No. 5 Wildcats Look to Keep Rolling
Who would have thought that Kansas State would be leading the Big 12 as we approach late January? The Wildcats had the 10th-best odds at +10000 to win the Big 12 coming into the season and Iowa State (+5000) was the team a spot ahead of them. Yet here they are playing for first place in the conference standings.
The Wildcats are 11-0 at home compared to a 3-2 mark on the road while Iowa State looks to improve to 11-0 at home knowing that a win would move the Cyclones into a tie for first place in the Big 12.
Guard Caleb Grill, who is second on Iowa State in rebounding and third in scoring, is questionable with a back issue. Leading rebounder Aljaz Kunc is out with a finger injury.
Kansas State is ranked fifth in both national polls. The Wildcats moved up 10 positions in the coaches’ poll and eight spots in the AP ranking. Iowa State remained at No. 12 in the AP poll and dropped a spot to No. 13 in the coaches’ poll.
According to the college basketball odds, Iowa State (+3300) is tied for 13th and Kansas State (+4000) is tied for 18th in the odds to win the national title. The Wildcats (+185) are second and the Cyclones (+400) third in the odds to win the Big 12 title.
Wildcats Clawing Way to Victory
Kansas State games aren’t always free-flowing, artistic masterpieces. However, as the Wildcats battled their way to the top of the Big 12 standings and into the top five in the national polls, the physical brand of basketball is certainly working.
When Kansas State took down defending national champion Kansas in overtime, the Wildcats had more free throws made than baskets in the 83-82 victory. Four days later, Kansas State outscored visiting Texas Tech 20-5 at the foul line.
Kansas State attempted a total of 10 foul shots in losses to Butler and TCU and 23.3 per game in the 17 wins. It doesn’t hurt that the Wildcats lead the conference by shooting 74.4% from the foul line. Six of the top eight scorers are shooting better than 75% from the line, so with the exception of David N’Quessan, there aren’t many good options for the other team to send to the foul line.
Markquis Nowell leads the Big 12 with 95 made free throws and Keyontae Johnson is fifth with 78.
— K-State Men’s Basketball (@KStateMBB) January 23, 2023
Kansas State has covered against the Las Vegas odds in six of its last seven games as well as in four of the last five on the road against the Cyclones.
Cyclones Flexing Muscles
The offense is still a work-in-the-program for Iowa State. However, the defense has been on point for most of the season.
The Cyclones lead the Big 12 in scoring defense, allowing 58.6 points per game, and are second in field goal percentage defense.
In the biggest win of the season to date, Iowa State did put up 78 points against visiting Texas. Jaren Holmes led the way with 21 points and his former St. Bonaventure teammate, Osun Osunniyi, added 11 points and seven rebounds.
The defense never looked more imposing than when Texas Tech came to town. The Cyclones blew past the Red Raiders thanks to forcing 19 turnovers and holding Texas Tech to 36.5% shooting.
Iowa State has covered against the college basketball betting lines in five of its last six games.
Kansas State vs Iowa State Game Injuries
Kansas State vs Iowa State Head-to-Head
Iowa State snapped a four-game losing streak to Kansas State with a 74-73 road win last season. The Cyclones nearly swept the season series as Kansas State needed to rally from a 15-point deficit before winning in overtime in the first of two meetings in a two-week span.
It was the fourth time in the last five meetings to go over the total.
Each of the last four games between the Cyclones and Wildcats were decided by single digits.
Kansas State vs Iowa State Game Information
- Game: Kansas State (17-2, 6-1 Big 12) vs Iowa State (14-4, 5-2)
- Location: James H. Hilton Coliseum, Ames, IA
- Day/Time: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 9:00 p.m. ET
- Kansas State vs Iowa State Live stream: TBS.com
Kansas State vs Iowa State Betting Lines
Kansas State vs Iowa State Picks and Prediction
Those who bet online would be wise to monitor the status of Grill because if he misses the game, that could certainly shift things in favor of visiting Kansas State.
Iowa State is fourth nationally in turnover margin. The Cyclones force a conference-best 18.9 turnovers per game so the in-your-face defensive style will be on full display.
The total has gone over in six of the last eight Kansas State games and in five of Iowa State’s last seven games so keep an eye on the total of 135.
Iowa State is 9-0 when listed by the sportsbook as the favorite with Kansas State 3-2 as the underdog.
The teams are a combined 25-11 against the spread. Iowa State is perfect at home but, with the injury concerns, going with visiting Kansas State seems like the smart move.
Iowa State is listed at -220 in our Las Vegas college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Cyclones, you have a chance to win $45. Kansas State is +180, offering a chance to win $180 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Iowa State a68.75% chance to win, with Kansas State at 35.71%.