Last Updated Dec 22, 2021, 10:37 AM

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Creighton Bluejays Picks, Predictions, Odds

Dec. 4, 2021
Thom Cunningham
VI Betting Expert
VegasInsider.com

The Big 12 and the Big East do battle on Saturday night as the Iowa State Cyclones head to Nebraska to take on the Creighton Bluejays. Opening tip is set for 9:00 p.m. ET and will air on FS1 from the CHI Health Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska.

Score Prediction

Iowa State 71, Creighton 67

Best Bets

Under 138.5 (+100) at DraftKings

Iowa State ML (+175) at South Point

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Creighton Bluejays Predictions

The surprise here is that Creighton is the favorite, as oddsmakers are going with the home court advantage for the Bluejays despite impressive wins from the Cyclones away from home. If considering the Cyclones, my advice would be to take them SU at a plus-value ML but it does seem the best bet might be the point total instead.

Playing the smart odds points to that market, as the Bluejays identity has gone from a shooting frenzy squad to an inside game. This typically translates to a slower offense, in turn less points scored. Creighton has gone UNDER the point total in six of its last eight games, and as the data will explain below - this is a team that looks for open shots inside the arc as opposed to last year's run-and-gun style.

The combined O/U for these schools is 5-10, so playing the smart odds here indicates the point total going UNDER. Creighton doesn't cover well either, although its early, so consider Iowa State in the SU or ATS market if you don't fancy the total. The value and talent lies with the Cyclones, but the odds lie with the market. Your choice on which to play.

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Creighton Bluejays Betting Odds

Odds Provided by DraftKings - Subject to Change

  • Creighton -4.5 (-110)
  • Iowa State +4.5 (-110)
  • Over 138.5 (-120)
  • Under 138.5 (+100)

More Odds | Futures Odds

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Creighton Bluejays Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Big 12 vs. Big East
  • Date: Saturday, December 4, 2021
  • Venue: CHI Health Center Omaha
  • Location: Omaha, Nebraska
  • TV-Time: FS1 - 9:00 p.m. ET

Iowa State Cyclones Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 7-0
  • ATS: 4-3
  • O/U: 3-4

T.J. Otselberger has done a terrific job with this team, earning huge early wins over ranked opponents in Memphis and Xavier. The target is now on the Cyclones' back though, as this team is to be taken seriously. What makes this team very dangeorus is the experience.

Iowa State has three seniors in its top four scoring, Izaiah Brockington leading the way with 16.6 pints per game to go along with nearly eight rebounds. Other senior Gabe Kalscheur averages 13.6 points per game and is one of three that average a double-digit point total.

The other is actually a freshman, who leads the team in assists per game (5.3) in Tyrese Hunter. Four other players, all upperclassmen, average six or more points per game - so the balanced experience is a huge advantage this team has entering the season. The other big weapon in Iowa State's arsenal is the defense, allowing just 60 points per game and boasting the nation's 15th-highest efficiency rating.

They also steal the ball very well, averaging 10.1 per game which ranks 24th nationally. Hunter and Kalscheur have seen 35 steals combined already this season, while seven others have at least five already. On offense, the strength for Iowa State lies in its ball movement to create easy looks.

The Cyclones rank 56th nationally in assists per game (15.7) and average 20.6 two-pointers per game, which ranks 85th in the nation. So although the offense is unselfish and plays for the easy bucket, the defense is the true highlight of this team on the court.

Creighton Bluejays Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 7-1
  • ATS: 3-5
  • O/U: 2-6

Creighton is a tricky team to pin down, losing almost all of their key players from a season ago. With that said, seniors Alex O'Connell and Ryan Hawkins provide experience while also averaging 11.9 points per game or more. They aren't even the leading scorers for the Bluejays.

Underclassmen Ryan Kalkbrenner and Ryan Nembhard lead the team in points per game, while Kalbreener averages over five boards a game with Nembhard averaging over five assists. So although Creighton lost two key players in Zagarowski and Mahoney, it seems both young and experienced players are stepping up.

Rebounding stands out immediately for this team, featuring five players averaging 4.1 or more per game. The balance this team has is quite impressive, with the rebounding stats just mentioned along with five players averaging 9.8 points per game or more. Going back to rebounding though, the Bluejays average 39 per game which ranks 81st nationally. They grab about 29 per game on defense and about 10 per game on offense.

Much like Iowa State, Creighton loves easy buckets which is a complete 1080 from their identity a year ago. Catch and shoot was the Creighton philosophy a year ago, which isn't close to the case this season. Creighton only hits 31.4% of its shots from behind the arc, and that woeful number ranks 257th in the nation.

Creighton hits 23.4 two-pointers per game which ranks 18th in the nation, and they convert that number at a very efficient rate. The Bluejays hit 59.6% of their two pointers (ranks 13th in the nation) and hits 50.3% of their field goals overall (ranks 17th in the nation). But while Iowa State loves to steal the ball on defense, Creighton loves to block it (5.5 per game ranks 29th nationally). So with both schools seemingly in love with the idea of taking the ball to the rim for easy shots, that might benefit Creighton's defensive strengths more than Iowa State's (especially playing at home).

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