Strong Offense & Defense Makes Oklahoma Our NCAA Basketball Pick Over Iowa State

Charles Stark

Saturday, January 2, 2016 1:37 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016 1:37 PM UTC

There was no doubt that Iowa State was going to be a pretty solid underdog at Oklahoma. NCAA basketball odds have come out making the Sooners a really solid home favorite, for good reason.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Oklahoma -8
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


NCAA basketball odds have come out making Oklahoma a -7.5 favorite and the total at 163. Although this seems a little bit high for my selection today I'm going to back Oklahoma in this spot to win this game by double digits. Iowa State has a good team this year but they play right into Oklahoma's strengths.


Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State is averaging 86.1 points per game while shooting 50.9% from the field, and allowing 71.3 points per game on 42.1% shooting from the field. This team was picked to be very successful this year and so far they have started off strong losing just one game to a scrappy Northern Iowa team. I really like head coach Steve Prohm but where they have been lacking a little bit is on the defensive side and I think that is going to hurt them tonight against the talented Oklahoma team. Overall their strength of schedule has been less than special beating rival Iowa at home in an amazing come back, and beating Cincinnati by two at Cincinnati. Offensively they rank eighth in scoring and ninth in effective field-goal percentage. Their three-point shooting is decent at 35.4% per game, but where they excel is in their mid range to interior shooting where the average 59.7% on their two-point shots, which ranks third in the country. In short, this team can score. Defensively they have been less than stellar but their opponent shooting percentage is decently low and their scoring defense is also not bad considering the pace they like to push. The issue though is getting away with pushing that type of tempo which will probably lead to an Oklahoma team to get rolling. Against lesser competition they have shown that they are not an elite type of defensive team and that will show tonight.


Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma is averaging 87 points per game while shooting 48.7% from the field, and allowing 66.1 points per game on 35.7% shooting from the field. Head coach Lon Kruger has led four schools to the Sweet 16 and this team he has at Oklahoma might be the best he has ever had. They have a lot of returners led by senior guard Buddy Hield who is leading the team averaging almost 25 points per game. Like Iowa State their strength of schedule has not been superb, but they did hammer a good Villanova team by over 20, and only an underrated Hawaii has stayed within single digits of them at Hawaii (never easy winning on the island against the home team). Offensively they are is good as it gets in the country and average 46.2% from beyond the arc which ranks second in the country. All of their offensive statistics are some of the best in NCAA Division I basketball which is what one would expect from a Kruger coached team. What has surprised me about this Oklahoma team is how well they been playing on both ends of the floor and defensively they have really stepped it up. They rank second in the country in opponent shooting percentage and forth in opponent effective field-goal percentage. They also are only allowing a solid 28.1% from beyond the arc which ranks 11th in the country.

For one of your NCAA basketball pick I recommend taking Oklahoma minus the 7.5 and look for them to win by double digits. At home they will be extremely difficult to play against and should be geared up to open up Big 12 play on a good note. Both teams can score but the difference tonight will be Oklahoma's better defense, look for them to win by 10 or more.

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