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TCU vs Texas Odds, Picks: Why Horned Frogs Will Cover

TCU vs Texas Odds, Picks: Why Horned Frogs Will Cover article feature image
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Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Miles Jr. (TCU)

TCU vs Texas Odds

Wednesday, Jan. 11
9 p.m. ET
ESPN2
TCU Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+6.5
-115
142.5
-110o / -110u
+220
Texas Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-6.5
-105
142.5
-110o / -110u
-275
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

There’s no doubt that thus far into the college basketball season, the Big 12 is the best conference in the sport. As of now, it’s the only league to have all of its teams rank in the top 45 of KenPom. 

And we get another great conference matchup on Wednesday night, with the TCU Horned Frogs traveling to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns.

Both teams sit at 13-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play, and should hover around the top of the standings throughout the season. 

So, which team has the edge in this matchup?


TCU Horned Frogs

One word comes to mind when watching TCU: transition. The Horned Frogs love to push the pace and are heavily reliant on getting out and running for their offense — 24.3% of their possessions are in transition, per Synergy.

They are 33rd in the country in average possession length at 15.8 seconds. It’s a small sample size, but they are first in the Big 12 in averaging the fastest possession length through three games. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s after a made basket; they are running. It was a key reason they were able to overcome a 17-point deficit against Baylor and get the win.

They also desperately need to run because they can’t shoot. The Horned Frogs are shooting 29.7% from 3 this season (320th).

When the offense bogs down, they turn to Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Mike Miles Jr., who can single-handedly win TCU games with his shot creation and finishing ability. 

Jamie Dixon has a variety of strong perimeter defenders at his disposal — Miles, Emanuel Miller, Micah Peavy, Chuck O’Bannon Jr. and Damion Baugh — who can make it extremely tough on opposing offenses. In the half-court, TCU is allowing just 0.749 points per possession.

Texas Longhorns

Although Texas has fired Chris Beard, it still remains one of the best teams in the country. It ranks top-20 in offensive and defensive efficiency. 

Marcus Carr (17.7 PPG) leads the way and has shown the ability to go off on any given night.

The Longhorns have multiple scoring threats aside from Carr, though, with Tyrese Hunter (11.6 PPG), Timmy Allen (10.1 PPG) and Sir’Jabari Rice (9.6 PPG) pitching in.

At times, they can stagnate a bit on offense in the half-court, as they don’t have a lot of outside shooters. Only Carr (44.6%) is reliable from 3, while no other high-usage player on the team is shooting above 32% from beyond the arc.

The Longhorns are also a below-average 242nd in free-throw rate. 

However, Texas still has high efficiency offensive numbers because the defense constantly hounds on the perimeter and forces turnovers.

Texas ranks 17th in the nation in turnover percentage on defense. And turnovers allow transition play. 19.5% of the Longhorns’ possessions come in transition, and they are averaging a ridiculous 1.21 points per possession when in transition, per Synergy. 

It’s clear what the Longhorns can do when the defense is clicking.

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TCU vs. Texas Betting Pick

This game is a matchup between two very similar teams. They both are physical and force turnovers. They both love to run. And they both are led by elite guards. 

I think Texas can squeeze out a win, but in a game like this, the defenses aren’t going to allow anything easy in the half-court, and I’d rather have the points.

TCU can be worrisome to back as a favorite in conference play because when it can’t run, the offense is shaky.

But when you give the Frogs points, they are profitable.

As a dog, they are 3-0 ATS this season. Last season, with basically the same roster, they went 13-5-1 ATS as a dog and 10-5-1 ATS as a dog in conference play.

Coming off a loss, TCU should be focused and ready to go in what should end up being a tight, intense game. 

Pick: TCU +6.5

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