Auburn vs. Iowa Tips, Odds & Spread (March 16)

Kris Murray of the Iowa Hawkeyes prepares to shoot

March 9, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes forward Kris Murray (24) looks to shoot against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

  • The no. 9 Auburn Tigers will take on the No. 9 Auburn Tigers in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday, March 16. 8 Iowa Hawkeyes on
  • Odds makers have this handicap very tight, with Auburn a slight 1-point favorite
  • Check out the full Auburn vs. Iowa odds and tips

Two evenly matched opposing teams will battle it out for a place in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday, March 16, when the 9th-seeded Auburn Tigers (20-12, 15-17 ATS) vs they compete Iowa Hawkeyes (19-13, 17-15 ATS) in the Midwest.

Whoever wins this contest will get the reward of likely playing against the top dog in NCAA tournament odds, the Houston Cougars. Tipoff between Auburn and Iowa is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. ET from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama and will air on TNT.

This will be a case of attack versus defense. See more Auburn vs Iowa odds below while we also offer our best bet and prediction for this 1st round test.

Auburn vs Iowa Odds

team spread money line In total
Chestnut Tigers -1 (-110) -129 O151.5 (-110)
Iowa Hawkeyes +1 (-110) -106 U 151.5 (-110)

Auburn was cast as the lightest favorite, set as a 1-point chalk against Iowa, despite losing seven of their last 10 games by the time they entered the tournament. On the other hand, the Hawkeyes haven’t fared much better lately, suffering in four of their last six losses.

Iowa can score with the best of them and has hit the over in 19 of 32 games this season, exactly the same over record as their opponents. However, Auburn’s best key to victory in this case is his defense. The over/under total stands at 151.5 points, with each team having hit the over in three of the last four.

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Defense paramount to Auburn’s success against Iowa

Nobody wants to see a March Madness bracket with a possible 2nd round clash against the nation’s top-ranked team, but before Auburn can even think about Houston, they need to play their tough basketball to get past Iowa.

This team can defend the ball like few others and ranks 28th overall in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. They make it extremely difficult to score in color, blocking over 9% of enemy shots, placing them in the top 20 squads in the country.

Offensively they left a lot on the table this year. From beyond the arc, they shoot just 31% and place them in the bottom 50 of all Division I programs. Their second-top scorer, Wendell Green Jr., has made just 25% of his shots from the floor in his last five games, which is a cause for concern to enter the madness.

Iowa Hawkeye’s offense is among the best in the nation

Only two teams in the country have a more adjusted offensive efficiency ranking this season than Iowa, a pair seeded at No. 3, Gonzaga and Baylor. Once this Hawkeyes team starts taking their shots, they’re a liability to deal with.

Led by the standout Kris Murray, left twin of NBA star and fourth pick of last year’s NBA draft Keegan Murray, this team can be a real threat from three-point land. During an eight-game stretch in January, the Hawkeyes shot 41.5% from long range.

Murray is an offensive end force and the kind of star who can carry a side no matter who the opponent is in college basketball’s odds. In his last 10 regular-season games, he averaged 20 points on 47% shooting. He also delivers blocked shots and steals from the other end of the floor, which is a huge bonus given his offensive repertoire.

While Iowa can score, they’re average at best on defense. They give way too many open shots and don’t have adequate rim protection, which is problematic. However, they don’t give up the easiest buckets of all, free throws, and commit fouls at a very low rate and with a high level of disciplined play.

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Auburn vs Iowa Prediction

One reason for Auburn’s recent poor play is that defense simply hasn’t been able to salvage offense. They have conceded at least 70 points in seven of their last nine games.

Auburn vs. Iowa head-to-head stats

72.7 (155th) points/game 80.6 (20th)
66.8 (86th) Points Allowed/Game 74.5 (302nd)
43.9 (228th) FG% 45.4 (137th)
31.4 (328.) 3PT% 34.6 (165th)

Neither of these teams are likely to make it in the Final Four odds, so they’ll put everything into that to make it through the weekend.

Our prediction is that offense will win over defense in this game. The Hawkeyes can change defense and cause problems for an Auburn team that’s really struggling from the periphery. Iowa desperately needs to go head-to-head with the Tigers on the glass, but overall we feel like shooting is winning in this game.

Tip: Iowa Hawkeyes money line (-106)

Other March Madness predictions for the first round:

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Georg Nassios

sports journalist

sports journalist

NCAAB Auburn vs. Iowa Tips, Odds & Spread (March 16)

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