Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Play the Spread for Tonight's West Virginia vs. Iowa State

Darin Zank

Saturday, February 14, 2015 2:46 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 2:46 PM UTC

Iowa State is 4-1 straight-up, 3-2 against the spread vs. West Virginia over recent seasons. Do we go with the Cyclones minus the points for our NCAA basketball pick? Or should we take the underdog?

Mountaineers-Cyclones Betting Odds
Most college basketball betting odds opened this game with Iowa State favored by seven points, with an OVER/UNDER of around 158. In the early betting some shops bumped the Cyclones to -7.5. Those who think West Virginia might win this game outright could get +265 on the moneyline at Heritage.


Mountaineers-Cyclones: Background
West Virginia started 14-1 this season, with wins over Connecticut, Wofford and TCU, the only loss in that span coming by one point against LSU. But the Mountaineers scared us recently when they lost two games in a row, at Oklahoma by 19 points and at home to Baylor by 18 points. West Virginia just snapped that two-game losing streak with a 76-72 victory over Kansas State Wednesday night.

The Mountaineers led by 11 at the half Wednesday, let the Wildcats come back and take a lead with about three minutes to go, then rallied for the victory.

On the homey side of this match-up Iowa State owns victories this season over Alabama, Arkansas and Iowa, with close losses to Maryland and South Carolina. But the Cyclones have lost two of their last three games, after falling at Oklahoma Monday night 94-83. ISU led that game by 10 late in the first half, but let the Sooners go on a 40-20, and eventually came up short ATS as a six-point dog.

Just before that the Cyclones trounced Texas Tech 75-38, covering as 16-point favorites. But just before that they lost at Kansas 89-76.

Big-picture, at 7-4 in conference play these two teams are tied for third place in the Big 12, two games behind first-place Kansas. They're also both looking pretty good as far as their NCAA tournament chances stand.

Iowa State is 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS against West Virginia since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12. The Cyclones took the first meeting between these teams this season a month ago, upsetting the Mountaineers in Morgantown 74-72. ISU shot 50 percent from the floor that day, and held West Virginia to just 32 percent.

Last season these teams split two games, each winning and covering at home.

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Mountaineers-Cyclones Key Stats
West Virginia is shooting just 41 percent from the field this season, less than 30 percent from 3-point range and 65 percent from the line. At the other end of the floor the Mountaineers are allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent, and that ranks in the bottom third in the country.

Iowa State is shooting 49 percent from the floor, which ranks in the top 20 in the country, 36 percent from long range and 69 percent from the line. The Cyclones are also holding foes to 42 percent FG shooting.


Mountaineers-Cyclones Betting Trends
West Virginia is 9-7 on the totals this season, as Mountaineers games have averaged 141 points.

Iowa State is 11-7 on the totals, as Cyclones games have averaged 149 points. ISU has also played eight OVERS in its last nine games.

Iowa State has won 20 in a row at home SU, but is only 8-9 ATS over that span.


Mountaineers-Cyclones Free Pick
Normally, we might say the home team is favored by a bit too much here, and go with the underdog and the points. But Iowa State won the first meeting between these teams, and we think the Cyclones will rebound from Monday's loss and win this game, too. And if they can hold their own on the boards and make their free-throws they should cover this spread. Take Iowa State with your NCAA Basketball picks.

Free College Basketball Pick: Iowa State -7 at 5Dimes

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