Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#667 Iowa State vs.
#668 West Virginia
Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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No. 11 Iowa State will try to build on one of its biggest wins of the season when it travels to West Virginia on Wednesday night. The Cyclones snapped a two-game losing streak with a 68-53 win against then-No. 8 Kansas on Saturday. West Virginia has won three of its four games since then, cruising to a 93-61 win over Oklahoma over the weekend.

Cyclones coming off huge win over Kansas

Iowa State is just two seasons removed from its 2-22 record in 2020-21, losing all 18 Big 12 games during that campaign. The Cyclones took a huge step forward last season, going 20-12 (7-11 Big 12) before losing in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. They have been able to build on that success, winning 13 of their first 15 games, including their first four conference games. Iowa State lost four of its following six contests, but it was able to bounce back with a 68-53 win at then-No. 8 Kansas on Saturday. The Cyclones were 1.5-point underdogs in that contest, covering the spread for the first time in five games.

They have been a decent offensive team this season, ranked No. 97 of 363 Division I teams in effective field goal percentage. Iowa State has been terrible from the charity stripe, knocking down just 66.0% of its free-throw attempts. It has also been dealing with some turnover issues, but it ranks inside the top 30 in offensive rebounding rate. The Cyclones are facing a West Virginia defense that is No. 38 in adjusted efficiency. Senior guard Jaren Holmes leads Iowa State with 13.6 points and 3.3 assists per game, while senior guard Gabe Kalscheur is adding 13.2 points. Iowa State will be trying to improve on its 4-6 record in road games this season.

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Mountaineers hoping to solve Iowa State defense

West Virginia has been seeking consistency throughout the season. The Mountaineers won 10 of their first 12 games this season, with their losses coming against Purdue and Xavier. They proceeded to lose five straight games to open conference play, but they have won four of their six games since then. West Virginia bounced back from a 76-72 loss to then-No. 15 TCU with a 93-61 win over Oklahoma on Saturday. Erik Stevenson poured in a career-high 34 points on 6 of 11 shooting from 3-point range after scoring 31 points in a win over Auburn the previous Saturday.

The Mountaineers had lost to Oklahoma by one point in mid-January, so they were able to avenge that loss. Kedrian Johnson scored 16 points, while James Okonkwo had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. West Virginia has been outstanding offensively, ranked No. 16 in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings. The Mountaineers are inside the top 30 in offensive rebounding and have an effective field goal percentage of 52.3. They are going to be tested on Wednesday, as Iowa State leads the nation in turnover rate and is No. 11 in overall efficiency. These teams split their meetings last season, with both teams winning on their home floor.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Oddsmakers are not fully accounting for how different this Iowa State team has been at home and on the road this season. The Cyclones tend to be a polarized team due to their home-court advantage, but that principle has been even more pronounced this season. They are just 1-6 in their last seven road games, which is the key thing to focus on in this matchup. West Virginia has won seven straight home games against Iowa State and is 11-3 in its last 14 home games overall. The Cyclones are terrible at the free-throw line and have been dealing with turnover issues, so their lack of success on the road has not been particularly surprising.

Prediction: West Virginia -2.5

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Full-Game Total Pick

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Iowa Stateโ€™s inability to convert at the charity stripe could play a key role in the outcome of the spread and total down the stretch on Wednesday. The Cyclones are knocking down just 66% of their free throws and are outside the top 230 in turnover rate, which has handcuffed their offense at times this season. They also like to slow the pace of the game down, ranked No. 298 nationally in tempo. Their defense continues to be outstanding though, giving me another reason to take the under in this contest. West Virginia is a solid defensive team as well, particularly on the perimeter.

Prediction: Under 136.5

Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Blake is also an avid sports being expert and you would not be disappointed in following him on a daily basis. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
Follow on Twitter @Blake_Vonhagen