NCAA Basketball Picks: Iowa State Will Control the Boards Against Buffalo

Joe Catalano

Monday, December 7, 2015 3:41 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 3:41 PM UTC

The Buffalo Bulls, who made it to the Big Dance last season, aren't the same team anymore as they take on the Iowa State Cyclones. Check this NCAA basketball pick inside.

Tip-off is scheduled for tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST at the James H. Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. At 5Dimes, the Cyclones are a 21 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 156.5. The question isn't who will win? The question is how many points will the Cyclones win by against the NCAA basketball odds?

The Cyclones have had a rather easy schedule to start off the season as they have scored 83 points or more in their last 5 games and there's no hope of the Bulls defense holding the Cyclones to anything less as they fit into the "cupcake" status.


Offensive Depth
The Cyclones contain 5 players that score 13.7 points or more per game. This is also a team that can control the boards and distribute the baskebtall to the open man for the best possible shot. Senior forward, Georges Niang has been a consistent producer throughout his collegiate career and leads the Cyclones at 16.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.

Niang is shooting over 50% from the field and nearly 90% from the free throw line. He can also knock down the 3-ball and play good defense. There's nothing that this player can't do as he has the perfect size to play at the next level.

With him leading the way, Iowa State is going to be an elite team all season long. The only thing that bothers me regading this team is their easy early season schedule, but a lot of NCAA top 25 teams have similarly easy schedules so early in the season. Look for Niang to have a very productive game and then take a seat when this game gets out of hand as he had an injury scare recently, but nothing to really worry about.


Experience and Efficiency
This team has the perfect recipe for winning a championship as they contain talent with players such as Abdel Nader (15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds) and Monte Morris (15.3 points, 6.8 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2 steals per game). Aside from Niang, Morris is the key player on this club as he makes other players around him better and plays both ends of the court well with his ability to hustle. Iowa State is very experienced and the leaders on the squad all shoot the basketball above 50% from the field. This is a team that's ready to win now and the Bulls are going to find that fact out very quickly as they're in for rude awakening.


Taking On All Comers?
That's very commendable, but if a team such as the Bulls face the better teams in the nation and lose by a large margin, that really doesn't accomplish much for their program. The Bulls are coming off of a 82-59 loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium against the Duke Blue Devils. This is actually good for the bettor as this is a good measuring stick for Buffalo's game against Iowa.

Let's also note that this was a very tired Duke team that beat Buffalo by 23 points. The Bulls shot just 33.3% from the field and didn't have a starter score more than 10 points. The starters as a whole shot 10 for 32 from the field and the bench didn't do much better as junior, Blake Hamilton (a key player on the Bulls), was just 1 for 11 from the field ,coming off the bench, and getting a significant amount of playing time,

Leading scorer, Lamonte Bearden was no factor against Duke as he scored 10 points and shot the basketball just 4 times from the field. The Bulls need Bearden to be more aggressive or their game tonight will be a huge blowout in ISU's favor. Look for Iowa State, who excels at offense, to make easy work of the Bulls. Make Iowa State the NCAA basketball pick.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Iowa State -21 at BetOnline

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