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Iowa State has been a very up-and-down team all season. Can they live up to the hype and cover as favorites in this matchup with 11th-seeded Pittsburgh? Let’s break it down.

NCAA Tournament Picks: Best Bet for Iowa State vs. Pittsburgh in Round of 64

Pittsburgh comes into this matchup with Iowa State off of a First Four win against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in what was a second-half thriller as Pitt survived a last-ditch effort by Mississippi State in the final seconds to survive and advance to the round of 64.

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Iowa State vs. Pittsburgh Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: Friday, March 17
  • Time: 3:10 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: TruTV

Click here for Iowa State vs. Pittsburgh odds

Iowa State vs. Pittsburgh Prediction

The main thing that Pitt has going for them is their experience. They are littered with fourth and fifth-year seniors and have gotten multiple transfers from other high-level Division I programs, and have gelled together to put forth a very successful season. The Panthers will have to deal with the cyclones stifling defense, which forces turnovers on 25.1% of all possessions, which is second in the nation.

The bad news for Iowa State. Pittsburgh does not really turn the ball over much. They only turn the ball over on 16.3% of their possessions, which is ranked 54th lowest in America. The Panthers are led on offense by Blake Hinson (Ole Miss transfer), Jamarius Burton (TTU transfer), Nelly Cummings (Colgate transfer), and Greg Elliot (Marquette Transfer). Each of these star-studded transfers are averaging in double figures, and they are all very good outside shooters as they all shoot above 31% from deep, and all but Burton shoot above 36% from 3, so Pitt is loaded with snipers from the outside.

This is a matchup I expect Pittsburgh to exploit because if there is a single weakness of this Cyclones' defense, it is their perimeter defense. Iowa State is ranked just 158th in 3-point % defense as a group this year which is one of their worst defensive categories as a team. Shooting is day-to-day and can be hot and cold for teams, but I expect the Panthers to shoot much better against the Cyclones after a tough shooting game a few days ago against Mississippi State. With that being said, I am rolling with Pitt +4.5 at -110 for 1.5u as I expect this experienced and senior-laden group to win outright.

Iowa State vs. Pittsburgh Pick

Pick: 1.5u Pittsburgh +4.5 (-110) Bet $150 to collect $286 DraftKings has the best odds; click here to bet

Article Author


Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.


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