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Texas Tech vs TCU Odds, Picks: Trust Horned Frogs’ Experience

Texas Tech vs TCU Odds, Picks: Trust Horned Frogs’ Experience article feature image
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Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Eddie Lampkin Jr. (TCU)

Texas Tech vs TCU Odds

Saturday, Dec. 31
12 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Texas Tech Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5.5
-118
139.5
-110o / -110u
+172
TCU Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5.5
-104
139.5
-110o / -110u
-210
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Big 12 conference play is officially underway as TCU welcomes Texas Tech on the final day of 2022.

TCU has been red hot and enter the bout on a nine-game win streak. Meanwhile, Texas Tech has won six straight of its own.

While the two teams are not in the upper-echelon of the Big 12, both have an extremely high ceiling and realistic NCAA tournament hopes.

Can the Horned Frogs extend their win streak to double digits and live up to their high preseason expectations, or will the Red Raiders enter a raucous home environment and pull off the upset?


Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech is a mysterious team, and its identity will be found out in Big 12 play.

The Red Raiders only played two teams ranked inside the KenPom top 150 in the non-conference, and both ended in losses (Ohio State, Creighton).

After close calls against Nicholls State and Eastern Washington, the Red Raiders have blown out their last three opponents.

Mark Adams’ squad remains without Utah Valley transfer Fardaws Aimaq, who will provide the frontcourt a significant boost, both on the offensive and defensive end. He averaged 18.9 points, 13.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game before transferring to Lubbock.

There’s always one constant with the Red Raiders, and that’s their suffocating defense. They rank 20th in turnover rate and 50th in eFG% this season. They’re physical and strong on the glass, led by 6-foot-11 Daniel Batcho.

Batcho’s sophomore-year leap has given TTU a rim protector and general force in the paint, even without Aimaq. He’s second on the team in points (13.3), first in rebounds (8.3) and first in blocks (1.6) by a large margin.

Fifth-year big Kevin Obanor has taken reigns as the leading scorer, and Adams has rounded out his rotation with Oregon transfer De’Vion Harmon and freshman Pop Isaacs.

Turnovers have been a constant issue for this Texas Tech squad, with Isaacs still adjusting to Division-I speed. The Red Raiders are 220th in turnover rate, and it’s been an issue despite an extremely inferior non-conference slate.

But on the positive, the Red Raiders are fifth in eFG% and seventh in 2-point offense. They’re also 57th in 3-point shooting. It’s a well-rounded offense that — unlike in years past — doesn’t have to rely on defense and physicality for success.

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TCU Horned Frogs

A preseason sleeper team by many, TCU fell victim to an enormous upset at the hands of Northwestern State just three games into the season. It came at a time when the team battled injury, and Damion Baugh missed time due to a suspension.

Since that loss, the Horned Frogs have ripped off nine straight wins. That streak include double-digit victories over Iowa and Providence, and they took down Utah before Big 12 play began.

This is a deep and talented TCU roster. It’s sixth in bench minutes and inside the top 100 in both Division I experience and height.

The Horned Frogs rely on physicality and attacking the rim. They get 57.4% of their points on 2s and another 20.7% at the free-throw line.

Baugh is the do-it-all guard, as he’s averaging 4.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. He provides steady scoring and is a defensive force, too.

It makes sense considering TCU is 316th in 3-point offense — 313th in 3-point rate as well — but top-85 in both free-throw rate and 2-point offense. The Frogs are also 18th in offensive rebounding rate, led by 6-foot-11 Eddie Lampkin Jr. (8th in OReb%).

The real moneymaker for this Horned Frogs team is its defense. TCU is 17th in eFG% and 24th in turnover rate. This is a long, athletic bunch with no starter under 6-foot-2.

Baugh averages 2.2 steals per games, while Mike Miles Jr. — the Frogs’ leading scorer at 18.1 points per game — and both Micah Peavy and Shahada Wells all sit above one.

In a four-point win over Utah, the Horned Frogs forced 19 turnovers. This is a disruptive group, and TCU’s physicality should prove to be a difference in Big 12 play.


Texas Tech vs. TCU Betting Pick

There’s a lot to love about both teams here, but in a home environment and in a Big 12 opener, TCU holds the edge.

The Horned Frogs’ defensive disruption should prove to be too much for Texas Tech’s offense, as turnovers are atop the Red Raiders’ list of struggles.

The Horned Frogs should also force Texas Tech into difficult shots, quickly turning this game into a defensive battle. And if that’s the case, I expect TCU to find more success on the interior.

Batcho has been great, but Lampkin is a huge step up in competition. The Red Raiders have struggled against top competition this season while taking advantage of weak non-conference foes.

TCU is no pushover. I’ll fade TTU until it can prove it can beat a solid opponent.

Jamie Dixon’s defensive schemes paired with TCU’s experience makes me confident in backing the Horned Frogs to begin Big 12 play.

Expect TCU to roll and create enough disruption on defense to create separation and take down the Red Raiders.

Pick: TCU -3.5 (Play to -5)

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