21 Mar

2024 NCAA Tournament picks, bets by proven model

The Big 12 Tournament champion Iowa State Cyclones hope to ride their momentum into the 2024 NCAA Tournament on Thursday as they take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The No. 2-seeded Cyclones (27-7) enter March Madness playing perhaps as well as any team in the country. They bludgeoned the competition in the Big 12 Tournament with three wins by at least 14 points each, clobbering top-seeded Houston 69-41 in the championship game. The No. 15-seeded Jackrabbits (22-12) return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2022 on the strength of winning the Summit Conference Tournament. They enter the Big Dance on an eight-game winning streak.

Tipoff is set for 7:35 p.m. ET from CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb. The Cyclones are 16-point favorites and the over/under for total points scored is 135.5 in the latest South Dakota State vs. Iowa State odds via SportsLine consensus. Before making any Iowa State vs. South Dakota State picks, you need to check out the college basketball analysis from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The model simulates every Div. I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters the 2024 NCAA tournament on a 148-106 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning more than $1,700 for $100 players. It also has a strong 29-19 (+810) record on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Iowa State vs. South Dakota State. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are several college basketball betting lines and trends for South Dakota State vs. Iowa State:

Iowa State vs. South Dakota State spread: Iowa State -16
Iowa State vs. South Dakota State over/under: 135.5
Iowa State vs. South Dakota State money line: Iowa State -1808, SDSU +950
SDSU: The Jackrabbits are 5-4 against the spread in neutral site games this season.
ISU: The Cyclones are 9-4 ATS in non-conference games this season.
Iowa State vs. South Dakota State picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Iowa State can cover
The Cyclones became a popular selection in the college basketball futures betting market following their dominant run through the Big 12 Tournament with a form that had many observers believing they should usurp conference rival Houston for a No. 1 seed. That didn’t happen, but it’s worth noting that Iowa State’s current run is reminiscent of last year’s champion, Connecticut, which used a dominant run through the conference tournament to spark its run to the national title. The Cyclones rank in the top 10 for almost all advanced efficiency analytics and their 14.3-point average margin of victory ranks No. 9 nationally.

Iowa State has offensive balance, with four starters averaging between 10.5 and 13.8 points per game, and their sterling half-court defense is limiting opponents to 61.3 points per game. In the Big 12 title game, they held Houston to 26.8% shooting while forcing 12 turnovers. Freshman Milan Momcilovic had a team-high 18 points and six rebounds. See whom to back at SportsLine.

Why South Dakota State can cover
The Jackrabbits struggled against a somewhat difficult non-conference schedule, though they did notch wins against the likes of Southern Miss and Wichita State before turning their attention to Summit opponents. They have a deep rotation that features a mixture of experienced veterans and talented underclassmen. South Dakota State, which shoots 36.2% from 3-point range, excelled down the stretch to finish in first place at 12-4 and went on a dominant run in the conference tournament with three decisive victories.

The closest contest in the conference tournament was a 76-68 win over Denver in the final, but the Jackrabbits held a 37-23 halftime lead and were never seriously threatened. Leading scorer Zeke Mayo had 16 points with six rebounds and three assists. See whom to back at SportsLine.

How to make South Dakota State vs. Iowa State picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 144 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time. You can see the picks only at SportsLine.

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