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Texas vs. Iowa State predictions and pick for Saturday's college basketball matchup in the Big 12. College basketball expert Mike Spector analyzes this showdown between the Texas Longhorns and Iowa State Cyclones.
ANALYSIS

Texas vs. Iowa State Prediction: Will the First Team to 60 Win This Big 12 Matchup?

The Iowa State Cyclones return home following a two-game road losing streak (their first losing streak of the season), hoping that some “Hilton Magic” gets them back into the win column. Meanwhile, the Texas Longhorns have won seven of their last eight games and are looking to stay atop the Big 12 standings with another big conference road victory. So what is the play in this pivotal conference matchup?

Here are our picks and predictions for the Big 12 matchup between Texas and Iowa State.

Click here for Iowa State vs. Texas odds

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Texas vs. Iowa State Betting Line Movement

Texas vs. Iowa State Prediction

The road has not been too kind to Texas (13-3, 3-1), who has lost three of their four games away from home. However, the only game they lost that they were favored to win was their latest road game at Oklahoma State, as their other two losses were to Gonzaga and Seton Hall as underdogs. Chris Beard’s Longhorns squad will only get better as the season goes on, as their several transfers have more time to get acclimated to each other. 

Iowa State (13-3, 1-3) was projected to finish last in the Big 12 Preseason Media Poll, so naturally, it shocked many when the Cyclones started 12-0 and were ranked as high as No. 8 in the country. However, Iowa State’s true colors may be showing through their first four conference games, though they have played arguably three of the toughest teams in the league (Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma) to this point. 

If you like rock-solid man-to-man defense, this game between the Longhorns and Cyclones will be a clinic. Texas ranks in the top 20 in the country in the following defensive metrics: adjusted defensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, turnover percentage, and 2-point percentage allowed. Similarly, Iowa State ranks in the top 21 in each of the first three categories, but their 3-point percentage defense is much stiffer than Texas’, as they allow opponents to shoot just 26.5% (sixth in the nation) from deep.

Given the matchups and the personnel on each team, I am not sure where either team generates consistent offense from. Texas has averaged 65.6 PPG over the last nine games, as they are relying too much on “out-athleting” opponents rather than running good sets. More recently, the Longhorns have been missing the contribution of versatile big man Tre Mitchell, who has been limited to just 12 minutes total in the last three games after dealing with COVID-19. Without Mitchell on the floor, opposing defenses have been able to harass Texas’ guard combo of Marcus Carr and Courtney Ramey, who have scored just 32 points between them in the last two games. Texas needs much better production from those two to be successful in the future. 

Iowa State’s lone win in their last four games was against a Texas Tech squad they held to just 47 points but nearly rode their defense to an upset of Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse in their last game. The Jayhawks had not been held to fewer than 73 points in any game this season until the Cyclones locked down and held them to 62 points on 43.8% shooting while also forcing 16 turnovers in the process. The Cyclones know their best chances of winning in the Big 12 is riding an elite half-court defense that denies passing lanes with the best of them.

Texas has been one of the most profitable under teams in the country, as the under has cashed in 11 of their 16 games. Throw in the fact that the under is 7-4 in Iowa State’s 11 home games, and this has the makings of another Big 12 rock fight.

Texas vs. Iowa State Pick

PICK: UNDER 121.5 @ -110 (Bet $100 to win $90.91)

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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