One of the hottest teams in college basketball right now is the Iowa Hawkeyes. As the No. 5 seed in the Midwest region of the March Madness tournament, Iowa will have to square off against another surging team in the Richmond Spiders, who are a No. 12 seed.
Both teams won their respective conference tournaments as Iowa took down Purdue in the Big Ten tournament, while Richmond clinched a spot in the tournament by defeating Davidson in the Atlantic 10 conference championship.
Will Richmond be able to continue its recent stretch of success? Or will Iowa’s elite offense prove too much for the Spiders?
Iowa vs Richmond Odds
Iowa vs. Richmond CBB gameday odds are current as of 4:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 15, courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
- Moneyline: Iowa (-650) vs Richmond (+450)
- ATS: Iowa -10.5 (-110) vs Richmond +10.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 150.5 (-110) / Under 150.5 (-110)
- Implied Score: Iowa 80.5, Richmond 70
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Iowa vs Richmond Prediction
It has been impressive to watch Richmond fight through the Atlantic 10 conference tournament to earn their bid in the NCAA Tournament. However, despite their ability to win their conference tournament, the Spiders will be running into a vastly superior team in the Hawkeyes in the first round on Thursday.
Iowa is second in adjusted offense (only behind Gonzaga), and they average 83.8 points per game (4th most in the nation).
While Richmond was a fun team to watch as they unpredictably secured a bid in the tournament by winning their conference title, they average 71.7 points per game (130th in the nation) and have the 68th ranked adjusted offense.
For the Spiders to have any chance in this contest, they’ll need to hope that the Hawkeyes forget how to shoot the basketball. However, seeing that Richmond doesn’t have a defense that should threaten Iowa, it’s hard to envision a scenario where the Hawkeyes don’t win.
Iowa vs Richmond Score Pick
Iowa 81, Richmond 64
The Hawkeyes boast one of the most electrifying offenses in the country, led by sophomore forward Keegan Murray. Murray is averaging 23.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, while Iowa has plenty of shooters around Murray that can do damage.
Outside shooting could be the difference in this contest, as Iowa converts 36.8 percent of their threes (35th in the nation) compared to Richmond’s 33.7 percent (175th in the nation).
The Hawkeyes should take care of business easily and prepare for a second-round matchup with either Providence or South Dakota State.
Iowa vs Richmond Best Bets
Iowa -10.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
As much fun as it is to root for underdogs, it’s tough to imagine a scenario where Richmond defeats Iowa on Thursday. The Hawkeyes have a blistering offense that carried them through the Big Ten tournament that concluded with an impressive win over Purdue.
Iowa’s 53.6 percent effective field goal percentage (33rd in the nation) and their ability to get hot from deep make them a dangerous team entering the tournament.
On the other hand, Richmond is a solid team that relies on their trio of Tyler Burton, Grant Golden, and Jacob Gilyard. The Hawkeyes are out to prove they are a team that can make some noise in the tournament, and I see them winning by double-digits, which is why I’m comfortable taking the spread of 10.5-points.
Also, Iowa did produce a 22-13 record against the spread compared to Richmond’s 16-18-1 record against the spread.
Under 150.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Even though Iowa owns one of the best offenses in the country, Richmond averages only 68.9 possessions per game (248th in the nation), showing that they play at a slower pace. I expect the Spiders to try and control the tempo when they are on offense, leading to a lower-scoring game than expected.
Richmond doesn’t want to get into a shootout on Thursday, and I don’t see Iowa’s improved defense allowing the Spiders to score many points. Despite Iowa hitting the Over in 22 of their 35 games, Richmond achieved the Over in only 15 of their 35 games.
Unless the Hawkeyes produce 90+ points themselves (which is certainly possible), the Spiders have averaged only 67.5 points per game in their last 10 games.