The top two defenses in the Big 12 square off in Saturday’s Iowa State at Oklahoma State betting matchup. The Cyclones rank 8th in the nation giving up just 58.5 ppg, while OSU isn’t far behind at 62.1 which is 25th. Points would seem to be at a premium here and the total reflects that at just 125.5.
The betting side is a Pick, moving slightly from an OSU -1 open. That seems somewhat shocking considering Iowa State has won 7 of their last 8, the lone loss a 2-point defeat on the road at #2 Kansas (62-60). ISU is 5-1 in the conference, while the Cowboys are 2-4 so could this be the “unranked team at home against a ranked conference opponent” play? 66% of the betting public are still going the other way and taking the Cyclones.
Iowa State Getting Love
The Cyclones have gone from unranked up to #12, tied atop the Big 12 with Kansas State and Kansas. One thing Iowa State has to do is avoid looking ahead to the meeting with K-State at home on Tuesday, and they also have a tough stretch of three of their next four on the road before opening February with Kansas at home.
First things first though, the Iowa State at Oklahoma State betting matchup. It’s somewhat of a shocker to see Iowa State as a PK and not at least a 2-3 point road favorite, especially considering Jeff Goodman just ranked the Cyclones as his #5 team in the country. The KenPom rankings have ISU at #9, with their defense being the 6th best in the country in efficiency.
Saturday’s matchup is going to be a lockdown defensive struggle, but does Iowa State have the better offense to give them the edge here? Jaren Holmes just had 21 points in a 78-67 win against Texas on Tuesday while Gabe Kalscheur had gone for 23+ in three of the previous five before the meeting with the Longhorns in Ames where he had 16.
Oklahoma State’s Offense is the X-Factor
Saturday’s game really comes down to what the Oklahoma State offense can muster against the suffocating Iowa State attack. The Cowboys rank last in the Big 12 with 68.2 ppg, but weren’t even scoring that in three straight losses to Texas (56-46), Kansas State (65-57), and Baylor (74-58).
The good news for OSU is that there were some signs of life on the offensive end in Wednesday’s 72-56 victory over rival Oklahoma in Stillwater as -2 point favorites. Bryce Thompson had 19 points to lead a balanced attack that saw four Cowboys players score at least a dozen points.
Oklahoma hit just 4-15 three pointers in Wednesday’s game and OSU played disciplined sending the Sooners to the free throw line just 8 times. Oklahoma State’s defense is ranked 8th in efficiency in the KenPom metrics, so once again that end of the court is not the problem.
Free Iowa State at Oklahoma State Betting Pick
In a matchup of two elite defenses, Iowa State having the more competent offense would make them the play – even on the road. Everything is saying to take the Cyclones except maybe OSU’s 7-2 record at home this year.
The unranked conference opponent at home against a ranked opponent is a thing, especially in relatively close matchups like this one. The Cyclones seem like too easy of a play, so go the other way.
Free Pick: Oklahoma State PK