College Basketball Betting Preview: #14 Iowa State Cyclones at #5 Texas A&M Aggies

#14 Iowa State Cyclones at #5 Texas A&M Aggies
Saturday, January 30, 2016, 2:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Reed Arena – College Station, Texas
Opening Line: Texas A&M -4 1/2
Current Line: Texas A&M -4
Opening Total: 154 1/2
Current Total: 155
Opening Money Line: Texas A&M -185 / Iowa State +165
Current Money Line: Texas A&M -185 / Iowa State +165

Texas A&M is a 4 point favorite against Iowa state in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge Saturday.
Texas A&M is a 4 point favorite against Iowa state in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge Saturday.

The Big 12 and SEC take a late January break from conference play for the Big 12-SEC Challenge. One of the marquee match-ups involves top 15 teams as the 16-4 Iowa State Cyclones travel to the 17-3 Texas A&M Aggies. Iowa State is #14 and Texas A&M is #5. The Cyclones are 5-3 in the Big 12 and part of a three way tie for second behind three 6-2 teams. Texas A&M leads the SEC at 7-1 over 6-2 LSU and Kentucky.

Texas A&M leads the series 10-9 against Iowa State, including 5-4 in College Station. The Aggies and Cyclones were both in the Big 12 until Texas A&M left for the SEC in 2012. The Cyclones won the last two meetings in 2012.

Iowa State is coached by Steve Prohm. The Cyclones have a loss to Northern Iowa in Des Moines, plus road losses at Oklahoma and Texas, and a home loss to Baylor. Iowa State has neutral site wins over Colorado in Sioux Falls, SD, Virginia Tech and Illinois in a tournament in Niceville, Florida. Iowa State has home wins over North Dakota State, Buffalo, Iowa, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Kansas 85-72 last Monday. The Cyclones also have road wins over Cincinnati, Kansas State and TCU. ISU has won four straight games since losing three of four games earlier in the month. The Cyclones were 1.5 point favorites against Kansas and the total was 161. Iowa State is 10-6-1 ATS and the total is 7-10 this season.

Texas A&M is coached by Billy Kennedy. The Aggies have losses to Syracuse in a tournament in the Bahamas, plus road losses at Arizona State and Arkansas 74-71 Wednesday night. The loss snapped a 10 game winning streak for Texas A&M. The Aggies have neutral site wins over Texas and Gonzaga in the Bahamas, plus home wins over Florida-Gulf Coast, Kansas State, Baylor, Cal Poly, Arkansas, Florida, LSU and Missouri. TAMU has road wins at Mississippi State, Tennessee and Georgia. The Aggies are 7-6-2 ATS and the total is 6-9 this season. Texas A&M was a 3 point favorite against Arkansas and the total was 151.5.

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Iowa State is outscoring teams 84-74. The Cyclones are #12 in scoring nationally. Iowa State is shooting 50.3% from the field and 36.9% from 3 point range. The Cyclones are #5 in field goal shooting nationally. ISU makes 70.9% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 43.1% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range. Iowa State averages 37.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 32.3. The Cyclones average 16.8 assists, 11.1 turnovers, 6.7 steals and 4.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 13.9 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 5.4 steals and 2.8 blocks per game.

Georges Niang averages 19.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Monte Morris averages 15.5 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Abdel Nader averages 12.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Jameel McKay averages 12.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. He is probable with a knee injury. Nazareth Mitrou-Long averaged 12 points a game but is out for the season with a hip injury. Matt Thomas averages 10.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Deonte Burton and Hallice Cook will also get minutes in the rotation.

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Texas A&M is outscoring teams 78-64 this season. The Aggies are #30 in points allowed nationally. Texas A&M is shooting 46.1% from the field and 36.8% from 3 point range. The Aggies make 65.8% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 39.6% from the field and 31.9% from 3 point range. The Aggies average 39.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.5. Texas A&M averages 18.6 assists, 12.6 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 3.7 blocks per game. Opponents averages 13.2 assists, 15.9 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 2.9 blocks per game.

Jalen Jones averages 17.1 points and 7 rebounds per game. Danuel House averages 15.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. Tyler Davis averages 11.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Alex Caruso averages 7.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Admon Gilder averages 7.1 points, 2.5 rebounds 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Tonny Trocha-Morelos, D.J. Hogg, and Anthony collins will also get time in the rotation.

Iowa State is 4-0 ATS overall, 7-1-1 in road games, 6-1-1 after a cover, and against teams with winning home records, 4-1 after a straight up win, 10-3 in Saturday games, 5-2-1 in non-conference games, 7-3 against SEC teams, and 15-7-1 against teams with winning records. The under is 6-2 ATS in this series recently.

Texas A&M is 3-1-2 ATS in Saturday games, 8-3-2 after failing to cover, and 2-5-1 against Big 12 teams. The favorite is 6-2 ATS in this series recently. Texas A&M is 8-3 ATS in this series recently.

This is a battle between the offense of Iowa State and the defense of Texas A&M. Iowa State is an elite team at home, but simply a good team on the road. I like Texas A&M to win a close game at home.

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