NCAA Tournament Betting: Target the Over for Iowa State vs. South Dakota State

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
NCAA Tournament Betting: Target the Over for Iowa State vs. South Dakota State

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

South Dakota State vs. Iowa State Betting Odds

Date and Time: Thursday, March 21st at 7:35 p.m. ET

Spread: Iowa State -16.5 (-110)

Total: 134.5


  • South Dakota State: +1160
  • Iowa State: -2800

South Dakota State vs. Iowa State Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.

South Dakota State

  • numberFire Ranking: 138th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 138th
  • KenPom Ranking: 133rd
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 163rd
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 134th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 148th

Iowa State

  • numberFire Ranking: 8th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 4th
  • KenPom Ranking: 5th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 1st
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 55th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 179th

South Dakota State vs. Iowa State Best Bet

Over 134.5 (-110)

Coming off a 28-point drubbing over Houston, Iowa State will likely be a popular pick to cover as 16.5-point favorites against South Dakota State. It's hard to argue against the Cyclones covering even with such a hefty number. ISU has been one of the top teams against the spread all season, covering 24 of their 34 games.

Still, South Dakota State won't be a pushover. In addition to having one of the best nicknames in college basketball, the Jackrabbits are a sound team on both ends. They're 19th in effective field goal percentage and top 50 in two and three-point field goal percentage. Defensively, South Dakota State isn't elite, but they hold their own, limiting second-chance opportunities and keeping opponents off the free-throw line. They have some of the wildest defensive splits you'll see -- opponents get 40.8% of their points from three (highest in the country) but just 42.5% from inside the arc (second lowest).

That's a matchup-dependent strategy, but one that could let them hang around against Iowa State. The Cyclones are 67th in two-point field goal rate but just 300th in three-point rate. They're a decent outside shooting team when they do take threes but prefer to get to the rim and pound the paint.

Still, Iowa State is far from an elite three-point shooting team, so I'm wary to lay 16.5 points with a team that was unranked entering the season.

Instead, we can look at the total, set at 134.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook, as of Tuesday morning. Though neither side was especially friendly to overs this season, I like this opening-round matchup to go over 134.5.

Iowa State shouldn't have any issues scoring on this South Dakota State team -- especially if they heat up from beyond the arc. The Cyclones are aided by the nation's second-highest forced turnover rate, yielding them a handful of extra possessions per game. They'd hardly be the first Big 12 team to put up a big number on the Jackrabbits; South Dakota State gave up 91 to Kansas State and 83 to UCF -- both top-100 KenPom teams.

Assuming the Cyclones can flirt with 70 or 80 points here, we're not asking much of South Dakota State to push this total over 134.5. They scored 68 and 80 in those non-conference matchups with K-State and UCF, so they aren't allergic to scoring on the Big 12. Iowa State has one of the best defenses in the field, but Kansas State and UCF both finished in the top 25 in adjusted defensive efficiency, too.

It helps that neither team plays at an especially slow pace and both sides give up a high rate of threes. A cold shooting night could spell trouble, but even an average performance from beyond the arc could lead to this game going over 134.5.

South Dakota State vs. Iowa State Prop Bet

Curtis Jones 2+ Made Threes (-138)

I'm expecting a good deal of scoring in those one, so it's natural to pivot to some points props, too. Given South Dakota State's high rate of three-pointers allowed, Curtis Jones to make a couple is certainly appealing -- even at -138 odds.

The Iowa State guard has been the Cyclones' go-to outside shooter all year. For the season, Jones averages 1.9 made threes per game, shooting 33% from beyond the arc. The Buffalo transfer averaged 2.4 threes made at a 36% clip last season, so he's no stranger to hoisting outside jumpers.

He's been even more aggressive as the year has progressed, averaging 6.6 three-point attempts over the last five games. Though his efficiency waned at times, Jones is never shy about jacking up shots from deep. He's attempted at least six threes in 19 of 34 games this season, making at least two 19 times. A consistent threat from deep, I like Jones to stay hot and make at least two threes against one of the most three-point-friendly defenses in the country.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.