The #25 Iowa Hawkeyes (4-0) will take on the Clemson Tigers (4-1) in the second round of the Emerald Coast Classic on Friday. The game will be played in Niceville, Florida at 6pm CT. Both teams are coming off dominant performances in the first round, but which will find the advantage necessary to win and move into the championship game?
Iowa Clears All Wannabe ChallengersThe Hawkeyes ended last year 26-9, and are looking to start just as strong this season.
This team is an offensive juggernaut, averaging 96 ppg, 5th highest in the nation. They lead the country with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.62 and are 3rd in turnover margin (32 to 68). They make their threes at a high percentage as well—39.8%.
On the defensive end, their calling card is their discipline. They hardly ever foul, averaging 12.0 per contest, tied for 7th best among DI schools. They're also top 50 in turnovers forced per game. It's easy to see how they're 4-0 ATS this season.
Clemson Struggling to Cover SpreadsClemson has jumped out to a 4-1 record but failed to cover the spread in their first four contests. Can they start to turn the tide and cover against Iowa?
The Tigers have lived and died by the three on both sides of the ball this season. They're one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country, hitting 39.1% from beyond the arc. That being said, they give a lot of that value back by allowing opponents to shoot 37.8% from distance, ranked 293rd in DI programs.
This really is a glaring weakness considering that they have a strong interior defense, only allowing opponents to shoot 39.7%, one of the better marks in college basketball.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Hawkeyes have some of the best offensive stats in college basketball. While they clearly haven't been playing world-beaters so far, what's even more impressive than their record is their execution. Individual performance may vary game-to-game, but a well-coached team that executes well will always put itself in a position to succeed. It's also a game between a great shooting team versus a squad that sucks at defending the three-point line.
Iowa is 4-0 ATS this season and Clemson is 1-4. Bet the trend and take Iowa to cover.
Full-Game Total Pick
There's an argument to be made that Clemson is the best team that Iowa will have played this season. The only other contender is Seton Hall, and when they played the under hit. While Iowa is one of the fastest teams in the nation—ranked 31st in Pomeroy's adjusted tempo—Clemson is one of the slowest teams, ranked 253rd.
Expect Clemson's interior presence to be a deterrent to a high-scoring affair, take the under.