NCAA Tournament Betting Free Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Iowa State Cyclones
FREE PICK: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Iowa State Cyclones
#814 Iowa State -5.5 (Friday, March 22 @ 9:50 pm EST)
As of Wednesday morning, we count as many as 20 NCAA Tournament first round games in which the point spread has moved in favor of the underdog. Some of these moves will undoubtedly prove correct but the near across the board bias has created value for a handful of favorites. At its best, Iowa State is a top 10 team. The Cyclones have shown the ability to both score and defend, win ugly and light up the scoreboard. Their swoon to close out the regular season was concerning as they lost six of eight. It was also reported that frustrations led to a locker room fracas following an embarrassing 90-75 loss to West Virginia. But Steve Prohm was able to rally the troops and the Cyclones looked dominant during their Big 12 Tournament title run.
Ohio State dealt with its own drama as Kaleb Wesson was recently suspended for three games. But unlike Iowa State, the ceiling for the Buckeyes is limited. The Big Ten was no doubt a strong and balanced league but OSU repeatedly fell short when asked to step up in class. Against the Big Ten’s top five power rated teams (Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Maryland), the Buckeyes went 0-9. Only one of those games (vs. Wisconsin) was decided by less than Friday’s point spread vs. Iowa State in regulation. The average margin of defeat in those nine games was 14.1 ppg. Iowa State is more than capable of winning by that type of margin.