Oklahoma at Iowa State Picks and College Basketball Odds
by Alan Matthews - 2/4/2013
With the NFL season now in the rear-view mirror of the sporting scene as of Sunday night, it’s really time to start focusing on college basketball and the upcoming March Madness. Prepare for plenty of “bubble watches” over the next six weeks or so, and two teams probably not far off that bubble face off in Big 12 action on Monday as Oklahoma visits Iowa State.
Have both schools done enough as of now to earn an at-large NCAA Tournament bid (I’m just assuming Kansas wins the Big 12 Tournament, Saturday’s loss notwithstanding)? Maybe. Oklahoma (14-6, 5-3) is No. 22 in the RPI as of Sunday thanks in large part to a strength of schedule that’s No. 8 nationally. OU is 2-4 against the RPI Top 50 but 5-1 against teams 51-100. The Sooners don’t really have a quality win yet, losing all three games against ranked foes. OU also lost to Stephen F. Austin, which actually is pretty good and leads the Southland Conference, but still. The Sooners haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since some kid named Blake Griffin led them to the regional final in 2009.
Iowa State (15-6, 5-3) is currently No. 41 in the RPI and has a strength of schedule ranked 69th. The Cyclones are 3-4 against the RPI Top 50 and 2-1 against 51-100. Their best win was a few weeks ago at home against No. 11 Kansas State, but Iowa State also lost at a bad Texas Tech team and a pretty mediocre Iowa squad. ISU won a game in the Big Dance a year ago, its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2005. That club was led by Royce White, who has made some news in the NBA due to his anxiety disorder.
Oklahoma at Iowa State Betting Story Lines
Oklahoma is looking to avoid its first back-to-back losses of the year. The Sooners lost 52-50 to No. 18 Kansas State on Saturday as Wildcats guard Angel Rodriguez hit two free throws with 5.6 seconds remaining. It was the Sooners’ third loss this season in a game decided by three points or fewer. OU had rallied to tie after trailing by eight with two minutes left. Romero Osby had 13 points and seven rebounds to lead the Sooners, but he was the only OU player to reach double-digit points. Oklahoma had a near 11-minute stretch bridging both halves where it didn’t score yet KSU managed only a six-point advantage in that stretch. Sooners coach Lon Kruger had starting guards Steven Pledger and Je’lon Hornbeak on the bench for more than half the game, and they combined for only two points. Pledger is second on the team in scoring at 11.0 ppg (Kruger starts a three-guard lineup). It was Oklahoma’s second-worst scoring game of the year.
Iowa State beat disappointing Baylor 79-71 on Saturday behind 28 points and 10 rebounds from star Will Clyburn. The Utah transfer is one of the better players in the Big 12 (coach Fred Hoiberg – the “Mayor” -- loves to add transfers). The Cyclones won despite making a season-low four three-pointers out of 24 tries – they lead the Big 12 in shooting from long range -- but hit a season-high 25 free throws. They have won 19 straight home games, the seventh-best active streak nationally, and 11 straight Big 12 games in Ames. ISU improved to 13-2 when leading at halftime this season.
Statistically, this looks like a mismatch. ISU is No. 11 nationally in scoring at 78.5 points per game and No. 14 in three-pointers made. The Cyclones are outscoring teams by almost 10 points per game on three-pointers. Oklahoma averages 11 points less overall and is not a good three-point shooting team at all (ninth in the Big 12). The Cyclones also are among the nation’s best rebounding teams, leading the Big 12, while OU is just sixth in the conference in that category.
Oklahoma at Iowa State College Basketball Betting Odds and Key Trends
ISU is a six-point favorite with the total 142 on BetOnline. Oklahoma is 10-6 ATS (3-3 on road) and 7-6 “over/under” (2-2 on road). Iowa State is 8-8 ATS (4-3 at home) and 9-3 over/under (5-1 at home).
Oklahoma is 4-1 ATS in its past five after a loss. OU is 1-4 in its past five Big 12 games. Iowa State is 4-0 ATS in its past four against teams with a winning record. It is 1-4 ATS in its past five Monday games. The over is 7-0 in OU’s and ISU’s past seven against teams with a winning record. The over is 4-0 in the past four meetings in Ames. Oklahoma has covered just once in the past eight visits.
Oklahoma at Iowa State Picks and Betting Predictions
Iowa State won both meetings last year (ending a six-game skid in the series), 77-70 in Norman and 80-69 in Ames. Since Griffin left school, Oklahoma is an ugly 3-22 in February games. ISU won its two February 2012 games against OU by going a combined 26-of-52 from three-point range. OU is better this year, no doubt. It has won two Big 12 road games to equal its total from the previous three years combined. And a win here would be OU’s 15th, matching last season’s total. Not happening. Take ISU and the over.
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