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March 3, 2017

There is one pick tonight.

Take West Virginia -8 spread against Iowa State for 3% of the bankroll.

The Iowa State Cyclones have been one of the hottest teams in the country over the last month. Tonight, they roll into Morgantown on a 6-game winning streak to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers.

The 10th ranked Mountaineers are coming off a terrible performance on the road against Baylor in their last contest. West Virginia was up 8 with just under 9 minutes to go in the game, before their highly-touted defense proceeded to crumble and allow Baylor to finish the game on a 30-13 run which ultimately caused them to fall 71-62.

We find it interesting that the oddsmakers have listed the Cyclones as hefty underdogs in this contest given their recent winning streak and we believe it is for good reason. The Mountaineers will likely come into this contest with the added motivation looking to atone for their most recent perfromance against Baylor. Their defense was shredded at the end of the Baylor game and we believe they will look to intensify their pressure tonight and put forth a solid effort on the defensive side of the ball.

This is an interesting matchup as West Virginia ranks 1st in the nation in steals and turnovers while Iowa State has been one of the best teams in the nation at protecting the basketball. Something is going to have to give in this contest tonight. These teams met earlier in the season in Ames and it was the Mountaineers who came away with a rather convincing 85-72. With this game now being played in Morgantown, we wouldn't be surprised to see a similar result tonight, especially with the Mountaineers looking to rebound from a loss.

The Mountaineers will also hold a decisive advantage on the boards tonight as they are the best offensive rebounding team in the Big 12, averaging 14.4 offensive board per game. Meanwhile the Cyclones are the worst rebounding team in the conference and give up an average of 11.8 offensive boards to their opponents. The Cyclones are also a team that doesn't get to the free-throw line often. They are a team that relies on perimeter jump shots and when their shots are not falling from the outside, they have an extremely difficult time scoring the basketball and that could be the difference in this contest tonight.

Both teams like to play at a fast pace, but the reason West Virginia has been so successful with their press defense is that it forces teams into mistakes by playing fast. The Mountaineer forced the Cyclones into 16 turnovers in the first meeting in Ames and we believe their style of play is going to benefit them on the defensive side of the ball and force the Cyclones into even more mistakes tonight. This seems like a lot of chalk for the home team to cover, however we believe that this is a bad matchup for the style of play that the Cyclones are accustomed to. The West Virginia defense should be smothering tonight and should help the Mountaineers to bounce back from their recent loss. We don't really expect this game to be close as West Virginia goes on to win this game in convincing fashion, halting the Cyclones impressive win streak.

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