Iowa State Cyclones at Kansas Jayhawks Betting Preview

The Big 12 Conference has featured several tightly contested games this season, but two of the teams that have largely bucked that trend have been Iowa State and Kansas. How these two teams have performed over the course of the season couldn’t be any different, though, as the Cyclones have struggled to gain much traction in the competitive Big 12 while the Jayhawks are once again amongst the conference elite. With Kansas within one game of first place in the standings, it will take a completely focused effort from Bill Self’s squad to avoid the potential letdown against an opponent that looks overmatched on paper. As two of the conference’s top offenses get set to square off at Allen Fieldhouse, there should be plenty of fireworks in Monday’s conference clash.

Cyclones Hoping to Heat Up

Iowa State enters Monday night’s contest coming off one of its most impressive performances of the season, a 29-point dismantling of Texas over the weekend. Unfortunately, the Cyclones haven’t pieced together back-to-back victories since the start of December, so sustained success has been difficult for this group. Without star Tyrese Haliburton available, things will be even more difficult for Iowa State to pull off the road stunner. For a team that hasn’t won a true road game this season, the Cyclones will likely need the breaks to go there way to stay competitive against one of the country’s most complete teams.

Iowa State’s offense has been the strongest aspect of the Cyclones attack to this point in the season, averaging 73.8 points per game. The Cyclones have also been one of the conference’s worst defensive units, however, allowing just under 72 points per game and allowing 15 of 25 opponents to cross the 70-point mark this season. Without the likely first-round pick Haliburton available to play, sophomore guard Rasir Bolton’s and his 14.7 points per game will look to lead the undermanned Cyclones to victory.

Jayhawks Soar Into Monday Matchup

Kansas has been one of the country’s hottest teams of late, winners of 10 consecutive games and three of the past four by double-digit margins. When the Cyclones hosted Kansas in early January, the Jayhawks dominated from the opening tip and earned a 26-point road victory. Those two factors give an obvious advantage to the hometown Jayhawks, who enter Monday night as massive favorites.

The Jayhawks feature a high-powered offense that averages 74.8 points per game, led by a couple of the nation’s top talents. Both guard Devon Dotson and center Udoka Azubuike have been amongst the top performers in the country this season, as Dotson’s 18.0 points and Azubuike’s 9.9 rebounds have led Kansas to this point in the year. Kansas also features one of the top defensive units in the country, as the Jayhawks have given up just over 60 points per game on the year. Kansas has also only lost one game on its home floor this season, against the Baylor Bears who currently sit as the top team in the nation. Iowa State is not nearly of Baylor’s stature this season, and the Jayhawks will have to avoid playing down to their competition on Monday night.

Even with a massive spread such as this game, it’s important to look at some of the key determining factors when making this pick. Despite Iowa State entering with some momentum, Kansas has been playing at an extremely high level over the past few weeks. Couple that with Iowa State missing its top talent and having to play in a hostile environment, and it’s pretty likely this one could get ugly. Give me Kansas in this one by a big margin as the Jayhawks remain in play for another Big 12 Conference championship and a continued shot at the national title. Take Kansas -16 at our favorite pay per head bookie site

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