Iowa vs. Baylor Picks and NIT Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 4/4/2013
The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Baylor Bears will wrap up a four-game run through this year’s NIT on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden with one final showdown for the tournament title. Tip off for this NIT Championship Game is scheduled for 9 p.m. (ET), and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Iowa began its march to the NIT title game with three-straight double-digit victories over Indiana State, Stony Brook and Virginia before making it a clean sweep with a 71-60 win against Maryland in the semifinals as a three-point favorite this past Tuesday night. The Hawkeyes are a perfect 4-0 against the spread during this run, and the total has been evenly split at 2-2.
The Bears made short work of Long Beach State in their NIT opener before squeezing by Arizona State 89-86 in the second round as 8.5-point favorites. They went on to beat Providence and BYU both SU and ATS to advance to the title game. The total stayed “under” in both of those games.
Iowa vs. Baylor Betting Storylines
Iowa has to feel a bit slighted by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee after posting a better conference and overall record than Illinois and Minnesota, which both made it into the Big Dance. So far it has done an excellent job at proving the committee wrong with its performance over the past two weeks. After averaging 70.4 points a game this year, the Hawkeyes have scored an average of 73.7 points in their last three games while holding their opponents to just under 60 points over the course of this four-game run.
Roy-Devyn Marble has gotten it done all season long for Iowa with an average of 14.1 points a game, but he has stepped things up with 24 points in the win over Virginia and 21 points in the victory over Maryland. He also chipped in a combined 12 rebounds and eight assists in the two wins. Aaron White has also been a big part of Iowa’s success this season with 13.2 points and a team-high 5.9 rebounds a game.
The Bears are another team that knows how to put points on the board with an average of 74.4 a game while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor and 35.5 percent from three-point range. They tallied a combined 201 points in their first two NIT games and then went on to put up 79 points in the win over the Friars and 76 points against BYU.
The star power on this team revolves around Pierre Jackson. He led Baylor this season in scoring (19.8 points) and assists (6.5) while shooting 43 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. He saved his best performance for last with a team-high 24 points and 10 assists while pulling down five rebounds in the six-point victory over the Cougars with his team favored by 3.5 points. Cory Jefferson also came up big in that game with 21 points and five rebounds to help pace the win.
Iowa vs. Baylor NIT Betting Odds and Trends
Iowa has been opened by BetOnline as a one-point favorite over the Bears with the “over/under” set at 141.5.
The Hawkeyes are 9-0 ATS in their last nine nonconference games and 18-3 ATS in their last 21 games following a SU win. The total has gone over in their last five games against a team from the Big 12.
The Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against a nonconference opponent but 10-22 ATS in their last 32 games following an ATS win. The total has gone over in nine of their last 12 neutral-site games.
Iowa vs. Baylor Picks and NIT Betting Predictions
This should be a great matchup as both teams have clearly proved they belong in this title game. With both Iowa and Baylor putting points on the board at a high rate throughout this tournament, a play on the over could be the best way to go on a lower-than-expected total line. If playing a side, stick with Baylor on a small play as this one is destined to remain tight until the final buzzer.
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