Higher-seeded teams are on an 11-5 run in the Sweet 16 round, which favors the Iowa State Cyclones against the Connecticut Huskies in the East Region semifinals Friday.
It doesn't hurt that Iowa State has won and covered in each of their last six games, and in six of eight tournament games.
But the venue potentially favors UConn at Madison Square Garden, where they played annually in the Big East tournament before their departure for the American Athletic Conference.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The game opened as even odds, but bettors had pushed the Cyclones to two-point favorite status by Wednesday. The total was 146. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick Connecticut to cover the spread
This is a familiar venue for No. 7 Connecticut, as it’s played in Madison Square Garden many times.
There is no doubt the Huskies will be the de-facto home team in Manhattan for this game. UConn comes in having covered seven of their last nine NCAA tournament games.
Why pick Iowa State to cover the spread
Iowa State's tenacity has been impressive, to say the least, as the Cyclones’ ability to overcome a season-ending foot injury to forward Georges Niang in Sunday’s 85-83 win over North Carolina is inspiring.
Iowa State, which has covered six of its past eight tournament games, is averaging 89 points in the Big Dance.
Smart betting pick
It's hard to believe the Cyclones made it this far, as they faltered away from Ames, Iowa more times than not down the regular season stretch.
And let's not forget they were down by eight in the final minutes against North Carolina in the round of 32. Against a physical and surging UConn team, a comeback isn't likely.
The Huskies are much more disciplined and figure to be Iowa State's toughest challenge to date. Take UConn and the short points.
Connecticut Huskies: No. 190
Iowa State Cyclones: No. 90 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
Sweet 16 betting trends
- Iowa State won and covered six straight games
- UNDER is 13-3 past 16 UConn games (but two OVERs in tournament)
- UConn 7-2 ATS past nine tournament games
- Iowa State 6-2 ATS past eight tournament games