College Basketball Odds, Picks & Prediction for Providence vs. TCU (Wednesday, Nov. 30)
Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ed Croswell (Providence)
- Providence and TCU meet in Fort Worth as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle.
- The Friars have really struggled against strong competition this season with only two consistent rotation players returning from last season.
- Meanwhile, TCU has played better of late and is coming off of a big win over Iowa. Can it continue that run?
Providence vs. TCU Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Survive and advance is one of the many slogans attached to college basketball. The Providence Friars lived by that motto last season, finishing with a 16-3 record in games decided by single digits.
Despite losing twice to Villanova last season, the Friars secured their first-ever Big East regular season championship. Repeating that effort will be a monumental task for Ed Cooley, who lost a boatload of talent in the offseason.
Providence was able to pluck some key pieces from the transfer portal, but it hasn’t quite shown that with its record (5-2). The five victories have come against teams ranking 225th or lower, and the two losses came against top-50 competition.
The Friars will have another crack at a top-50 opponent in this matchup against TCU.
The Horned Frogs suffered a tough one-point loss to Northwestern State during the first week of the season. However, the program has bounced back nicely with three victories in a row, including a 13-point win over Iowa last time out.
Can Providence finally rise to the level of its competition in this matchup?
This Providence roster looks much different than what we saw last season.
The Friars lost their leading scorer in Al Durham, a stretch-four who could do it all in Noah Horchler and veteran big man Nate Watson. The program’s top 3-point sniper in A.J. Reeves and a jack of all trades in Justin Minaya have also departed.
That leaves Jared Bynum and Ed Croswell as the two returning pieces who saw consistent minutes last season.
But as I mentioned above, Cooley took full advantage of the transfer portal.
Providence owns a well-balanced scoring attack this season, with all five starters averaging double figures.
Bryce Hopkins transferred in from Kentucky after being a top-40 prospect out of high school. Hopkins is the leading scorer for the Friars, averaging 14 points and eight rebounds per game.
The Providence offense has been mediocre through the first six games. The Friars are hitting 35% from deep and 51% on 2-point attempts, but finding extended possessions has been key for the offense (10th in offensive boards).
Cooley’s bunch has really struggled as the competition has stiffened. In its five wins over cakewalk opponents, the group has shot nearly 50% from the field. In its two losses against solid competition in Miami (FL) and Saint Louis, the program shot only 38% from the field.
TCU handed Iowa its first loss of the season in blowout fashion. The Horned Frogs never trailed and built a 23-point lead in the second half.
Jamie Dixon’s squad has struggled with outside shooting through its first six games. The group ranks 344th nationally, hitting just 26% from deep.
But the Horned Frogs have been dominant inside the paint, hitting 55% of their 2-point field goals. That was on full display against Iowa, as TCU amounted 58 points in the paint against the Hawkeyes.
TCU has also dominated the boards through the first month. The group ranks 22nd nationally on the offensive glass, cleaning up 37% of its misses this season. This is another key area that TCU dominated Iowa, out-rebounding the Hawkeyes 41-28 in the game.
The Horned Frogs’ biggest strength comes on the defensive end of the floor, as the program ranks 26th in defensive efficiency rating. They’ve displayed an ability to dominate the paint, holding opponents to just 43% on 2-point field goals.
Only one opponent has exceeded 70 points against TCU — that came in the first game of the season.
Damion Baugh averaged 11 points, four rebounds and four assists last season for the Horned Frogs. He was suspended for the first six games of the season and will be making his return in this matchup.
Providence vs. TCU Betting Pick
TCU will be riding its momentum fresh off of a dominant victory over one of the top programs in the country in Iowa. The program will also get a nice added boost with the return of Baugh, who will be back from his suspension.
Providence has put up a solid 5-2 record on the year, but the five wins have come against bottom-tier programs. In the Friars’ only two matchups vs. solid competition, the offense floundered, shooting a combined 38% from the field.
With a complete roster turnover, the growing pains were expected early in the season for Cooley’s bunch. Matching up against a TCU defense that ranks 25th in the nation in efficiency means the offensive struggles will be on full display once again.
Providence has thrived early in the season by out-rebounding its lower-level opponents and finding extended possessions. That won’t work against a Horned Frogs team that has also owned the paint.
I expect Providence’s early-season woes against strong competition to be on full display in this matchup.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.