Houston vs. Iowa State Prediction, Odds, Key Players for Tuesday, Jan. 9

Jan 6, 2024; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Tamin Lipsey (3) shoots against the
Jan 6, 2024; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Tamin Lipsey (3) shoots against the / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Arguably the best team in the country hits the road for Big 12 action on Tuesday night.

The Houston Cougars appear to be poised to be a National Championship contender yet again this season, 14-0 on the season, winning all but two games by double digits, but face its stiffest test of the season with a road trip to Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State, an elite team in its own right.

Iowa State is 11-3 on the season, but fresh off a competitive loss at Oklahoma on Saturday, can the team turn its attention to a home meeting in conference play against the class of the Big 12?

Let's break it all down with our full betting preview. If you want some bonus bets this college hoops season, make sure to sign up with FanDuel Sportsbook, which is giving all new users $150 in bonus bets when they use link the below and make a first-time wager of $5 -- win or lose! Get started below!

Houston vs. Iowa State Odds, Spread and Total

Iowa State vs. Houston Betting Trends

  • Houston is 8-5-1 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • Iowa State is 9-5 ATS this season
  • Houston has gone UNDER in 10 of 14 games this season
  • Iowa State has gone OVER in nine of 14 games this season

Houston vs. Iowa State How to Watch

  • Date: Tuesday, January 9th
  • Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
  • Venue: James H. Hilton Coliseum
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN2
  • Houston Record: 14-0
  • Iowa State Record: 11-3

Houston vs. Iowa State Key Players to Watch


LJ Cryer: The Baylor transfer has been a shot of life into a Houston offense that needed some floor spacing. He is comfortable in a Big 12 setting and his three-point shooting will be imperative for the Cougs. Cryer is shooting a blistering 40% from deep while pouring in 17 points per game.

Iowa State

Tamin Lipsey: One of the best defensive guards in the country with the third-highest steal rate in the country, the sophomore guard has been a monster this season. While he's a terror on defense, he is averaging nearly 15 points per game and is dishing out six assists with nearly six rebounds with 47/39/66 shooting splits. Lipsey will face the best defense in the nation according to KenPom, but he may be up to the task on his home court.

Houston vs. Iowa State Prediction and Pick

These are two of the best defenses in the nation. I mentioned above that Houston is tops in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency rating, but Iowa State isn't far behind in fifth. Both teams generate the highest turnover percentage in the nation and do a great job on the glass.

However, I'm going to take the points in this projected rock fight.

Houston is uber-reliant on mid-range jump shots, taking them at the sixth highest rate according to ShotQuality, but is 258th in mid-range field goal percentage. I'm not going to be able to trust Houston to thrive with this being a major part of its offensive diet in its second true road game of the season.

The Cougars have more shot makers, but the Cyclones are capable on offense, 52nd in three-point percentage and 31st in SQ's shot selection metric. Further, Iowa State is a ferocious rebounding team this season, 57th in offensive rebounding rate. By being able to get some extra chances against a Houston team that is a bit weaker on the defensive glass (151st in defensive rebounding rate) than offensive glass (fourth), can be the difference in a slow-paced affair.

Iowa State is 17th in defensive rebounding rate, and limiting Houston to one chance can be the difference in this one at home.

I'll take the points on Tuesday in what should be a back-and-forth affair.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!