and 35.5% from beyond the three-point line. Their other forward, Darius Days, averages 13.7 points with similar shooting abilities with 43% from the field and 35% from beyond the three-point line. The Tigers will have the upper hand with their versatility and can guard Brockington under the paint. This team has talent that can take them far in this tournament as long as they can get past the Iowa State Cyclones.
Iowa State vs. LSU Picks & Prediction
Since I believe LSU is going to be the team advancing in this matchup, I would take the LSU moneyline. The Cyclones have been successful in covering the spread in their games, going 17-15 ATS. It is possible that the Cyclones can pull off a close game if they can feed the ball to players on the perimeter, but it’s always unpredictable to count on them. For that, I would say the spread could be a riskier bet, so I would rely on the moneyline instead.