Pick Road Dog Iowa State +6.5 vs. Iowa for NCAA Basketball

Jeff Grant

Friday, December 12, 2014 2:03 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 2:03 PM GMT

Iowa State will go into a hostile environment without the services of a key suspended player Friday night, but it’s still a dangerous road underdog against in-state rival Iowa.

Next Man Up
Iowa State is 6-1 SU and 3-3 ATS through seven games of the 2014-15 campaign, but it won’t have arguably its best all-around player on the floor tonight, as guard Bryce Dejean-Jones has been suspended for the contest.

The UNLV transfer was charged with two counts of breaking Ames’ city noise ordinance, which is important to consider when looking over the NCAA basketball odds, as he was averaging 17.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 4-13 SU and 7-10 ATS as underdogs, with the OVER going 11-2 in that situation.

 

Streaking
Iowa has won six in a row since suffering back-to-back losses to Texas and Syracuse at Madison Square Garden last month, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA basketball picks, as it looks to capture its 32nd straight non-conference home game.

The Hawkeyes are 16th nationally in surrendering just 54.9 points per game, but that number will be challenged in facing the top-scoring team out of the Big 12 Conference.

Since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, the squad is 5-8 SU and 6-7 ATS versus opponents that average 77 or more points a contest.

 

Distributing the Basketball
The Cyclones will need someone to fill Dejean-Jones’ spot, especially since the starting five has accounted for 76 percent of the minutes played to this point, with Naz Long and Monte Morris being the main players to watch.

Morris is on the Cousy Award Watch List, as he leads the Big 12 Conference in dishing out 5.9 assists per game, while Long is knocking down 37.3 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

 

Home-Court Advantage
The home team has won 10 of the last 11 meetings in this in-state rivalry, as the Hawkeyes look to continue that trend and also avenge a 85-82 defeat to the Cyclones as four-point road underdogs last year.

Iowa has a chance to control the game with its two big men in the paint, as Aaron White and Adam Woodbury combined for 30 points and 28 rebounds   in that affair 364 days ago.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cyclones as one of their top NCAA basketball picks, as the Hawkeyes are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games versus teams with a winning record.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Iowa State Cyclones +6.5 at Pinnacle

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