Kansas is 18-2 straight up in its last 20 meetings with Iowa State, and 4-1 against the spread over the last five, but the Cyclones won the last meeting, and are favored to win tonight's battle in Ames. How do we recommend betting this Big 12 showdown?
Jayhawks-Cyclones Betting Odds
The college basketball odds market opened this game with Iowa State favored by four points, the total pegged at right around 145. Those numbers were holding steady in the early betting.
Bettors wishing to eschew the points could get the Cyclones at -180 on the moneyline at BetOnline, while Kansas could be gotten at +160 at BetDSI.
Jayhawks-Cyclones: Background Material
Kansas won the Big 12 regular-season title again last year (that's 10 in a row), but coming into this season the thought was the combination of Jayhawks personnel losses and a supposedly great Texas team would put that streak in jeopardy.
Kansas went 11-2 through non-conference play, with victories over Tennessee, Michigan State, Florida, Georgetown and Utah, the only losses coming against Kentucky and Temple. The Sagarin ratings at USAToday.com rank KU's schedule as the fourth-toughest in the nation so far this season. The Jayhawks then opened Big 12 play with a 56-55 victory at Baylor, winning straight-up as three-point underdogs. They then buried Texas Tech 86-54, covering at -15, and last time out, Tuesday night, they beat Oklahoma State 67-57, covering at -8.
Kansas shot just 37 percent from the floor Tuesday, but held the Cowboys to just 31 percent shooting and outrebounded the Pokes 43-26.
So the Jayhawks have won and covered five games in a row.
Iowa State advanced to the Sweet 16 last season, but because of a couple of key personnel losses the thought was the Cyclones would have a tough time getting that far this season. ISU will return to the NCAA tournament, but can they make a run at the Big 12 title?
Iowa State started 10-2 through the non-con season, with wins over Alabama, Arkansas and Iowa, the losses coming against Maryland and South Carolina. The Cyclones then began Big 12 play with a 63-61 victory over Oklahoma State and a 74-72 victory at West Virginia. But last time out, Wednesday night, ISU fell at Baylor 74-73 on a bucket with four seconds to go.
The Cyclones trailed the Bears by 15 points early, and by 14 with nine minutes to go, got hot and took a one-point lead with 14 seconds left but gave up a game-winning 10 seconds later. They rallied for the cover as two-point underdogs, but we would have preferred they won that game outright, for financial reasons.
On the night Iowa State shot 46 percent from the floor, and made 10 of 19 shots from long range, but lost the battle on the boards by a 44-32 margin.
Jayhawks-Cyclones Recent History
Kansas took two of three meetings with Iowa State last season, winning the two regular-season match-ups, but losing to the Cyclones in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament.
Bigger-picture, the Jayhawks have won 18 of the last 20 games against Iowa State, and gone 4-1 ATS over the last five meetings.
Jayhawks-Cyclones Key Stats
Kansas is shooting just 43 percent from the field this season, but 39 percent from 3-point range. At the other end of the court the Jayhawks are holding opponents to 40 percent FG shooting.
Iowa State is shooting 49 percent from the floor, while holding foes to 41 percent shooting.
Jayhawks-Cyclones Betting Trends
Kansas is 8-6 on the totals this season, as Jayhawks games have averaged 134 points.
Iowa State is 4-6 on the totals, even though 'Clones games have averaged 146 points.
Five of the last six meetings in this series have played OVER the totals.
Jayhawks-Cyclones Free Pick
The last time Kansas was an underdog it beat Baylor in Waco; the previous time it was a dog it won at Georgetown. We won't be surprised if the Jayhawks win this game outright, too. So in searching for the best value NCAA Basketball pick on this game we'll go with Kansas, for the win.
Free College Basketball Pick: Jayhawks +160 on the moneyline at BetDSI