The Cyclones have a great opportunity to put a signature win on their resume when they head to Iowa City for the Iowa State at Iowa pick. The host Hawkeyes could be due for a letdown after toppling North Carolina in a 93-80 win over North Carolina on Tuesday as part of the Big Ten / ACC Challenge. It was Iowa’s first real test of the year however.
If Iowa is largely untested after winning their first three games of the year all as at least -28 favorites, nobody knows what to expect from Iowa State, who has an 80-63 win over Arkansas Pine Bluff and a 71-68 loss to San Diego State as their only games of the season. Iowa is all the way up to a -14 favorite for Friday’s game.
Iowa State in Trouble in First Road Game?
The Cyclones don’t have to make a huge trek in the two hour jaunt from Ames to Iowa City, but Friday night is still the first time ISU has gone on the road this season. The fact that Iowa AD Gary Barta has put the Kibosh on fans being in attendance for the foreseeable future does help Iowa State, negating the Carver-Hawkeye advantage for Iowa.
We just don’t know much about ISU heading into the Iowa State at Iowa pick. Cyclones coach Steve Prohm is trying to work 7 new faces into rotation, and could have greatly benefited from Sunday’s meeting with DePaul going off as planned, instead of being canceled minutes before tip-off.
Now Iowa State will have had 8 days off between their loss to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (71-68) and their meeting with the #3 team in the country, Iowa. This looks like an all-around bad matchup for the Cyclones, but by more than 14 points?
The Garza Show Again?
Out of the gate it looks like Iowa has one of the best players in the country as Luka Garza posted lines of 26/10, 41/9, and 35/10 as the Hawkeyes got off to a 3-0 start. Critics said Garza was ‘contained’ by North Carolina on Tuesday, but most players in the country would take a 16 point / 14 rebound night as an ‘off’ game.
Garza is great, there’s no debating that but what makes Iowa so hard to wager against is their depth and/or three-point shooting. The Hawkeyes are hitting 40.2% of their three’s so far this season, which is 28th in the country. In the win over the Tar Heels, CJ Fredrick and Joe Wieskamp both went 5-7 from deep as four of the five Iowa starters scored at least 16 points.
Free Iowa State at Iowa Pick
Oddsmakers hit the number right with this one, as Iowa -14 falls right into that no man’s land where the game could go either way. The Hawkeyes have won two straight in this series, 84-68 in Ames last season and 98-84 back in Iowa City in 2018. Friday’s tilt could have 20-point win written all over it against an inexperienced ISU squad.
Iowa 91 – Iowa State 68
Free Pick: Iowa -14