Free College Basketball Picks: Kansas at Iowa State Odds
by George Monroy - 1/13/2014
All the preseason hype behind the talented freshmen from Duke, Kentucky and Kansas has subsided a bit as all three teams have fallen out of the Top 10 in the Associated Press rankings. The Kansas Jayhawks squad has struggled the most through the first two months of the season and is currently ranked No. 18 in the nation after opening the year with a No. 5 ranking. Kansas head coach Bill Self has not been afraid to let his players struggle through the growing pains of college basketball and has sat players, stuck with struggling lineups and brought players off the bench just to see what works and what doesn’t.
The Iowa State Cyclones suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday after starting out the year with an impressive 14-0 run. Iowa State, however, will have a chance to erase the memory of its first loss when it hosts the high-profile Jayhawks on Monday night. The team will also face Kansas in a Jan. 29 matchup. Let’s take a closer look at the game with predictions and analysis.
Kansas at Iowa State Betting Story Lines
Kansas already has four losses on the season and began to tumble down the rankings after a close loss to Villanova at the end of November. The team also lost back-to-back games in December and was on the wrong side of another close matchup against San Diego State to open up the New Year. The Jayhawks, however, are coming off two very solid victories over Oklahoma and Kansas State last week and may be hoping those wins are the beginning of an extended winning streak to start the second half of the season.
Kansas has struggled to score points during its four losses and seems to get lost in those low-scoring, defensive-minded matchups. Andrew Wiggins has played well at times, but he struggles to embrace his role as the team’s go-to scorer. The freshman is definitely talented, but he needs time to mature and grow as a basketball player. Kansas is shooting .501 from the field, which is one of the best percentages in the nation. The team’s problem, though, has been handling the pressure of those ‘big games’ against ranked teams and playing on the road.
Iowa State is one of the surprise teams of the year. The Cyclones are ranked near the top of just about every category and score 86.7 points, grab 40.2 rebounds and produce 18.9 assists per game. The team is also ranked 12th in the nation in shooting percentage at .495, first in assists, sixth in points and 25th in rebounds per game. Forward Melvin Ejim leads the team with 18 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. The Cyclones also have three other double-digit scorers alongside Ejim.
Iowa State has been an excellent ATS team to go along with its impressive straight up run. The squad is 9-4 ATS over its 13 posted lines and has covered three of its last four matchups. Iowa State is coming off a five-point loss to the Oklahoma Sooners—it’s first of the year. Ejim had 21 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Cyclones, but the team’s poor 3-point shooting (6-26) and inability to grab a few key rebounds near the end of the game ultimately cost it the game.
Kansas at Iowa State NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Iowa State opened as a two-point favorite over the underdog Jayhawks at BetOnline. Kansas is 12-1 ATS during its last 13 matchups against the Big 12 and 12-5 ATS over its last 17 games following an ATS win. The team, however, is only 2-5 ATS over its last seven games following a SU win. Iowa State is 4-1 ATS in its last five games following an ATS loss and 21-7 ATS over its last 28 home games. The Cyclones are also 14-5 ATS over its last 19 games.
Free College Basketball Picks: Kansas at Iowa State Predictions
Kansas is one of the few teams in the nation that is essentially only playing for a national title. Andrew Wiggins will most likely be gone by next year, and the team is really looking to use the regular season as a practice ground for the NCAA tournament. Bill Self wants his team to peak in April, not January, and this is a matchup that will matter much more to the under-the-radar Cyclones than the nationally-covered Jayhawks. Iowa State has a very good team that does not want to let the hype-machine that is Kansas walk into James A. Hilton Coliseum and get a win. Take the Cyclones minus the two points.
Doc’s Sports Advisory Board has set some lofty standards worldwide for college basketball handicapping. Click here for $60 worth of free college basketball picks. No credit card needed, and you will never deal with a salesman.
Read more articles by George Monroy
Get all of this Weeks College Basketball Picks
Get all of this Weeks guaranteed Expert College Basketball Picks