Cyclones Better Bet At No. 18 Hawkeyes In Rivalry Game Thursday

Willie Bee

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 7:50 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 7:50 PM UTC

Scrappy Iowa State treks to rival and ranked Iowa for the annual Cy-Hawk Series on Thursday, and we have a free college basketball pick for the Cyclones and Hawkeyes matchup.

Season Record: 16-10-1 (+5.45 units)

Iowa State (7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS) at Iowa (6-2 SU, 2-6 ATS)Thursday, 8 p.m. ET (FS1)Free Pick: Cyclones ATSBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

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That 6-game win streak to open the season is a distant memory for Fran McCaffrey and the Iowa Hawkeyes who have dropped their last two, including a lopsided loss at Michigan State on Monday to begin the Big Ten schedule 0-2. In desperate need of a bounce-back win to remain in the top 25, the Hawkeyes get a visit from rival Iowa State in Thursday’s top tilt.

The Cyclones reach Iowa City on a 4-game win streak and beginning to ease their way up in the rankings to sit just outside of the AP and coaches polls. We won’t be surprised to see this one close as a pick ‘em, and there’s plenty of offense on both ends of the floor to make for an exciting last-possession thriller.

Iowa State Games 1-7 O/U Entering Thursday

Not only has Steve Prohm’s group won the last four times out, the Cyclones have also brought home the bacon with covers in each decision. Iowa State’s only defeat came as a small underdog in a 71-66 final against Arizona in the Maui Invitational opening round. They’ve managed to get off to this fast start without star guard Lindell Wigginton, who remains sidelined for this matchup due to a broken foot, and the Cyclones only recently reinstated forwards Cameron Lard and Zoran Talley from suspensions. All four finals in the current streak fell short of the totals.

Iowa was getting 10½ at Heritage a few days ago, and lost any chance of a cover in East Lansing by scoring just three points during the first 10 minutes of the second half, making just one of 20 field goal attempts in that span. The Hawkeyes also had no answer for Michigan State’s Nick Ward on the defensive end of the floor, and have managed to sink just 12-46 tries from beyond the arc in the last two games. McCaffrey might have to shorten his rotation in this one due to guard Joe Wieskamp (10.5 ppg) listed as questionable with an ankle injury.

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R-E-L-E-N-T-L-E-S-S Effort!

Michael Jacobson has tallied a double-double in back-to-back games after going for 15 points and 10 boards against NDSU. #Cyclones pic.twitter.com/KF2pvPVqpD

— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneMBB) December 5, 2018
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’Over’ A Winner 5 Of Last 6 At Carver

The Cyclones won the matchup last season in Ames, their seventh in the last nine meetings, but it’s the Hawkeyes who hold a sizeable 44-27 advantage in the rivalry. Iowa State’s 84-78 decision a year ago pushed a 6-point spread, and marked the ninth time in the last 10 clashes that the final jumped the totals. The Hawkeyes had covered the NCAA basketball odds four of the previous five before last season, with five of the last six Iowa City sending ‘over’ bettors back to the pay window.

The Hawkeyes looked entirely overmatched in the loss to the Spartans this week, all while the Cyclones have been playing a bit over their heads without many key components. I’ll bite on the visitors with my free college basketball pick.

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