Iowa State (4-0) will put its perfect record on the line when it faces VCU (3-1) in the ESPN Events Invitational 2023 on Thursday evening. The Cyclones have rattled off four consecutive blowout wins to open the season, with all of those victories coming by at least 30 points. Their most recent win came in a 92-37 win over Grambling on Sunday, easily covering the 28-point spread. VCU opened its campaign with a shocking loss to McNeese State, but it has responded with three straight wins.
Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. ET at State Farm Field House in Kissimmee, Fla. The Cyclones are favored by 12.5 points in the latest VCU vs. Iowa State odds, while the over/under is 131 points, per SportsLine consensus. Before entering any Iowa State vs. VCU picks, you'll want to see the college basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.
The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters Week 3 of the 2023-24 season on an 88-57 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning more than $1,700 for $100 players. Anyone who followed it saw huge returns.
- Iowa State vs. VCU spread: Iowa State -12.5
- Iowa State vs. VCU over/under: 131 points
- Iowa State vs. VCU money line: Iowa State -878, VCU +583
- Iowa State vs. VCU picks: See picks here
Why VCU can cover
VCU got off to a slow start to the season, but it has bounced back with three straight wins to generate momentum heading into this tournament. The Rams beat Samford and Radford by double digits before beating Seattle on Saturday. Senior guard Zeb Jackson led the way with 20 points and six rebounds against Seattle, knocking down 5 of 11 attempts from the floor.
Jackson has been the team's leading scorer overall this season, averaging 16.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Max Shulga is filling up the stat sheet with 13.5 points, 4.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds, while sophomore guard Jason Nelson is adding 9.8 points off the bench. The Rams have been a profitable team to back since the end of last season, covering the spread in nine of their last 13 games. See which team to pick here.
Why Iowa State can cover
Iowa State has already put together four dominant performances this season, cruising to blowout wins over Green Bay, Lindenwood, Idaho State and Grambling. The Cyclones won all of those games by more than 30 points, as their offense is averaging 91.3 points per game. They also lead the nation defensively, giving up just 45.8 points per contest.
Head coach T.J. Otzelberger had success in a Thanksgiving-week tournament during his first season with Iowa State in 2021-22, as the Cyclones knocked off No. 25 Xavier and No. 9 Memphis to win the NIT Season Tip-Off. They took down Villanova and top-ranked North Carolina last year before losing to UConn in the Phil Knight Invitational final. Iowa State has covered the spread in four of its last five games. See which team to pick here.
How to make VCU vs. Iowa State picks
The model has simulated Iowa State vs. VCU 10,000 times and the results are in. The model is leaning Over, and it also says one side of the spread is hitting in 60% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins VCU vs. Iowa State, and which side of the spread hits 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on an 88-57 roll on its top-ranked college basketball picks, and find out.