West Virginia Mountaineers at Iowa State Cyclones – NCAAM February 2

7:00 p.m. No. 17 West Virginia (-12) at Iowa State O/U: 145.5

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
West Virginia -12 (-110) -700 O 146 (-110)
Iowa State +12 (-110) +500 U 146 (-110)

The 11-5 Mountaineers travel to Ames, Iowa to take on the 2-9 Cyclones on Tuesday night. West Virginia lost at home to Florida on Saturday, 85-80. Iowa State lost 95-56 at Mississippi State on Saturday in a game that was over from the tip in large part because the COVID issues forced the Cyclones to play shorthanded. These two met in Morgantown back on Dec. 18 in a game that West Virginia won 70-65. The final score does not tell the whole story because Iowa State had its best shooting night of the season, shooting 49 percent from the field.

West Virginia Mountaineers LogoThe Mountaineers are led by guard Miles Mcbride who leads the team with 15.4 points and 4.5 assists per game. Their big man, Derek Culver, averages a double-double and will likely pose matchup problems for the Cyclones all night. Iowa State is led by guard Rasir Bolton who averages 15.4 points per game. Bolton had a season-high 25 points in the first meeting in Morgantown. Outside of Bolton, the Cyclones are an absolute disaster on the offensive side of the ball, mainly because they can’t seem to hold onto it. They turn the ball over on 22.4 percent of all possessions. This is a recipe for disaster against a West Virginia team that creates chaos on the defensive end. In the first matchup of these two teams, the Cyclones turned the ball over 19 times.

Iowa State Cyclones LogoIowa State has played two games since pausing basketball activities due to positive COVID-19 tests and did not break 60 points in either game. Forwards Solomon Young and Javan Johnson, who combine for 24.2 points per game, have missed the team’s last two games. It is still unclear if either will be able to play on Tuesday night. Senior guard Jalen Coleman-Lands returned to the team for Saturday’s loss to Mississippi State, but was limited to 23 minutes after averaging over 34 minutes per game before the program pause.

Please Note:
“Hilton Magic” refers to the ability for Iowa State to knock off ranked teams at home, but the Cyclone haven’t displayed much magic this season. Iowa State is 1-6 against the spread at home and 3-8 against the spread for the entire season. Iowa State played arguably its best game of the season in its previous matchup with West Virginia and still lost by 5 points. The Cyclones have not resembled even a glimpse of the team that showed up that night since then.

West Virginia is coming off a rare home loss and will be looking to come out with energy against the Cyclones. Regardless of who is returning for Iowa State, it is a nightmare matchup for a team that has zero chemistry. Throwing guys in the mix who have not played for weeks will not fix that. West Virginia took Iowa State lightly the first time they played and let them hang around. That will not be the case this time. The Mountaineers will easily win this game by over 15 points.

The Bets
West Virginia -12
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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.