College Basketball Betting Preview: #16 Iowa State Cyclones at Baylor Bears

#16 Iowa State Cyclones at Baylor Bears
Ferrell Center – Waco, Texas

Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Baylor -2 1/2
Current Line: Baylor -3
Opening Total: 148
Current Total: 146 1/2
Opening Money Line: Baylor -135 / Iowa State +115
Current Money Line: Baylor -160 / Iowa State +135 

Baylor is a 3 point favorite at home against Iowa State in a key Big 12 game.
Baylor is a 3 point favorite at home against Iowa State in a key Big 12 game.

The Big 12 is the #1 conference by RPI and has a good shot at getting 7 teams into the NCAA Tournament. Two of those teams meet Tuesday night in Waco as the Baylor Bears host the #16 Iowa State Cyclones. Baylor is 19-10 this season and 7-9 in conference. The Bears are in 8th place in the Big 12, and are considered to be on the bubble for the tournament. However, a couple of more wins either in the regular season or the Big 12 tournament next week in Kansas City should solidify their spot.

Iowa State is 22-6 this season and is tied for third in the conference with Oklahoma and Texas at 10-6. All three teams are behind 13-3 Kansas who has already clinched the outright regular season title. Iowa State is considered safely in the tournament and should be between a 4-7 seed.

Iowa State leads the series 16-9 against Baylor, but the Bears are 8-2 in Waco. The Cyclones have won 5 of the last 6 games in the series including 3 straight. Iowa State won earlier in the season in Ames 87-72 January 7.

Iowa State is coached by Fred Hoiberg. The Cyclones have losses at Oklahoma, Kansas twice, at Texas, at West Virginia and Saturday at Kansas State 80-73. The Kansas State loss snapped a 4 game winning streak for the Cyclones. Iowa State has wins over Michigan, at BYU, Auburn, Northern Iowa in Des Moines, Iowa, George Mason, Akron, and Boise State (all in a tournament in Honolulu), Northern Illinois, Texas Tech twice, Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State,  TCU twice, Texas, and West Virginia. The Cyclones are 12-14 ATS this season and the total is 14-11-1 this season.

Iowa State is outscoring teams 84-73 this season. The Cyclones are #4 in scoring nationally and #262 out of 351 teams in points allowed. Iowa State is shooting 47.5% from the field and 34.1% from 3 point range. ISU is #35 nationally in field goal percentage. The Cyclones make 69.1% of their free throws. ISU opponents are shooting 40.6% from the field and 32.8% from 3 point range. The Cyclones average 39 rebounds per game and opponents average 35.5 per game. Iowa State is #22 in rebounding and #33 in rebounds allowed. The Cyclones average 18.6 assists, 10.6 turnovers, 6.4 steals and 3 blocks per game. Opponents average 13.5 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 5.2 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.

Forward Melvin Ejim averages 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Georges Niang averages 16.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Guard DeAndre Kane averages 16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Dustin Hogue averages 10.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1 assist per game. Matt Thomas, Naz Long, and Monte Morris all average at least 6.3 points a game.

Baylor is coached by Scott Drew. The Bears have losses to Syracuse in the Maui Invitational, at Iowa State, at Texas Tech, Oklahoma twice, Kansas twice, Texas twice,  and West Virginia. Baylor has key wins over Colorado in Dallas, South Carolina, Dayton in Maui, Kentucky in Arlington, TX, Oral Roberts, TCU twice, Oklahoma State twice, Kansas State West Virginia and Saturday against Texas Tech 59-49. Baylor went 12-1 in non-conference play. The Bears are 9-11-2 ATS and the total is 11-9-1 this season.

Baylor is outscoring teams 75-68 this season. The Bears are shooting 45.2% from the field and 38.9% from 3 point range. Baylor is #28 nationally  in three point shooting. The Bears are #294 nationally out of 351 teams in free throw shooting making 66.1% from the line. Baylor opponents are shooting 42.3% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range. The Bears average 39.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.6 per game. Baylor is #15 in rebounding and #48 in rebounds allowed nationally. The Bears average 15.5 assists, 12.8 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 5.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.6 assists, 10.7 turnovers, 5.6 steals and 3 blocks per game.

Baylor forward Cory Jefferson averages 13 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Guard Brady Heslip averages 11.4 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.   Center Isaiah Austin averages 10.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 3.2 blocks per game. Guard Kenny Chery averages 10.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. He is questionable with an ankle injury. Forward Taurean Prince averages 7.1 points and 3 rebounds per game. Forward Rico Gathers averages 7 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. Gary Franklin, Royce O’Neale, and Ish Wainwright will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Guard Allerik Freeman is out indefinitely with a broken hand, and hasn’t played yet this season.

Iowa State is 5-1-1 ATS in Tuesday games, 3-7 after failing to cover, 3-9 against teams with winning records, 3-11 overall, and in Big 12 games, 1-5 against teams with winning home records, 1-6 in road games, and 0-5 after a straight up loss. The last 5 games, both overall and in Waco in this series have gone over the total. The Cyclones have covered the last 4 against the Bears.

Baylor is 4-1-1 ATS overall and in Big 12 games, 3-7-1 after a straight up win, 1-4-1 after a cover, and 0-5 in Tuesday games. The home team is 7-1 ATS in this series recently. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the series recently.

Normally, you won’t lose a lot of money taking the home team in Big 12 games, except for winless TCU. however, Iowa State has dominated the series against Baylor since Hoiberg became the coach. I like the Cyclones to win a close game on the road.

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