clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bunnell’s Bounces: The Frogs are back in action

The Horned Frogs (+14.5) return to action tonight to take on the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence.

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

FINALLY! TCU Basketball is back after what feels like an eternity of game cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19 complications.

The Horned Frogs head to Allen Fieldhouse, one of the toughest places to play in the country, to take on the 15th ranked Kansas Jayhawks. Both teams are in a less-than ideal spot considering the Frogs and Jayhawks have each lost their last three games.

Playing in Lawrence against a mostly healthy Kansas squad coming off three straight road losses isn’t exactly a great position to be in after a near three-week pause in the season. But hey, this is the Big 12.

TCU’s schedule doesn’t get any easier after tonight either. Just to get an idea, here are a few upcoming games for the Frogs: @ Mizzou, @ Baylor, @ Texas. Jamie Dixon has said it himself, you don’t get any days off playing in this conference. The Frogs have to make the most out of each and every game, and tonight is another huge opportunity to gain some momentum.

Considering Kansas stomped TCU by 29 the first time around, it would be easy for the Frogs to walk into this game with a predetermined mindset they are going to lose. That can’t happen.

Even if TCU falls to Kansas tonight in Lawrence, playing at least a close, competitive game would be massive for the Horned Frogs confidence down the road. I know it’s been a rough start to 2021, but don’t give up on this team just yet. In Dixon we trust.

After a string of losses, TCU stands at a less than impressive 4-9-1 against the spread this season, going 1-4 ATS in their last five. The Jayhawks are also below .500 ATS this season, which is unusual for a Bill Self led team, posting a 6-7-1 record ATS (2-3 in last five).

As for the over/under, both teams are hitting around the same 50% mark. TCU has hit the over in 7/14 games this season while Kansas has gone 7-6-1 against the over. Both right around .500.

My pick last week (TCU +6.5) against Oklahoma didn’t go so well, so I’m going to play it safe and avoid any plays on tonight’s spread. You never know which TCU Basketball team is going to walk out on that floor, there is always a chance the Frogs pull off a miracle.

With that being said, let’s take a look at where the oddsmakers have set the lines for tonight’s Big 12 matchup:

TCU @ Kansas

  • Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: KU -14.5, TCU+14.5
  • Over/under: 136.5
  • Money Line: KU -1430, TCU +850

My Pick: TCU team total o61.5, pass on spread & O/U

Generally speaking, I have no idea what’s going to happen tonight, and frankly I don’t think the oddsmakers do either. TCU closed as +6.5 point underdogs in their first meeting against KU, and we all know how that turned out… Of course the oddsmakers had to adjust the line, but Kansas hasn’t done much lately to prove they are worthy of such a large spread.

I’ve decided to target TCU’s team total for tonight as I believe it’s being largely undervalued. The Frogs have scored at least 61 points in 11 of their 14 games this season, including a 64-point outing the last time they played Kansas.

Considering the Frogs haven’t had any game action in nearly three weeks, we’ll see one of two possibilities tonight. Either the Frogs will come out looking sluggish and out of rhythm after such a long “break,” or they will come out looking fiery after having weeks to prepare for this Kansas team. Let’s hope for option #2.

At the time of writing this, TCU is receiving 51% of public bets on the spread (+14.5) despite 79% of the line’s money siding with Kansas. The over/under is much more lopsided. Over 80% of public bettors are picking the over (136.5) while 80% of the money has been placed on the under.

TCU managed to score over 61.5 points in their first matchup against KU despite a horrid performance, so I don’t see any reason as to why they can’t do it again.

Moving on to some picks outside of tonight’s TCU game, I posted somewhat of a comeback going 3-0 on my “best bets” of the night last time out after a short slump. My record on the year is standing at 20-14-1, but I’m never satisfied. Let’s have another 3-0 night, shall we?

Here are my three best bets for tonight’s college basketball slate:

Pick 1: Bradley -5.5 vs Valparaiso

  • Tip-off: 6:00 p.m CST

Why: The Braves had hit a bit of a skid losing three straight games, but that changes tonight. Bradley played in two hard fought losses (69-58 & 65-58) against Loyola (IL), who is having a fantastic season, meanwhile the Crusaders got blown out by 36 at home against the same team. On paper, Bradley has the edge in this matchup. It seems like this line was shifted due to the Braves recent losses, so there is some value in this pick. Bradley has won three of the last four meetings against Valparaiso and the favorite is 7-0 ATS in the last seven matchups between these teams.

Pick 2: SMU -4 vs Memphis

  • Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. CST

Why: As much as I hate rooting for the Ponies, this is my favorite bet of the night. In fact, I would like to declare this an ultra superduper mega can’t lose absolute LOCK of a pick. These teams faced each other just last night with the Tigers coming out on top 76-72. SMU held a significant lead throughout the first half before allowing Memphis to go on a massive run. Things are slightly different tonight considering the Mustangs will be playing on their home court. Though it doesn’t mean everything, it is worth a note that the home team has gone 13-6 against the spread when these teams meet. SMU has an extremely well balanced offensive scheme with five players averaging double-digit points, led by former TCU guard Kendric Davis… *sigh* If SMU can capitalize off turnovers tonight, an area which Memphis struggles in, they should be able to cover this small spread at home. If you don’t want to lay the wood on the full spread, this game might be worth a split play. Half a unit on the 1st half spread (-2) and another half on the full game spread.

Pick 3: Wyoming +15.5 vs San Diego State

  • Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. CST

Why: I think the Cowboys are massively undervalued in this matchup. Don’t get me wrong, SDSU is certainly the better team, but are they really 16 points better than Wyoming? I don’t think so. Wyoming is playing well recently, going 3-0 against the spread in their last three games including two wins over a decent Nevada squad. I’m always nervous making plays on spreads as large as this one, so I’m risking only half a unit. Wyoming is the move, yee haw!

The comment section is open! What are your favorite picks for today’s games? Do you think the Horned Frogs can cover the +14.5 point spread against Kansas? Let us know!