The Iowa State Cyclones already dispatched of one team from Tobacco Road and will now look to follow their 18-point dismantling of North Carolina Central on Friday by taking care of the North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday.
Winners of five consecutive games both straight up and against the spread, the Cyclones were small favorites in a battle of No. 3 vs. No. 6, which has been one-sided in favor of higher-seed schools over the years (8-2 ATS streak).
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Cyclones opened as 1.5-point favorites; the total was 159. (Compare Lines and Consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report.)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick North Carolina to cover the spread
No. 6 seed North Carolina survived a scare from Providence, as James Michael McAdoo dropped a pair from the charity stripe with 3.5 seconds left in the game to complete a rally.
Now that the jitters are out, one has to wonder if the Tar Heels are about to bring their A-game. Coach Roy Williams will have his team prepared for a much better Iowa State team.
Why pick Iowa State to cover the spread
The No. 3 Cyclones have seemingly come into their own in the postseason, by winning the Big 12 tournament and opening up the Big Dance with a blowout.
Their 93 points on Friday tied Michigan State’s tally on Thursday for the most points scored in the second round. The Cyclones have won 11 of 12 when installed as the favorite and ride a 5-0 streak into this game Sunday.
Smart betting pick
With the line so low, and the oddsmakers basically asking you to pick the winner of this game, you have to ask yourself which team is playing better basketball right now.
Answer is: Iowa State. The Cyclones have been an offensive machine, and other than Marcus Paige, the Tar Heels may not have the personnel to stay in this game once Iowa State gets hot.
Besides, No. 3 seeds are on an 8-2 point spread win streak against No. 6 seeds, and UNC seems unable to cover a spread as it is on a 0-6 ATS run.
North Carolina Tar Heels: No. 63
Iowa State Cyclones: No. 90 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- UNC 0-6 ATS past six games
- Iowa State won and covered five straight games
- Iowa State 11-1 SU past 12 games as favorites
- No. 3 seeds are 8-2 ATS past 10 games vs. No. 6 seeds
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