Big 12 Rivalry Game: Bet Iowa State & 'Under' Our NCAA Basketball Picks vs. West Virginia

Kevin Stott

Monday, February 22, 2016 2:19 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 2:19 PM UTC

Iowa State heads to the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia on Monday night to face #10 West Virginia in a huge Big 12 showdown. Check our NCAA basketball pick inside.

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Final Score Prediction: Iowa State 75  West Virginia 71
NCAA Basketball Picks: Iowa State +5½ & Under 158 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365


#13 Iowa State vs. #10 West Virginia
Georges Niang and #13 Iowa State (19-8, 8-6 Big 12) head east to Morgantown, West Virginia and the WVU Coliseum on Monday night to face #10 West Virginia (20-7, 9-5 Big 12) in an exciting Big 12 showdown between two gritty teams who could both definitely get to the Sweet Sixteen this year, health willing. NCAA basketball odds makers here in Las Vegas have opened up West Virginia as 5-point favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) favorites with the Total (Points) for this game opening up at 158 (BetVictor). In the Money Line (Winner) marketplace, West Virginia has opened up as -208 favorites with visitors Iowa State priced at +170 on the takeback (Betway).


Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State (4-5 ATS on Road, 4-5 SU on Road) and 1st-year Head Coach Steve Prohm have already knocked off the #1- (Oklahoma) and #4-ranked (Kansas) teams in the nation so far this year at Home at the friendly confines of Hilton Coliseum in Ames, so beating the now hobbled Mountaineers at the WVU Coliseum against the Mountaineers on Monday night shouldn’t be too big of a thing, right? With F Jameel McKay (Knee) listed as Probable, you know the Cyclones will be giving it a go and with players like McKay (11.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg), Georges Niang (19.7 ppg) and G Monte Morris (7.3 apg, 1.9 spg), Iowa State (40/1 to win NCAA Championship, Paddy Power) can truly hang with anyone in the nation. In their last game, the Cyclones defeated TCU, 92-83 (IA ST -17½, 147, Over) as Niang (27 points), Abdel Nader (24 points), Deonte Burton (23 points, 14 rebounds) were all in double-digits and Matt Thomas (9 points) just missed out. But Iowa State (83.0 AF-75.1 AA) got 0 points from their Bench against the Horned Frogs and the thinness of this gritty Roster may be its ultimate undoing and a furthering of the Injury to McKay’s Left Knee would be devastating. G Nazareth Mitrou-Long (Hip) has been out for the season for the Cyclones. The Iowa State Bench will need to provide at least 10 to pull off the upset here.


West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia (11-2 SU Home, 7-3 ATS Home) and Head Coach Bob Huggins have more Injury concerns than Iowa State does, with Daxter Miles Jr. (Hamstring) listed as Questionable here and Senior G Jaysean Paige (13.4 ppg) also ailing. Miles was out for Losses to (then) #24 Texas and (now) #3 Oklahoma on Saturday while Paige (Ankle) missed the bulk of the game against the Longhorns before returning against the Sooners this weekend to score 13 points. When these two teams met earlier this month, West Virginia defeated Iowa State—only the 6th Loss in 75 Home games for Iowa State—by an 81-76 scoreline in Ames as Paige had 23 points, Devin Williams added 17 and an insane 18 rebounds and the Mountaineers (+8.6 rpg) outrebounded Iowa State, 43-26. In their disappointing last game, West Virginia (79.3 AF-66.0 AA) lost to Buddy Hield and the #3 Sooners here in Morgantown as the nation’s top scorer finished with 29 points and led a 9-0 2nd Half surge which put Oklahoma up, 61-52. The Mountaineers (35/1 to win NCAA Championship, Paddy Power) shot just 33.3% from the Field and were outrebounded 48-37 in the Loss and will be pressed by talented Iowa State here and will need Paige and Miles Jr. to both play to avoid the school’s first 3-game losing streak since Feb. 15-26, 2014. This one could be a challenge for the hosts.


Best Betting Approaches and Recent Series Trends
One big key in this game will be the availability of aforementioned West Virginia G Miles Jr. (Hamstring), as if he doesn’t play at all, then this becomes a different game and one worth considering backing the underdog Cyclones on the Moneyline (+170, Pinnacle). Iowa State is 4-3 ATS vs. West Virginia since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 Conference and the Cyclones are an impressive 5-2 SU in those 7 meetings and could very well win here despite having to travel, losing an hour in the Time Zone difference (CT to ET) and being so thin. But the Bench must score. Although the Under is 7-2 in the Mountaineers L9 Monday tilts, the Under is 8-1 in the Mountaineers L9 games here at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown and with three of the L4 meetings in this series having gone Under the Total and the last meeting—that 81-76 WVU win at Iowa State (IA ST -5, 157 Push)—ending with a (Totals) Push, recommending the Under here seems logical with key players out and questionable on both sides. And the Mountaineers lead the Big 12 Conference in Scoring Defense (66.0 ppg) as well as TO Margin (+4.3) and are a dominating 13-4 ATS in their L17 Home games—but that’s when West Virginia is 90-100% healthy and this team is far, far from that physically right now and needs to worry about getting better with both the rugged Big 12 Conference Tournament and the Big Dance coming up on the schedule. And many Hoops teams are in that same boat.

With Niang, Burton and Nader—who has gone 10-for-17 in his 3-Point attempts over the L2 games for Iowa State—playmaker Morris and McKay if he can (and expect him to) go, the Cyclones should be able to pull off the upset here in what looks like one of the toughest Conferences in NCAA Division I in many years. Against West Virginia (in 4 games), Niang—the second-leading scorer in the Big 12—has averaged 19.7 ppg while sharp-shooter Nader has averaged 18 ppg vs. West Virginia on 55.9% shooting from behind the Arc. And even though the Cyclones are just 4-5 on the Road in Big 12 play, and lost 100-91 at (then) #25 Baylor and at Texas Tech in its L2 Road games, West Virginia is banged up here and not feeling so confident after 2 straight Losses (and 3 in their L4) in which they didn’t play so great. Take Iowa State as the NCAA Basketball pick.

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