NCAAB Saturday March 4th Iowa State at #7 Baylor Betting Preview

ISU Limping Into Conference Tournament

Hope sprung eternal for the Cyclones (17-12) earlier this season after a 13-2 start, but ISU is limping towards the regular season finish line heading into the Iowa State at Baylor betting matchup. T.J. Otzelberger’s squad has lost six of their last seven as they enter the finale in Waco.

The Bears (22-8) are playing well leading into the postseason, going 6-2 in February and up to #7 in the nation. Baylor is tied with Texas and Kansas State at 11-6 in the conference, so they still have conference tournament seeding to play for on Saturday afternoon (12:00 PM ET, ESPN2). Oddsmakers have the Bears up to -7.5 favorites and over 80% of the betting public still likes Baylor giving the points.

Why Iowa State Can Cover +7.5 Points

One thing the Cyclones have going for them prior to the Iowa State at Baylor betting matchup is the sheer amount of public wagers on Baylor. When over 80% of the public likes one side and the line doesn’t skyrocket it’s has the makings of a trap play from the books.

Of course Iowa State also has the defense to cover the +7.5 points on Saturday, leading the Big 12 in giving up just 62.3 ppg and ranking 8th in the country in the KenPom defensive efficiency ratings. ISU’s problem has been their offense, but Baylor allows the 2nd most points in the conference and are way down at 84th in adjusted efficiency.

The Cyclones might also just match up well with Baylor, at least they did on New Year’s Eve beating then #12 Baylor 77-62 as +1.5 home underdogs. Gabe Kalscheur had 23 points in that game for ISU with Caleb Grill adding 18.

Why Baylor Can Cover -7.5 Points

Iowa State has a great defense for sure, but that offense is a true liability. ISU has recently lost 61-50 to Oklahoma, 72-54 at Texas, and 61-55 at Kansas State. The Cyclones rank 282nd out of 363 Division I teams in pace, but Baylor can take advantage of limited possessions with the #2 adjusted offensive efficiency in the country.

Baylor has only played two of their last six games at home, a 79-67 win against West Virginia on February 13th and then topping then #8 Texas 81-72 last Saturday to cover the -4 point spread. The Bears are 14-2 at home this season, and have gone 4-0 ATS their last four in Waco.

The Bears did lose to Iowa State earlier in the season, but they had won 8 of the previous 9 in the head to head series. Adam Flagler still had 20 points in that first meeting and the Bears should shoot better than their 5-22 from three point range back at home on Saturday.

Free Iowa State at Baylor Betting Pick

Over 80% of the betting public being on Baylor nearly makes this a guaranteed Iowa State contrarian play. The Cyclones have the defense to keep this one within the +7.5 and Baylor’s defense (or lack of) also helps Iowa State’s chances.

BU’s leading scorer Keyonte George (16.3 ppg) sat out Monday’s win over Oklahoma State and could be resting his ankle up for a grueling postseason which only helps the Cyclones’ chances.

Free Pick: Iowa State +7.5


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