The Iowa State Cyclones (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) will be going for their fourth consecutive win when they face the Villanova Wildcats (2-2, 0-0 Big East) in the Phil Knight Invitational on Thursday afternoon. The Cyclones are coming off a 68-53 win over Milwaukee as 23.5-point favorites. The Wildcats are coming off a 73-71 loss to Michigan State as 6.5-point underdogs.
Cyclones Hoping Defense Holds UpThe Cyclones are off to a perfect start this season thanks to a defense that has been one of the best in the league so far. They will be facing their first real test of the season against a good Villanova team and will be hoping their defense holds up as they try to pick up their fourth win in a row.
Iowa State is averaging 78.7 points per game. They scored 68 points in their last game, making 38.8 percent of their field goals and 21.4 percent of their three-pointers.
Jaren Holmes led the Cyclones with 19 points and five assists. Caleb Grill finished with 11 points and one rebound, while Aljaz Kunc added 10 points and four rebounds.
Iowa State has been dominant defensively, giving up 45 points per game. They gave up 53 points in their last game and will need a similar effort if they want to get the win.
Wildcats Trying To Bounce Back From LossThe Wildcats followed up their win over Delaware State with a loss to the Spartans in their last game. They will try to bounce back from the loss with a win over the Cyclones, which will give them their third win in their last five games.
Villanova is averaging 69 points per game. They scored 71 points in their last game, making 45.3 percent of their field goals and 27.6 percent of their three-pointers.
Eric Dixon led the Wildcats with 24 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Brandon Slater finished with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals, while Caleb Daniels added 13 points and three steals.
Villanova has played well defensively, giving up 64.8 points per game. They gave up 73 points in their last game and will need to do a better j9b if they want to win this game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Cyclones have won three straight games. They have played well offensively, scoring more than 78 points per game. They have also shot the ball well from the charity stripe, making over 74 percent of their free throws. They do a good job finding the open man and they are very aggressive on the offensive glass, which will give them more scoring opportunities. The Wildcats have played well defensively, but they struggled in their last game against a good offensive team and will have a hard time slowing down the Cyclones. The Wildcats split their first four games. They have struggled offensively, scoring less than 70 points per game. They don’t rebound the ball well and won’t get a lot of extra-scoring opportunities against the Cyclones. Even though they have done a good job protecting the ball, they are facing a defense that is averaging more than 12 steals per game and held two of their first three opponents under 50 points, so expect them to struggle offensively in this game. Go with the Cyclones to cover the spread.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Cyclones are averaging 78.7 points per game. They play at a slow pace, averaging 71.4 possessions per game. They are facing a team that is giving up 64.8 points per game and will be held under their average in this game. The Wildcats are averaging 69 points per game. They play at one of the slowest paces in the country, averaging 63.4 possessions per game. With the Cyclones giving up 45 points per game, the Wildcats won’t score enough points to push the score over the total.