The Big 12 offers up a great betting match-up for Saturday night, as 11-2 Iowa State visits 14-1 West Virginia. Coach Huggins' Mountaineers have won seven in a row, and covered their last five.
Cyclones-Mountaineers Betting Odds
Most of the NCAA basketball odds opened West Virginia at -4 or -4.5, with a total of 149, and both those numbers were holding steady in the early betting.
Those who think Iowa State might win this game straight up could get a price of +195 on the moneyline at BetOnline.
Cyclones-Mountaineers: The Match-Up
Iowa State began this season 3-0, then lost to Maryland. The 'Clones then won seven more in a row, including victories over Arkansas and Iowa, then last Saturday lost to South Carolina 64-60. ISU then beat Oklahoma State Tuesday 63-61, but couldn't cover the spread as an eight-point favorite.
The Cyclones shot just 35 percent against the Gamecocks, made just one of 18 shots from beyond the arc and 19 of 33 free-throws. Iowa State then shot 44 percent against the Cowboys, going 7-for-21 from 3-point land and just 6-for-12 from the FT line. So the Cyclones haven't quite been their normal hot-shooting selves as of late.
West Virginia is a basket away from being undefeated this season. The Mountaineers opened 7-0, with a win over Connecticut, but then lost at home to LSU 74-73 on a bucket with seven seconds to go. Since then West Virginia has won seven more in a row, including its first two Big 12 games, most recently beating Texas Tech in Lubbock Monday 78-67, covering as a six-point road favorite.
Just before that the Mountaineers won at TCU by that exact same score, covering as one-point favorites. In fact, WVU is 9-4 ATS on the season, 5-0 ATS over its last five games.
West Virginia only shot 42 percent against the Horned Frogs, but won the rebounding battle by a 43-33 margin. The Mountaineers then shot 48 percent against the Red Raiders, and committed just seven turnovers, while holding Tech to 41 percent shooting.
Cyclones-Mountaineers Recent History
Last season these teams split two games, each winning big and covering at home. West Virginia took the first meeting 102-77 in Morgantown, winning outright as a two-point dog, while Iowa State won the second meeting 83-66 in Ames, covering as a 10-point favorite.
Two years ago, in West Virginia's first season in the Big 12, the Cyclones swept two games from the Mountaineers.
Cyclones-Mountaineers Key Numbers
On the season Iowa State is shooting 49 percent from the field, and 71 percent from the line, while holding opponents to 41 percent shooting.
West Virginia is only shooting 43 percent from the floor this season, and 66 percent from the line, while allowing foes to shoot 44 percent.
Cyclones-Mountaineers Betting Trends
Iowa State has played two UNDERS in a row, in part because it's shot the ball so poorly, and scored just 60 and 63 points. For the season Cyclones games have averaged 146 total points.
West Virginia is 5-2 on the totals, as Mountaineers games have averaged 140 points.
Cyclones-Mountaineers Free Pick
West Virginia is the hotter team at the moment, with seven wins in a row, while Iowa State has underperformed its last two times out. But we still give the Cyclones the edge in a heads-up match, and we like their chances of bouncing back with a good outing. In our minds this game should be about a pick 'em on the line. So we like Iowa State for the value in this spot, and we'll take the 'Clones to win outright.
Free College Basketball Pick: Cyclones +195 on the moneyline at BetOnline