Iowa State vs Houston Preview & Free Pick [2/19/24]

Iowa State (20-5) at Houston (22-3)
When: Monday, February 19th, 2024
Where: Fertitta Center,
Houston, TX

Time: 9:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Houston -9/131.5

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We have a titanic matchup to begin the College Basketball week, as the 10th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones visit the No. 3 ranked Houston Cougars in Big 12 play. The NCAA released its preliminary rankings of the top 16 teams in the country on Saturday and Houston is listed as a No. 1 seed and third overall. Iowa State also made the list, coming in as a No. 3 seed and 11th overall. First place in the Big 12 is also on the line, as both teams come in atop at 9-3 with six games remaining.

Houston has won 19 home games in a row and none more impressive than Saturday’s 82-61 triumph over the Texas Longhorns. Houston led from start to finish and built a 23-point lead early in the second half and never looked back. The impressive Cougar defense held the Longhorns to their lowest scoring output of the season and 38.6 percent shooting. Despite winning nine of its last 10 games, Houston is just 1-4 ATS in their last five overall.

The Cyclones come into this contest as 9-point underdogs despite winning four in a row and seven of their last eight. Iowa State is also 7-1 ATS in their last eight after a 82-74 home win over Texas Tech on Saturday. The Cyclones are aiming for a season sweep of the third-ranked Cougars after beating them 57-53 in Ames back on Jan. 9. That would give Iowa State the tiebreaker should these two teams end up tied at the conclusion of the regular season.


Under is 9-3 in Iowa State’s last 12 games as an underdog.
Cyclones are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 Mon. games.
Under is 19-9 in Iowa State’s last 28 road games.
Under is 9-1 in Houston’s last 10 Mon. games.
Cougars are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 home games.


Keshon Gilbert recorded 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead a balanced Cyclones attack in Saturday’s win over the Red Raiders. Iowa State built a 14-point lead at the half and expanded it to 21 eight minutes later en route to their fourth consecutive victory. Curtis Jones added 12 points, while Milan Momcilovic, Tamin Lipsey and Robert Jones contributed 10 apiece. The Cyclones rank seventh in the country in points allowed (62.5) and 28th in field goal defense (40.5). Iowa State will host West Virginia on Saturday.


L.J. Cryer led a dominate Houston attack on Saturday with six 3-pointers and a game-high 26 points. Senior guard Jamal Shead had solid overall game with 16 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and a season-high six steals, while Emanuel Sharp added 15 points. The Cougars have won all six conference home games this season by an average of 21.8 points after the win over Texas. Houston also leads the nation in both NET ranking and KenPom’s adjusted efficiency metrics. The Cougars will play at Baylor on Saturday.


Houston is one of the best, if not the best team in the country right now, but nine points is a lot against a very good Iowa State squad. The Cyclones have been a covering machine over the last month, going 7-1 ATS and have already beaten the Cougars this season. This should be a low-scoring game, so I’ll take the points.

Pick: Iowa State +9

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