Iowa St. vs. Texas: Inflated Total Prompts NCAA Basketball Pick On 'Under'

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:42 PM GMT

With both of these teams coming off of disappointing losses, our NCAA basketball odds handicapper analyzes the matchup between Iowa St. & Texas to find hidden value in the total.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 154
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

As we continue our coverage of Big 12 college basketball action this Tuesday, let’s analyze the available NCAA basketball odds for the matchup between the 17th ranked Iowa State Cyclones (12-3, 1-2) and the Texas Longhorns (9-6, 1-2). Both of these teams are looking for an important win in Big 12 conference action after starting 1-2 in their first three games. The spread in this game is the exact same it was when these two teams met in Texas last march with the Cyclones favored by two points on the road. The O/U total is almost nine points higher though, currently listed at 154 at Bookmaker.

 

Texas Longhorns
Texas is still trying to find their way on offense after losing senior center, Cameron Ridley, to a foot injury in mid-December. The 6-10 senior was a rebounding force for the Longhorns averaging 10 rebounds a game while adding 12.7 points per game. With Texas losing their inside threat, they’ve had to lean on perimeter shooting for offense, and it hasn’t gone well. Texas has only scored 64 points per game since losing Ridley to injury – including a paltry 25.3% from three-point distance.

While Texas lost their 2nd leading scorer in Ridley, they still have experienced junior guard, Isaiah Taylor, scoring a team leading 16.4 points per game. Taylor is most effective when he can force his way to the free throw line. His most dominating performance this season was in a loss at Texas Tech where he scored 35 points and shot 13-14 from the charity stripe.

Texas is coming off of a tough 57-58 loss at TCU – the first time TCU has beat Texas in 20 years. That’s just how big of a funk Texas is in right now trying to win without Ridley. Texas was 3-21 in that game from three-point range and shot just 37.1% from the field. Their poor shooting was so bad that they couldn’t take advantage of a 13-5 turnover ratio versus the Horned Frogs.

 

Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State is trying to find some footing of their own following a stretch of games where they went 3-3 after starting the season 9-0. Their losses can’t be blamed on their leading scorer, senior forward Georges Niang, however. Niang has been fantastic in the three losses to Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, and Baylor scoring 30, 29, and 22 points respectively. Niang is shooting 54.2% from the field this year and averaging 31.7 minutes.

Probably more important in this game – with the absence of Texas’ rebounding leader – is Iowa State’s Jameel McKay. The 6-9 senior leads the Cyclones with 9.6 rebounds per game and is always good for a block or three each game as well. McKay should have a big game against Texas in this matchup.

Iowa State is coming off of a loss to Baylor at home, a repeat of the upset loss last year. The Cyclones were up by as much as ten in the game, but got winded at the end. Iowa State depends on a 7-man rotation and fatigue was essentially a factor late. This will be interesting to watch as Texas had 9 players log minutes in their loss to TCU. Although it was a loss, so not exactly a mark of effectiveness.

Although Iowa State won all three matchups with Texas last year, I don’t trust them enough here to take them on the road for my NCAA basketball picks. What I do like is the trend of Texas having trouble scoring to continue. The over is 7-3 in the last ten games between these schools in this situation as well, so a point to contradict conventional wisdom here with the injury to Ridley.

 
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