Betting TCU-Texas Tech: Has Market Overreacted to Red Raiders’ Struggles?
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jarrett Culver
The first separation in the conference standings usually comes in late January. The top and bottom have been established, but the middle teams are faced with critical battles that will decide their NCAA Tournament seeding.
The biggest game on the Monday slate is an intrastate Big 12 battle between TCU and Texas Tech. Which team will become a legitimate conference title contender?
Let’s take a look.
Betting Odds: TCU Horned Frogs at Texas Tech Red Raiders
- Spread: Texas Tech -4.5
- Over/Under: 132
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
TCU (15-4) has won three of its last four games and is 3-3 in the Big 12 conference. The Horned Frogs are just 1-3 on the road and 1-2 against the spread in conference.
Texas Tech (16-4) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 67-64 win over Arkansas in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Red Raiders are 11-1 at home but are only 4-8-1 in Lubbock ATS.
TCU head coach Jaime Dixon has done a masterful job of overcoming the loss of guard Jaylen Fisher. Since Fisher’s season-ending knee injury, the Horned Frogs are 4-3 but do not have a win on the road.
The Horned Frogs have greatly improved their defense, ranking 18th overall in adjusted defensive efficiency. However, since the start of conference play, TCU has the worst 2P% defense in the Big 12. A large part of this discrepancy is due to the absence of Fisher.
Offensively, TCU has actually improved in 3P% since losing Fisher. The Frogs are shooting 35% on the season, but 37.3% from beyond the arc in conference play. In its conference road games, TCU is shooting exactly at that 37% 3P mark.
Texas Tech started the season by winning 15 of its first 16 games. Its only loss was 69-58 to Duke, and the Red Raiders led that game 53-51 with seven minutes left.
Since then, they have lost three of their last four games, including three consecutive Big 12 matchups. But are they actually undervalued after the hate went too far?
They still remain the best defensive team in the nation, ranking first overall in adjusted defensive efficiency and effective field goal percentage allowed.
They are third-best overall against the three-pointer, allowing opponents to just shoot 26.1% from deep. Texas Tech also ranks 14th in the country with 5.1 blocks per game.
Offensively, the Red Raiders have struggled but still rank fourth in 2P% since conference play began.
In their last game against Arkansas, Texas Tech shot 50% (12 of 24) from the field and 52.6% (10-19) from 3-point range. This came against an Arkansas team that entered the game allowing opponents to shoot less than 32% from beyond the arc.
Tonight is a vital game for both teams, but the metrics favor Texas Tech.
Every team goes through a slump, and the Red Raiders have shown their slump has ended. Texas Tech’s defense has been the best in the country all year, and their offensive efficiency against Arkansas was promising.
Sophomore Jarrett Culver (18.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg) is shooting 38.2% from 3 despite only going 3 of 13 during TexasTech’s losing streak. In his last game, Culver was four of five from deep.
A Monday night primetime game on ESPN will bring a raucous crowd to United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders superb defense, hot shooting from 3, and dominance from Culver will be more than enough to get past a compromised TCU team.
THE PICK: Texas Tech -4.5