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Bunnell’s Bounces: Frogs and Friars

Everything is set up for a close game today in the Schollmaier.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Despite losing a close game at home to open up conference play, TCU managed to cover the spread of +4.5 thanks to a missed free throw from Oklahoma with 2.6 seconds left. It’s never fun losing, but there were definitely some positives to take away from that game.

During halftime I thought the Horned Frogs had it in the bag, but Oklahoma made a late-game push behind Austin Reaves 32 points and 9 assists to come away with the win. Who is this Reaves kid anyway? He was killing the Frogs from beyond the arc.

TCU’s scoring last game was led by freshmen Mike Miles, who seems to already be bringing in national attention. It’s only been a few games, but Miles is already filling into that #1 jersey Desmond Band left behind quite nicely. Miles is going to be a key player for the Frogs down the stretch this season, supported by his 33 minutes played against the Sooners — the most minutes of any Horned Frog.

Of course I would have loved to see TCU come away with the victory, but it was a step in the right direction to at least cover the point spread. Depending on which sportsbook you use, the spread closed at either +4.5 or +4. I was lucky enough to grab last game’s line at +4.5 which would bring the Frog’s record against the spread to 2-3.

Today the Horned Frogs match up against the Providence Friars, who have also struggled against the spread this season posting a 1-4 record ATS.

Let’s see where the oddsmakers are setting the lines for tonight’s matchup at the Schollmaier:

TCU vs Providence

  • Tip-off: 4:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: TCU -1, Providence +1
  • O/U: 132.5
  • Money Line: TCU -115, Providence -105

My pick: TCU -1, Over 132.5

Looks like Vegas is expecting this one to go down to the wire.

Public bets are currently split down the middle with TCU receiving 53% of bets and Providence getting 47%. The percentage of money on the other hand heavily sides with the Friars, who are garnering 77% of the money on this line. This indicates that Providence is receiving support from sharps (aka the pros) to cover the spread.

Personally, I’m fading the sharps and taking the Frogs. Through five games, TCU appears to be the better team though it’s tough to judge with the limited statistics available thus far. Providence has failed to cover the spread in their last four games and I don’t see that streak ending tonight.

I’m expecting Kevin Samuel to have a big game tonight considering Providence is a team that struggles with rebounding and also allows opponents to shoot 47.8% from two-point range. The Friars also rank 261st in the country for defensive efficiency, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Frogs broke 70 points again.

On top of picking TCU -1, I am even more confident that the over of 132.5 will hit today. The over/under line opened up at 127.5, but after significant support from sharps, the line bumped up five points.

Outside of Fort Worth, I am currently standing at a 9-3 record on college basketball picks giving me a 75% win percentage — not too shabby ‘eh? I’ve put together what I believe to be the three best bets for today’s slate of college basketball games.

Pick 1: Chattanooga -4.5 against Bellarmine

  • Tip-off: 6:00 p.m. CST

Why: Congrats to Bellarmine for playing their first season as a Division 1 program. Chattanooga has been one of the best teams to bet against the spread in basketball, going 19-9-3 ATS last year and are already off to a perfect 3-0. I think Bellarmine is going to have trouble taking care of the ball today considering they rank 246th in offensive turnover percentage. The Mocs proved themselves in their last matchup against Middle Tennessee State, winning 80-70 despite being +1.5 point underdogs. Personally I think Chattanooga wins this one by double digits, but for some reason oddsmakers think this game will be close. In close games, free throws matter, and the Mocs win the free throw contest with 78.5% free throw shooting compared to Bellarmine’s 60%.

Pick 2: Florida State -3.5 against Indiana

  • Tip-off: 6:15 p.m. CST

Why: Last time I picked the Hoosiers, they ended up getting blown out 66-44 by Texas so I won’t be making that same mistake twice. That loss against Texas showed that Indiana might struggle against efficient defenses, which is exactly what Florida State has. In 2019 the Seminoles ranked first in the ACC for turnover percentage, steal percentage, and block percentage. Despite losing two players from their 2019 squad to the first round of the NBA draft, KenPom projects Florida State to maintain their offensive efficiency from last year. The Seminoles are top-100 in every shooting category.

Pick 3: Liberty +10 against Missouri

  • Tip-off: 7:15 p.m. CST

Why: Liberty is one of the most profitable teams against the spread in college basketball. The Flames are currently 4-1 against the spread this season and 3-1 as underdogs. That’s all we need to know, ride the wave.

The comment section is open! What are your favorite picks today? Do you think TCU will come out on top against Providence? Will the over or under hit in today’s game? Let us know!