Iowa State vs. Houston Prediction, Odds, and Key Players for Big 12 Tournament Final

Feb 19, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars guard L.J. Cryer (4) controls the ball as Iowa
Feb 19, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars guard L.J. Cryer (4) controls the ball as Iowa / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

We have seen plenty of upsets and No. 1 seeds go down in conference tournaments across the country, but that hasn't been the case in the Big 12. No. 1 Houston will take on No. 2 Iowa State in today's Big 12 Conference Tournament Final.

Not only will this be the tournament final, but it will also serve as the rubber match between these two schools. The Cyclones beat thee Cougars back on January 9 but then Houston got its revenge on February 19, beating Iowa State by a score of 73-65.

So which way should we bet for today's championship game? That's what I'm here to answer.

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Iowa State vs. Houston odds, spread, and total for Big 12 Final

Iowa State vs. Houston betting trends

  • Iowa State is 13-5-1 ATS in its last 19 games
  • The UNDER is 6-0 in Iowa State's last six games
  • Houston has won 11-straight games

Iowa State vs. Houston how to watch

  • Date: Saturday, March 16
  • Game time: 6:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: T-Mobile Center
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN/ESPN+
  • Iowa State record: 26-7 (13-5 in Big 12)
  • Houston record: 30-3 (15-3 in Big 12)

Iowa State vs. Houston key players to watch

Iowa State

Tamin Lipsey: If Iowa State wants to upset Houston, forcing turnovers and creating second-chance scoring opportunities is what's going to be key and that's where Tamin Lipsey comes in. He's averaging 2.7 steals per game this season while also being the Cyclones' second leading scorer, averaging 12.4 points per game. He scored 14 points in Iowa State's win against Houston earlier this season.


L.J. Cryer: If there's one weakness you could point to with Houston it's the Cougars' shooting ability, but L.J. Cryer has stepped up in that area of late. He has scored at least 20 points in four of their last six games including a 20-point performance against Texas Tech in the semi-final. The Cyclones should focus in on slowing him down tonight.

Iowa State vs. Houston prediction and pick

I broke down why I'm backing Iowa State in today's edition of "Daily Dunk":

Iowa State is one of the few teams who can match up with Houston so I'm going to back them with the points in today's Big 12 tournament final. The Cougars may rank first in the country in defensive efficiency but it's the Cyclones who are right behind them at No. 2.

Offensively, Iowa State has posted better numbers this season, ranking 120th in effective field goal percentage compared to Houston at 199th.

Finally, Houston's biggest strength is creating extra scoring opportunities, mostly through offensive rebounding. They lead the country in extra scoring chances per game at +11.3. Once again, Iowa State is right behind them in third at +7.7, creating plenty of extra chances by forcing turnovers.

The gap between these two teams is a lot smaller than people think. I'll take the points with the Cyclones.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!