Cincinnati Bearcats vs Iowa Hawkeyes Pick

March 22, 12:15 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Cincinnati -3.5

The AAC's tournament champion matches up against the sixth-place team from the Big Ten as Cincinnati battles Iowa in an NCAA tournament South regional bout Friday afternoon in Columbus (12:15 pm ET, CBS). The Bearcats are lined as short favorites and should own a home-crowd advantage. Which way are we going here with our free NCAA tournament pick?

The Line

The NCAA tournament betting odds opened Cincinnati at -3.5 over Iowa, with an over/under of 139. In early betting action, the spread was holding steady, while the total dipped to 138.

Bettors thinking the Hawkeyes might win this game outright could get around +145 on the money line.

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Hawkeyes-Bearcats Betting Preview

No. 10 seed Iowa (22-11 SU, 13-20 ATS) bumbled its way down the stretch, losing its last four games, three by double digits, to finish 10-10 in a Big Ten that sends eight teams to the Big Dance. The Hawkeyes then beat Illinois in the second round of the Big Ten tournament but lost to Michigan in the quarterfinals 74-53. Nonetheless, Iowa is back in the NCAA tournament after missing out the last two seasons.

No. 7 seed Cincinnati (28-6 SU, 14-20 ATS) lost its last two games of the regular season, to Central Florida and Houston, to finish 14-4 in an American Athletic Conference that sends four teams to the Dance. But the Bearcats then won three games in three days, capped off by a 69-57 victory over a very good Houston team last Sunday to win the AAC tournament. So Cincinnati is back in the Dance for the ninth straight season.

NCAA Tournament Betting Trends

Iowa is just 4-9 both SU and ATS this season against teams that made the NCAA tournament. The Hawkeyes own wins over Pac-12 tournament champion Oregon, Big 12 tournament champion Iowa State and Michigan and close losses to Wisconsin and Maryland. But they also lost six games by double digits.

Iowa is also 7-8 ATS this season as an underdog on the college basketball betting line.

Cincinnati is 6-5 SU but only 4-7 ATS this season against teams that made the Dance. The 'Cats own victories over Ole Miss, Temple, Central Florida and the big one over Houston but also two losses to the Cougars and others to UCF, Ohio State and Mississippi State.

Cincy is also 13-17 ATS this season as a favorite, 7-9 ATS when favored by single digits.

Iowa-Cincinnati History

These programs last met back in the first round of the 2005 NCAA tournament, a 76-64 Bearcats victory. But that outcome is meaningless when it comes to handicapping this contest.

Totals Report

The unders are 17-16 in Iowa games this season, even though they're averaging 152 total points.

The unders are 17-16-1 in Cincinnati games this season, which are averaging 134 points.

Iowa vs Cincinnati Prediction 03/22/2019

The Bearcats are 8-2 over their last 10 games, while Iowa is 1-5 over its previous six. Plus, Cincinnati does better jobs on defense and on the boards.

Free Pick: 
Take the Bearcats -3