Texas vs. Iowa State: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (1/15/22)

Texas vs. Iowa State Betting Odds

Chris Beard’s Longhorns take their talents to Ames Saturday to play the Big 12’s biggest overachievers.

What TJ Otzelberger has done with his Cyclones is nothing short of a miracle. Iowa State finished last season winless in conference play and 2-22 overall. This season, the Cyclones are 13-3 with a win over Texas Tech and a national ranking.

But Iowa State can’t be sleeping in this matchup. Texas is ruthless on defense and surprisingly effective on offense. Beard has shot makers all over the floor, and those guys are similarly active on the other end.

So, which team has the edge?

Texas Longhorns Odds

Let’s start with Beard’s defense, which has been a staple of his career.

Beard’s no-middle defense has been effective at every level he’s coached at. That’s true once again this season. The Longhorns are eighth in defensive efficiency, 19th in defensive effective field goal percentage, and fourth in defensive turnover rate.

Additionally, the Longhorns are first nationally in ShotQuality’s adjusted defensive shot quality, which measures the predicted quality of shots allowed. That’s a big deal, as Texas could even see positive regression as the season continues.

It’s a true team effort offensively. But that’s likely a product of the personnel, which includes three shot-creators in Timmy Allen, Marcus Carr, and Andrew Jones.

But Beard does not like his team working quickly. The Longhorns are 353rd in tempo, 212th in 3-point rate, and 69th in assist rate. The Longhorns work it around to find the smartest shot on the floor. That shot will go to whoever is open, and it’s often an interior shot.

I’d love to see more out of Marcus Carr. The Minnesota transfer was a dominant scorer in the Big Ten, but so far is averaging less than double digits scoring with just a 101.4 ORtg. When he’s rolling, he can be dominant.

Iowa State Betting Odds

The development for the Cyclones this season has been outstanding. The defense is ferocious, Izaiah Brockington should be All-Big Ten, and Iowa State is winning games again.

However, regression is coming for the Cyclones.

Iowa State is sixth in 3-point defense (26.5%) despite being 94th in 2-point defense (47.7%). The Cyclones are also getting into foul trouble, ranking 287th in opponent free-throw rate.

These are unsustainable numbers in the long run, and ShotQuality’s metrics make Iowa State 11-5 rather than 13-3.

But, maybe the regression train has already entered the station. Iowa State has lost three of the last four, although it was against very talented opponents.

To circle back to Brockington: The Penn State transfer has been astounding. He leads the team in scoring (17 points per game) and rebounding (8.1 rebounds per game) while being the team’s highest-usage player. And he plays great defense, ranking in the 94th percentile of Division-I players in half-court points per possession allowed.

Texas vs. Iowa State Prediction and Pick

My pick: Iowa State +1 or better

This is a classic buy-low, sell-high spot.

Texas is 3-1 in Big 12 play so far and is coming off a dominating home victory against Oklahoma. The Longhorns will now have to travel to Ames and lay points in Hilton Arena, which is not an easy place to play.

Meanwhile, the Cyclones need this victory. They are hungry for a conference win after losing three of the last four, and it’s always enticing buying a home dog.

As a head coach, Otzelberger is 7-4 against the spread when catching points at home. And this season, the Cyclones are 6-1 as an underdog.

Meanwhile, Texas is just 1-4 against the spread on the road.

If Iowa State is catching even one point, I’ll be on the Cyclones. I would also consider playing them at a PK, but as a smaller play.

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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