NCAA Basketball Picks: Take Iowa State & 'Under' Against Texas A&M

Kevin Stott

Saturday, January 30, 2016 11:29 AM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 11:29 AM UTC

Let’s think about it, take a look at the numbers and Trends for this game and see if there is anything worth wagering on and if there any sensible picks to be pondered for our savvy readers.

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Final Score Prediction: Texas A&M 71   Iowa State 70
NCAA Basketball Pick: Iowa State +4.5 & Under 154.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Iowa State vs. Texas A&M
Georges Niang and #14 Iowa State (16-4, 5-3 Big 12) head south to College, Station Texas on Saturday afternoon to face #5 Texas A&M (17-3, 7-1 SEC) in an exciting cross-conference game in the Big 12/SEC Challenge from Reed Arena between two gritty teams who are definitely Sweet Sixteen material. Offshore NCAA basketball odds makers have opened up Texas A&M as -4½ (-105, Bookmaker) favorites with the Total (Points) for this game opening up at 154½ (Bookmaker).


Iowa State
Iowa State (7-6-2 ATS, 6-9 O/U) and 1st-year Head Coach Steve Prohm have already knocked off the #1- (Oklahoma) and #4-ranked (Kansas) teams in the nation so far this year at Home at the friendly confines of Hilton Coliseum in Ames, but here at Reed Arena in College Station against #5 Texas A&M on Saturday, it should be a different story, especially if Jameel McKay (Knee) is a liability. On Thursday, Cyclones Head Coach Prohm said that McKay (12.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg) will be playing Saturday, and with a 4-game Win Streak against four pretty damn good teams (Kansas State, #1 Oklahoma, TCU, #4 Kansas), things couldn’t be going any better for the Cyclones, save for the season-ending Injury to G Nazareth Mitrou-Long (Hip), who was averaging 12.0 ppg. In this sexy 4-game Win Streak, Iowa State (33/1 to win NCAA Championship, William Hill) has allowed only 68 ppg and in their last game the Cyclones downed #4 Kansas at Home in Ames on Saturday, 85-72. G’s Monte Morris (21 points) and Georges Niang (19 points) led Iowa State in scoring, which used a 24-7 spurt to overtake the Jayhawks who led the game at Halftime, 43-36. Starters F Abdel Nader (17 points), G Matt Thomas (13 points) and F Jameel McKay (6 points) contributed 36 while G Deonte Burton had 9 points off the Cyclones Bench in the win in which the hosts shot 51.6% from the field (32-62). If McKay is limited or aggravates his Knee Injury here, the Cyclones will be in trouble as Iowa State does not possess a deep Roster with Mitrou-Long out for the season.


Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M (10-6-1 ATS, 7-10 O/U) and 4th-year Head Coach Billy Kennedy have burst onto the scene and many astute sports gamblers here in Las Vegas have jumped aboard the Aggies train, driving odds for Texas A&M to win the NCAA Championship down to (a current high of) 50/1 to win NCAA Championship (William Hill). This former Big 12 team didn’t necessarily have a reputation of being a good basketball team when in the conference—the Aggies were known more of as a Football and Baseball school—but this program has slowly evolved, as you can tell by the current lofty #4 national ranking. But are the Aggies for real? Jalen Jones (17.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Danuel House (15.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and star Freshman Tyler Davis (11.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg) are have double-digit scoring averages and can rebound the basketball, as you can see by their healthy averages. And the supporting cast with Anthony Collins and Alex Caruso rounding out the A&M Starting 5 and the Bench providing consistent solid support through guys like Admon Gilder (7.1 ppg), Tonny Trocha-Morelos (6.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Tavario Miller (2.4 ppg) and DJ Hogg (6.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg). The Site, the Aggies bench and the team’s overall health all seem like advantages to Texas A&M while the hosts should also be in that bounce-back-win-with-a-Win mode after falling to Arkansas on Wednesday night in Fayetteville, 74-71, ending an impressive 10-game Win Streak.


Best Betting Approaches and Recent Series Trends
This game will tell us much about both teams, especially if Iowa State can win in College Station against the #5 (AP) team in the nation. Being able to knock off Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas A&M would be one of, if not the biggest feat in NCAA Basketball this season. The Cyclones have a nation-leading 21 Wins over Top 25 teams over the L3 seasons with 21 Losses over that span. Trend-wise, Iowa State is 10-3 ATS in its L13 games on Saturday and an impressive 7-1-1 ATS in the L9 Road games while Texas A&M is just 2-5-1 ATS its L8 against the Big 12, its former home. In this series, Iowa State has W3 straight ATS after Texas A&M had run off a string of 7 straight covers. And, the Over is 7-1 ATS in the Cyclones L8 against the SEC while the Under is 6-2 ATS the L8 games in this series.
Depth looks it could end up being a problem here for Iowa State—which played just 7 guys against the Jayhawks on Saturday—and with the Aggies coming off a close Road Loss to the Razorbacks on Wednesday, expect Jones, House and Texas A&M to be ready for the Cyclones and to test the hobbled McKay early on. McKay (Sore Knee), and how he plays this game will be a big thing and some postulated that Iowa State would be better off resting McKay here and saving him for the Big 12 date with West Virginia would be a good idea. But with such a thin Roster, Cyclones HC Prohm didn’t have much choice but to have McKay, a 6-9, 215 Junior from Milwaukee in his Starting 5 as the visitors don’t want to be overwhelmed by the Aggies size in the paint. Loose rebounds may determine this game and these are definitely two teams opponents won’t want to draw in the coming NCAA Tournament in March. Take Iowa State & Under as the sharp NCAA basketball picks.

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