NCAA Basketball Picks: Grab Iowa St. +5 To Easily Cover vs. Cincinnati

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 6:59 PM GMT

Iowa St. find themselves in somewhat of a must win situation as they face incinnati. This game would be a huge moral boost for the Cyclones. See who we like as our NCAA basketball pick.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Iowa State Cyclones +5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST tonight at Fifth Third Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio. This game can also be seen on ESPN 3. According to 5Dimes NCAA Basketball odds board, the Bearcats are a 5 point betting favorite and although the Cyclones were recently undefeated, they have played poorly in their last few games and this is a top 25 matchup on the road.

 

Offensive Powerhouse
Nobody doubts what Iowa State can do on the offensive end of the court as this is a team with big time starters that receives a lot of minutes. It's their defense that is the concern here. They're a weak rebounding club, but possess one of the top rebounders in the country in Jameel McKay. McKay must protect the boards, especially against a formidable foe in the Bearcats.

Iowa State features 5 players that average 12 points or more per game. There are some teams in the country that don't even possess one 12 point scorer.

 

Georges Niang and Jameel McKay
Regardless of their lone loss of the season, I feel fairly confident about a team that possess two forces such as Niang and McKay. Niang leads the Cyclones in scoring and is an overall force at 18.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. Not only that, he can shoot the lights out as he averages 52.7% from the field, 40.5% from beyond the arc, and is a 89.5 % free throw shooter.

If this game is close, Niang is almost automatic from the line and this provides Iowa State with a distinct advantage. Look for Niang to play well in this game. He scored 30 points in the loss to Northern Iowa and is super-reliable.

 

Walking Double-Double
As for McKay, the Cyclones have a walking double-double at 15.3 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. All of his production will come in the paint.

As stated earlier, he must protect the boards as Iowa State is a weak rebounding team overall. A lot of pressure is on this team as a 2nd loss in a row after starting the season off at 9-0, would be very demoralizing. Odds makers have counted them out. 5 points is a lot in my honest opinion.

 

Catching Iowa State At An Opportune Time
If there was any time to play the Cyclones, this would be it and the Bearcats have the added advantage to play on their home floor. Cincinnati isn't a very deep team at all. They have 4 players averaging 10 to 12 points per game, led by dead shooter, Farad Cobb at 12 points per contest.

Cobb makes the most of his minutes outside the arc as he's averaging 47.1% from 3-point range. In his last 3 games, Cobb is 11 for 20 in 3 pointers. This is a player that can nail the big shot and is a holy terror on defense. That said, I don't think that there's anyone on this Bearcats team that can stop Niang and McKay.

Another player that will be important in this game is big man, Octavious Ellis. While Ellis has still managed 9 rebounds per game in his last 2 games, he hasn't even looked to shoot the ball. This is a definite concern for Cincy.

I think that odds makers have overreacted after Iowa State being upset and the Cyclones have a chance at winning this game outright. Add them to your NCAA Basketball picks.

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