NCAA Basketball Picks for Friday's Iowa vs. Iowa State

Jeff Grant

Friday, December 13, 2013 12:48 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 12:48 PM GMT

Free NCAA Basketball picks for tonight's matchup between the Iowa State Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones. Where should sports bettors look to make some cash in this battle between the two rivals?

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this high-profile matchup at the Hilton Coliseum, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

[gameodds]14/252013/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Balanced attack 

Iowa has had four players score in double figures in 8-of-11 games during the 2013-14 campaign, which has led directly to the team leading the Big Ten Conference in averaging 89.5 points per game. 

The Hawkeyes pace the conference in outscoring foes by 25.4 points per game, while they sit behind just one team with a plus-4.3 turnover margin. 

A great start 

Iowa State is 7-0 for the first time since the 2003-04 season, as it enters this rivalry as the only undefeated Big 12 Conference team and one of 14 nationally. 

The Cyclones have five different players averaging double figures, while each player in that particular group has scored 20-plus points in at least one game this year. 

All about defense 

College basketball handicapper may want to think twice about backing the road underdog in this spot, as the Hawkeyes are 6-9 ATS versus teams that average 77-plus points per game the last two-plus seasons. 

Iowa is 14th nationally in defending the perimeter, but the team hasn’t faced anyone on its schedule that spreads the floor and gets quality shots like Iowa State. 

Watch the betting odds

The Cyclones are virtually an automatic play if they remain home favorites of three or fewer points on the SBROdds page, considering they’ve gone 24-3-1 ATS in that situation in their last 28 opportunities. 

It’s also important to point out that the home team has covered the number in six of the last eight meetings in this series, while the OVER has cashed in the last five. 

Outlook 

I’ve established a handicapper line that favors the Cyclones by three points, which signals a NCAA basketball pick on the home team if the number drops to 2.5 or lower, while the Hawkeyes are worth a look at 3.5 or higher.

College Basketball Pick: Hawkeyes over 3.5

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