Iowa State vs. Baylor Picks and Prediction for March 4: Does Early Tip Help or Hurt Bears?

profile image of Willie.Bee
Guard Jalen Bridges #11 of the Baylor Bears shoots the ball against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on January 17, 2023. John E. Moore III/Getty Images/AFP.

Final Score: Baylor 73 – Iowa St. 66

NCAAB Pick: Over 134.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

BetOnline logo
Over 134.5 (-110)
Visit Site

A late-season swoon has Iowa State sliding further and further back in the Big 12 standings. Can the Cyclones pull out of the dive at Baylor, or is the betting value on the Bears?

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Baylor Bears

Saturday, March 04, 2023 – 12:00 PM EST at Ferrell Center

There are going to be a lot of scoreboards watching this weekend as teams jockey for seeding in their upcoming conference tournaments, and down in the Big 12, it all begins with Saturday’s early tip in Waco where the Baylor Bears host the Iowa State Cyclones.

Neither side has to win to prove itself to the NCAA Selection Committee which will pass out its invites to the Big Dance in a little more than a week, but the Cyclones and Bears still each fill a need to strengthen those résumés and stand out in the minds of the committee on a huge college basketball odds board.

Rivalry History & Betting Trends

If nothing else, simple pride and bragging rights are on the line in Saturday’s skirmish, and in a rivalry that has played fairly even overall, Iowa State has a chance to earn its first regular season sweep of Baylor in 10 years.

The Cyclones hosted the Bears on New Year’s Eve and pulled away late in the first half to record a 77-62 triumph as 2-point home underdogs at the best sportsbooks. It marked the second consecutive year Iowa State and Baylor played their Big 12 openers in Ames.

Last year’s meeting in Waco also came in the regular season finale for both schools, and Baylor had to hold on for a 75-68 decision after rocketing to a 28-4 lead 12 minutes into the contest. The Bears were giving up 12.5 in that clash.

  • Iowa State’s win on New Year’s Eve stopped a 6-game Baylor win streak in the series, and the Bears lead the rivalry 24-21.
  • The Cyclones have covered the last 5 meetings, each time as the underdog.
  • The last four clashes went past totals in the 132.5-148.5 range.

Cyclones Go Cold From Outside

This is not the time of year any team wants to lose its third-leading scorer, especially for disciplinary reasons, but that has happened to the Cyclones after head coach T.J. Otzelberger announced Iowa State cut ties with Caleb Grill.

Otzelberger would not elaborate on exactly what Grill had done to fall into the doghouse, but the 6-3 guard from the Sunflower State lost his starting job last month and wasn’t on a road trip through Texas and Kansas State a couple of weeks ago. Grill was averaging 9.5 PPG.

The dismissal of Grill comes at a time the Cyclones have lost four in a row – 8 of their last 10 – after falling 72-69 at home to West Virginia earlier this week. Iowa State was favored by 4.5 at BAS, and the Mountaineers outscored the Cyclones 12-5 over the final 3:50 of the contest.

Shooting from beyond the arc hasn’t been a strength for Iowa State all season, but the Cyclones have been particularly bad during the 4-game losing streak when they’ve netted just 21 out of 82 heaves (25.6%).

Will George & Love Play on Saturday?

That loss at Hilton Coliseum a couple of months back was part of an oh-&-3 start to the Big 12 campaign for Baylor. Scott Drew’s squad has since lost just three more games, two of those coming on an ill-fated swing through Lawrence and Manhattan two weeks ago.

The Bears bounced back with a huge win over Texas last Saturday and followed that up with a great effort on the road at Oklahoma State on Monday for a 74-68 win. The Bears never trailed and the game closed as a pick at some Texas betting sites.

Injuries to Keyonte George (ankle) and Langston Love (eye) forced Drew basically rotate just six players on and off the floor in the win over the Cowboys. George was injured in the win over Texas while Love was poked in the eye early at Oklahoma State, and both are considered to be game-time decisions on Saturday.

Bears Win, Cyclones Cover

If the expectations are that George and Love will play, but play fewer minutes than usual, then a fair spread on this game would be Baylor -7. My suspicions are, however, the spread will be higher no matter what the decisions are regarding George or Love getting into the action.

The early tip should work out fine for the Bears who don’t have to worry about what other teams in the Big 12 have done. My college basketball picks will be to take Iowa State +7½ or higher, Baylor -6½ or less, and ride the rivalry trend with the totals.

Final Score: Baylor 73 – Iowa St. 66

NCAAB Pick: Over 134.5 (-110) at BetOnline

NCAAB Pick: Iowa State +7.5 (-110) at BetOnline

BetOnline logo
Iowa State +7.5 (-110)
Visit Site

*The line and odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.