Texas vs. Iowa State +1.5 O/U 138
Recommendation: Iowa State
The betting markets are pricing this like it’s a ‘must win’ game for Texas for their NCAA Tournament at-large chances, which it is. That being said, the reason that it’s a ‘must win’ game for the Longhorns is because they haven’t been a particularly good team this year, and they enter the Big XII tourney on a nasty late season slide. Just because Texas needs this win doesn’t mean they’re going to get it!
Texas closed out the regular season on a 2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS slide. One of those wins came in overtime against hapless Texas Tech, not exactly a confidence inspiring victory. The other win came in come-from-behind fashion at home against slumping Oklahoma, another mediocre result. The Longhorns only pointspread cover during this span came in a ten point loss as 12 point underdogs against Kansas. Rick Barnes has an extremely young team, with a combined total of three games of Big 12 tournament experience on the roster. Contrast that with Iowa State, where senior guard Chris Allen has 14 tournament games under his belt by himself!
Iowa State, on the other hand, was an undervalued commodity down the stretch, entering the tourney on an 8-3 SU, 9-1-1 ATS run in their last eleven ballgames. The Cyclones have better balance than Texas, with six different players averaging at least nine points per game, a team that is quite capable of withstanding a poor game from any of their key scorers. Iowa State is the better rebounding team, the better three point shooting team and frankly, the better team overall. That makes the Cyclones a clear choice for this bettor on Thursday Night in Kansas City.