Iowa State Cyclones vs. Kansas Jayhawks Pick 2/17/20
Iowa State Cyclones (11-14 SU, 12-13 ATS) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (22-3 SU, 15-9 ATS)
When: Monday, February 17, 9 p.m.
Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan.
Point Spread: ISU +15.5/KU -15.5
Total: O/U 141
Last Time Out:
Iowa State smashed Texas 81-52; Kansas cruised past Oklahoma 87-70.
Scouting the Cyclones:
This season has been a nightmare for Iowa State, but the Cyclones did get a measure of positive feelings last game when they smothered Texas for their biggest win against the Longhorns in school history. Iowa State shot 57 percent from the floor and never let the Longhorns in the game, even without guard Tyrese Haliburton, who is now out for the season with a broken wrist.
But embarrassing Texas in front of Hilton Magic is one thing. Doing it to Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse is quite another. Iowa State hasn’t been able to do anything at all away from Hilton this season, losing all eight of its road games and proving to be reasonably non-competitive each time it’s taken the court. Iowa State coach Steve Prohm is referring to this stretch of games as the “back nine” for the Cyclones, and it seems that approach might be paying off in some games. But what really got Iowa State going against Texas was the play of Michael Jacobson, who had done nothing in the Cyclones’ past four games before stepping up for 21 points against Texas. If that repeats itself, Iowa State looks like a much stronger bet.
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Scouting the Jayhawks:
Kansas flipped the script on how things usually go, as it rode its offense to do whatever it wanted against Oklahoma on Saturday. Kansas has been a defense-first team all year long, but against Iowa State, the Jayhawks shot 50 percent from beyond the arc and easily pulled away from the Sooners for the win and cover. The way they did, it was an eye-opener, as Kansas actually played fairly solid defense for the most part and still was able to score 87 on the Sooners.
That suggests that Kansas is ready to shed its reputation as a defensive squad and become more of an all-around top contender, which is a frightening thought for the Big 12 and the rest of the country. Specifically, Marcus Garrett, a junior who has been one of Kansas’ top defenders, lit Oklahoma up for 24 points on 6-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc. If he’s going to shoot anything like that moving forward, Kansas instantly becomes a genuine contender to win the national championship — and that’s before we’ve said a word about Devon Dotson or Udoka Azubuike.
Pressure, or lack thereof. Iowa State has literally nothing to lose in this game, as the Cyclones won’t be going to a postseason tournament without winning the Big 12 tournament. That means that the Cyclones aren’t going to be worried about making a good showing or trying to keep it close because that never happens anyway for them in Lawrence. What usually happens is that Iowa State comes in, gets whipped (14 losses in their past 15 tries at Allen Fieldhouse), and heads back up I-35 to regroup. If they take one more loss to the Jayhawks, it’s not a big deal. If they can pull out a shocker, however, it would really make their year. In contrast, Kansas
Iowa State will Cover if:
The Cyclones can catch the Jayhawks looking ahead to Baylor. Iowa State has little other reason to think this game is going to be all that close. Kansas is the better team by a wide margin and gets to play in Lawrence, which is a death sentence for virtually all opponents who face off against the Jayhawks. Unless Dotson and Garrett start missing shots, don’t expect much from the Cyclones here.
Kansas will Cover if:
The Jayhawks can continue to pound the ball inside. Azubuike did whatever he wanted against the Sooners, and the Cyclones don’t have anybody who can stop him either. Iowa State has been a different team away from Ames, and the results haven’t been pretty. There’s little to suggest that the Cyclones can hang with Kansas as long as the Jayhawks are motivated.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread:
The only thing that’s giving me hesitation with taking the Jayhawks is the fact that they’ve got to turn around and visit Baylor at the end of the week. That’s likely to be where the focus is for Kansas, and that’s the one thing that gives Iowa State hope at keeping this thing close.
But is that going to be enough? Given Iowa State’s road history, there’s a lot of reason to suggest that this could be even more lopsided than usual. After all, there’s no Haliburton, and even with him, Iowa State lost by 15 to West Virginia, and by four at the same Texas team, they just beat by 29. Without Haliburton on the road, Iowa State again reverted to being a disaster, losing that game by a 29-point count.
Honestly, I feel like the best bet is the under, as I think the Kansas defense holds Iowa State’s score down, and the Kansas offense doesn’t show up to perform. If I have to take someone on the spread here, I think the line is just big enough to give Iowa State the backdoor cover, solely because I don’t think Kansas takes the Cyclones all that seriously. Give me Iowa State to stay within 16 points and cover. Where do you bet your NCAA basketball picks? If your bookie isn’t offering you discounted odds (which he’s not!), you’re overpaying! Bet cheaper, smarter and happier at -105 at the web’s best betting site: 5Dimes!
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