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NCAA Tournament: Auburn Tigers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Preview

First-round action of the NCAA Tournament gets underway Thursday, and the Midwest Region will see an intriguing matchup as the No. 9 Auburn Tigers (20-12) take on the No. 8 Iowa Hawkeyes (19-13). This game will be played at Legacy Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 6:50 pm ET.

This one currently sits as a pickā€™em game, with the money line for both teams sitting at -110. The spread features Iowa as 1.5-point underdogs (-122), and the over/under for total points is 151.5 (-110).

Auburn Tries To Get Past Slide

Despite finishing 20-12 overall, it has been a bit of rough sailing for the Auburn Tigers over the last couple of weeks. They have lost three of their last four games, including a 76-73 upset loss to Arkansas in the SEC Tournament. Now, they will look to get past that slide as they take on a tough Hawkeyes team.

Auburn comes into this one ranked 121st in the nation on offense. They are averaging 72.7 points on the year, 70.3 away from home.

Sophomore forward Johni Broome leads the team in scoring, averaging 14 points on 52.9% shooting. He is also averaging 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per night.

Wendell Green Jr (13.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists), Jaylin Williams (11.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists), and Allen Flanigan (10.1 points, 4.7 rebounds) have also had strong campaigns. They rank 76th on the defensive end, allowing opponents an average of 67.1 points per game.

Iowa Trying To Overcome Inconsistencies

While Iowa finished the season at 19-13, they have struggled with inconsistent play all year. Coming into this one, they have lost two in a row against unranked Nebraska (81-77) and Ohio State (73-69).

Still, Iowa has the offense to shoot the top off a building and will look to overcome their inconsistencies in the NCAA Tournament. Currently, the Hawkeyes rank 14th in the nation in scoring, averaging 80.2 points per game. Away from their home court, though, they are averaging just 69.3.

The Hawkeyes have five players averaging double digits, led by junior forward Kris Murray. In 28 games, he averages 20.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, and two assists per game.

Filip Rebraca (14.1 points, 7.6 rebounds), Tony Perkins (12.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists), Patrick McCaffery (10 points, 3.5 rebounds), and Patrick Sandfort (10 points, four rebounds) are also lighting up the scoreboard.

Take Iowa And The Points

Auburn comes into this one 3-7 in their last ten games. The OVER has hit in four of their last five.

For Iowa, they are 2-4 both straight up and against the spread in their last six contests. They are also 1-4 against the spread in their previous five March games.

With their inconsistencies, Iowa is a team that might not make it very far in the tournament. With their offense, though, there is a lot of value in them being able to keep this one close. Especially with them being spotted 1.5 points on the spread (-122), take Iowa and the points in this one.

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