TCU vs Mississippi State Odds, Picks: Back the Horned Frogs

TCU vs Mississippi State Odds, Picks: Back the Horned Frogs article feature image

Pictured: TCU Horned Frogs center Eddie Lampkin Jr. (#4) and TCU Horned Frogs forward Chuck O’Bannon Jr. (#5) celebrate after a basket. (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

TCU vs Mississippi State Odds

Saturday, Jan. 28
4 p.m. ET
TCU Odds
-110o / -110u
Mississippi State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Mississippi State hosts No. 11 TCU at Humphrey Coliseum for a Saturday afternoon tip on ESPN2 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

The Horned Frogs come into the matchup with wins in three of their past four, including victories over No. 2 Kansas and No. 5 Kansas State.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have struggled in conference play, losing five straight to hold a 1-7 SEC record and a 12-8 mark overall.

If you are a fan of defense, this is the perfect game for you as this could be a race to 60 points. However, that also gives us solid betting value in this contest.

TCU Horned Frogs

Veteran coach Jamie Dixon has built his strongest team yet in Fort Worth, Texas, as he enters this contest with just four losses on the year.

The Horned Frogs are inside the top 15 in both the NET and Kenpom rankings, which sets them up to return to the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back campaigns for the first time since the 1951-52 and 1952-53 seasons.

The key to success for Dixon’s squad has been the stout defense, which ranks inside the top 25 in AdjD (10th), EFG% (20th), forcing turnovers (15th) and 3-point defense (23rd), according to The Frogs are also inside the top 50 in defending 2-pointers (46th).

To complement the defensive efforts, TCU also boasts one of the best scorers in the country. Mike Miles Jr. is 38th in scoring with 19.1 PPG. He is playing even better in Big 12 play with 20.3 PPG on 55% shooting.

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Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Bulldogs were so close to securing a signature win in coach Chris Jans’ debut season, dropping a narrow 3-point defeat at No. 2 Alabama on Wednesday night. Jans’ squad held the lead against the Crimson Tide for the first 30 minutes, but the upset bid fell short.

MSU’s great defense was once again on display in the loss. The Bulldogs held Alabama to its lowest point total in SEC play on just 17.9% shooting from the 3-point line. That strong defensive play has carried the Bulldogs all season.

On the season, Mississippi State ranks in the top 25 in multiple defensive categories, including AdjD (13th), EFG% (25th), turnovers (13th) and opponents’ 2-point shooting % (23rd). This is also the same team that is 76th in defending the 3-point line.

With the Bulldogs falling in the NET and in most Bracketology articles, the program desperately needs a big win if it wants to make the Big Dance in Jans’ first season.

TCU vs. Mississippi State Betting Pick

All the betting value in this game is with the visitors, but there are a couple of ways to fade Mississippi State.

I'll start with my best bet, which is to take TCU on the moneyline. I would play that to -130 or a spread of TCU -2.

Three games ago, MSU hosted No. 4 Tennessee and the closing line was +5 for the Bulldogs. The oddsmakers either believe Jans’ squad has improved in this short period of time, or the Volunteers are 4.5 points better than TCU.

I don’t believe either of those to be true.

The other option you have for this game is to back MSU’s team total to fall under 63.5. The Bulldogs have failed to top this number in six of eight SEC games, including the past five — losses to Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn and Georgia.

Except for the Volunteers, TCU’s defensive metrics are better than all of those squads. The Horned Frogs do play at a higher tempo, but I have no belief in Mississippi State's offense.

Pick: TCU Moneyline -120 (Play to -130 or take TCU -2)

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Nick Sterling
Jun 15, 2024 UTC