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Wisconsin vs Iowa State Odds and Picks – Badgers 3.5-Point Favorites

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Basketball

Mar 19, 2022 · 12:18 AM PDT

Tyrese Hunter and Caleb Grill excited reaction
Iowa State's Tyrese Hunter and Caleb Grill celebrate during the second half of a first round NCAA college basketball tournament game against LSU Friday, March 18, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
  • No. 3 seed Wisconsin is a 3.5-point favorite over Iowa State in an NCAA Midwest Region game Sunday
  • Iowa State is one of three No. 11 seeds to advance to the second round
  • Read below for Wisconsin vs Iowa State odds, analysis and betting prediction

No. 3 seed Wisconsin (25-7, 17-15 ATS) is a 3.5-point favorite over Iowa State in an NCAA Midwest Region game at 6:10pm ET Sunday at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. Badgers’ guard Johnny Davis is the third first-team All-American in school history.

No. 11 seed Iowa State (21-12, 18-15 ATS) became the 13th No. 11 seed to win a first-round NCAA game since 2016 by beating LSU. The Cyclones are one of six Big 12 teams to advance to the second round.

Wisconsin vs Iowa State Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Wisconsin Badgers -160 -3.5 (-105) Over 124.5 (-110)
Iowa State Cyclones +135 +3.5 (-115) Under 124.5 (-110)

Odds from BetMGM on March 18. Editor’s note: the Wisconsin vs Iowa State point spread had been bet up to 4.5 as of 1:40 am ET, March 19. 

The total for Iowa State vs Wisconsin has been set at 124.5, the lowest total Wisconsin has seen since meeting Saint Mary’s on Nov. 24.


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The Badgers are -160 on the moneyline, which means they have a 61.5% implied win probability. The Cyclones are +135 on the moneyline, which translates into a 44.4% implied win probability.

The Badgers are listed at +6600 in the NCAA Tournament champion odds. They are basically playing at home in Milwaukee, which is 79 miles east of Madison.

Cyclones Betting Analysis

Iowa State freshman guard Tyrese Hunter had the game of his young career in the 59-54 victory over LSU, which was played in Milwaukee, 23 miles from his home town of Racine, Wisc.

Hunter had season highs with 23-points and seven three-pointers and added five steals in 32 minutes. His previous season high for three-pointers was three, done twice.

Hunter’s final two threes won the game, deep and deeper hits over 6’7 forward Darius Days. Hunter’s 25-footer from right of the key gave the Cyclones a 54-50 lead with 1:46 remaining. His 29-footer made it 59-54 with 20 seconds left.

Hunter averaged 10.8 points and a team-high 4.9 assists while starting every game in his first season. He bounced back from a nine-point, seven-turnover game the last time out, a 72-41 loss to Texas Tech in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.

As they have all season, the Cyclones used an aggressive, switching, half-court man-to-man defense to stump sloppy LSU. Iowa State, which entered 10th in KenPom in defensive efficiency, had 19 takeaways and limited the Tigers to 37% shooting.

Badgers Betting Analysis

Johnny Davis put the Badgers on his back in the final six minutes Friday, scoring their final 14 points in a 67-60 victory over Colgate.

After Steven Crowl’s banked 3-pointer from the left wing put Wisconsin in front 53-52 with eight minutes left, Davis took over. He started with a three-point play on a short jumper in the lane, to fast-break dunk, a driving layup, two free throws, a 3-pointer from the top of the key and two free throws.

Davis appeared to tweak his right ankle when he was fouled on a drive with 2:45 remaining, but he stayed in the game and made both free throws for a 62-56 lead. He finished with 25 points on 8-of-20 shooting , 4-of-10 threes, and eight rebounds.

The first meeting between Wisconsin and Iowa State since 1981 holds some intrigue. Will the Cyclones’ aggressive defense force Wisconsin into mistakes? The Badgers average only 8.5 turnovers per game, best in Division I. Iowa State forces 16.7 turnovers per, which ranks 13th.

Cyclones’ Unlikely Tournament Run

Iowa State is the fourth team since 1976 to make the NCAA Tournament after finishing four games under .500 in conference play, and it is the first to win a first-round game.

Virginia (1976) lost to DePaul in the first round as a seventh seed, when the field was 32 teams. Colorado State (2003) lost to Duke  as a 14th seed and Liberty (2013) lost to North Carolina A&T in a play-in game matching No. 16 seeds.

Iowa State is the 13th No. 11 seed, and third this season, to win a first-round tournament game since 2016. Of that group, UCLA (2021) and Loyola Chicago (2018) made the Final Four.

Wisconsin vs Iowa State Head-to-Head Results

The history here has no bearing, The Cyclones have won five of the previous eight meetings, but the most recent was a 103-79 victory in the Far West Classic in Portland, Ore. on  Dec. 29, 1981.

Each played and beat NCAA Tournament No. 5 seed Iowa, which was eliminated in a first-round loss to Richmond. Iowa State beat the Hawkeyes at home 73-53 on Dec. 9, and Wisconsin won their lone Big Ten meeting 87-78 at home a month late, Jan. 6.

Betting Trends

Iowa State had been a go-against entering the NCAA Tournament, coming in 4-7 straight up and ATS. After opening the season with a 12-game winning streak, they were 8-12 overall and 9-11 ATS. Three of its last four games have gone under the total, even facing  miniscule numbers against LSU (128.5) and Texas Tech (125.5) in its last two.

Wisconsin is 8-3 straight up and 5-6 ATS since losing to Illinois on Feb. 7. Four of the Badgers’ last five games have gone under, although they were 18-12-1 over the total in the regular season.

Wisconsin-Iowa State Prediction

Wisconsin figured out how to blunt Colgate’s dangerous outside attack in the second half Friday, forcing the Red Raiders’ shooters off the three-point line and exposing their offensive inefficiencies elsewhere.

Iowa State is not particularly effective on the offensive end, either. The question to answer here is, which Friday star — Johnny Davis or Tyrese Hunter — is more likely to repeat? Davis is the answer and Wisconsin is the play.

The pick: Wisconsin -3.5 (-105)

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