Iona Gaels vs. BYU Cougars Betting Lines

The #14 seed Iona Gaels will take on #14 seed BYU Cougars in 1 of the 2 play-in games on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. These teams may or may not be deserving of an at-large bid from the selection committee, but that’s a whole other topic.

The winner of this game will go on to play Marquette in the 2nd round of the 2012 March Madness tournament, which will be tough a game for either team. Below are the betting lines for this matchup, plus our Iona vs. BYU predictions.

Iona vs. BYU Betting Lines

These Iona vs. BYU betting lines are based on the time this article is being written (3/12 @ 11:30pm ET). These lines come from, our favorite online sportsbook for NCAA basketball. BetOnline accepts US bettors and credit cards for funding accounts. For the latest odds, please visit our March Madness betting lines page.

Point Spread – Iona Gaels +2 (-110) vs. BYU Cougars -2 (-110)
Moneyline – Iona Gaels +115 vs. BYU Cougars -135
Total – Over 161.5 (-110) / Under 161.5 (-110)

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Iona vs. BYU Prediction

The Iona Gaels (25-7) have an RPI Rank of 40 and SOS Rank of only 144. Iona wasn’t tested much during the regular season, but they do have 5 quality wins over St. Joe’s, Long Island, Denver, Loyola (MD) and Nevada. BYU finished with an RPI rank of 45 and an SOS rank of 99, which is slightly better than the Gaels.

Iona was the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 83.3 PPG. BYU ranks 13th in the country, scoring an average of 78.2 PPG. Based on those numbers, of course the over/under is high, currently at 161.5. Both teams also dish out the ball well, as Iona ranks 1st in the country with an average of 19.3 APG while the Cougars rank 6th in the nation with 17 APG.

On the defensive side of the ball the Cougars rank better in most categories including PPG. BYU gives up an average of 66.6 PPG while the Gaels give up an average of 72.6 PPG, which is amongst the worst in the country. Both teams are hitting nearly 50% of their shots and can shoot from behind the arc, although the Gaels are better from the perimeter.

Iona has an edge when it comes to speed and athleticism, but the Cougars are better on the boards. Defense is the key to this one, but my prediction is that Iona is going to step up and take this game straight-up. The Gaels are getting +2 (-110) at BetOnline right now, but I’m going to bet them at +115 on the money line instead. If you also like Iona to win outright, give up the two points for the better odds.

If you prefer BYU, you can get them on the point spread at -2 (-110) at, or -135 straight-up on the money line.

The Iona vs. BYU over/under seems high at 161.5, but these teams score a ton and don’t play much defense. This game should have a high tempo thanks to Iona, meaning that BYU will need to do their best to keep pace. My prediction is that this game goes over, but I’m only going to wager on the Iona Gaels moneyline at +115.

Whoever wins, good luck against Marquette in the next round. You’re gonna need it.

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