Big 12 Rivalry NCAAB Picks: Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State Will Stay 'Under'

Willie Bee

Monday, February 29, 2016 1:19 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 1:19 PM UTC

It's Senior Night In Ames where Iowa State is 14 point chalk on the NCAA basketball odds against Oklahoma State.  Can the Cyclones earn their 7th-straight win in the rivalry?

In another week, we'll be hip-deep in conference tournaments and getting our first tastes of March Madness. Until then, we've got to finish off the regular season, and though we do have some very critical games coming up, we also have some rather meaningless ones as well.

Like tonight's collision in Ames between the Iowa State Cyclones and Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Big 12 combatants tip things at Hilton Coliseum a little past 7 PM (ET), the action available on ESPNU, and the Cyclones are big 14 point favorites at many sports books while some shops have already boosted their line to -14½. Bookmaker started its total at 148½, since chopping two points off that mark.

Note that I didn't say this game was totally meaningless. There's still the issue of seeding for every upcoming conference tournament, as is the case in the Big 12 where the only spot already sewn up is No. 1 which will be occupied by Kansas for a 12th-straight season. Iowa State is at the bottom of five teams packed within two games of each other in the still fight for the No. 2 seed, and Oklahoma State is in the middle of a 3-team race for the 8-9-10 slots.

It's also Senior Night in Ames where the Cyclones will be honoring Georges Niang, Abdel Nader and Jameel McKay, that trio ranking 1-3-4 in terms of scoring and court time in Steve Prohm's lineup. Iowa State has won six consecutive Senior Night contests, though we should temper that a bit with the fact the Cyclones are 2-4 when playing on February 29.


Scoring A Big Problem For Cowboys Minus Their 2 Stars
It is a case of what might have been for Travis Ford and Oklahoma State (12-17 straight up, 13-13-1 against the spread). The Cowboys lost senior guard Phil Forte just three games into the schedule with an elbow injury and have been playing most of February without freshman guard Jawun Evans who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in a loss at Texas Tech. They have dropped seven of their last eight, the current 4-game skid also including setbacks against the NCAA basketball odds.

The latest defeat came at home Saturday to West Virginia, Okie State's third ranked opponent during the 4-game string of losses. Getting 8 at home, the Cowboys were manhandled on the boards by the Mountaineers and committed 19 turnovers in the 70-56 final.

Iowa State (20-9 SU, 13-12-1 ATS) really hasn't been the same since upsetting Kansas in late-January. The Cyclones have since dropped five of nine contests, though four of those losses did come to ranked teams, three of them on the road. If there's a head-scratcher among those games, it's the overtime defeat at Texas Tech on February 10, and it's going to be nearly impossible for Prohm to keep his squad from looking ahead to this Saturday's trip to Lawrence to meet Kansas, the Jayhawks potentially rising to No. 1 when the new rankings come out later today.


ISU Takes Aim At 6th-Straight Series Win In Ames
Recent meetings between these two have resulted in some tight matchups, and that was certainly the case when the schools met in Stillwater a little more than three weeks ago. Favored by 4½, Iowa State left with a 64-59 decision to just cover the spread and earn its 6th-straight win over Oklahoma State. Niang led four Cyclones in double-figures with 18 points, and the game was probably most notable for having just 11 free throws attempted by both teams combined.

That contest never made it to the 147 point total, the third consecutive 'under' in the rivalry. With ISU not having covered a double-digit spread at home in a conference game yet, taking the points is awfully attractive. But instead, I'm going with the 'under' for my free NCAA basketball pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 146½
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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