Iowa State vs Kansas Jan. 9 Free Betting Pick
Conference play is fully upon us and Big-12 competition begins tonight for both Iowa State and Kansas – who meet in Allen Fieldhouse. Iowa State visits Lawrence 10-3, winners of four straight to meet the Jayhawks who have not lost since a narrow defeat at the hands of Michigan State almost two full months ago. This game will feature some firepower on both scoring ends as Iowa State nets 82 points per game along with KU’s 77.7 – good enough for 7th and 36th in the country, respectively.
Online sportsbooks have opened Kansas as 12.5-point favorites with a total sitting at 149. Check out our college basketball bookies page to see which sportsbooks we recommend wagering at.
The Cyclones feature four scorers who average double-digit numbers a game, with another two right there (Korie Lucious with 9.7 and Chris Babb with 9.2). They are also extremely physical inside (fifth in the nation in rebounds per game) despite not having much true size. Senior Tyrus McGee can fill it up from three-point range (48.1%) while Will Clyburn is a physical scorer on the inside who has the ability to step back and hit the mid-range jumpshot.
On the other side, the Kansas Jayhawks feature a truly unique blend in the starting five. Jeff Withey anchors four senior starters along with Kevin Young, Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford. These four have mastered Bill Self’s complex offense – an important point for the Jayhawks who struggle to create individual shots at times. Red shirt freshman Ben McLemore rounds out the starting five. A semi-secret to start the year, the word is out on this kid who might be the most talented player in the nation. McLemore combines sublime athletic ability with an old-school jumpshot that is as pure as anyone in the nation. The knock on McLemore is that he is too passive at times but that has yet to be a problem for this deep Kansas team. Freshman Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor provide athleticism and talent off the bench.
It is not surprising to see the Cyclones open as double-digit pups on the road. I do not see an undersized Iowa State being able to push around Withey or Johnson along with the extremely big and physical Kansas guards. Expect a rough start to conference play for Iowa State as Kansas got its wake-up call over the weekend when Temple took them to the final minute at home. ISU’s numbers are inflated in most part to high possession numbers (they play at a very fast pace) and a relatively easy schedule. The Phog is a near-impossible place to open up conference play, especially when the team defending it is as talented as KU is this year. Look for Kansas to make a statement in their home opener in the Big-12 and cover the 12.5.
Prediction: Kansas -12.5