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Bunnell’s Bounces: Prove them wrong

Forth Worth > That truck stop they call Waco

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

The Horned Frogs had a tough go last time out falling to Kansas 93-64, and things don’t get much easier this afternoon considering they host No. 2 Baylor.

Tuesday against Kansas was the most points TCU has allowed and the 2nd least amount of points scored offensively all season. The Jayhawks were feisty coming off an embarrassing 20+ point loss at home to Texas, so of course they turned right around and handed the Frogs a 20+ point home loss, without Marcus Garrett I might add.

TCU has continued to struggle playing at home this season. The Frogs are now 1-6-1 against the spread when playing in the Schollmaier Arena.

There truly aren’t many positives to take away from the Frogs’ performance against the Jayhawks, even Coach Dixon himself said “We didn’t see this coming” multiple times in the post-game interviews.

I believe I speak for a large sum of Frog fans when I say let’s just forget about that one. On to the next.

Despite a solid 9-3 start, KenPom currently has the Horned Frogs projected to finish the season 9-12, meaning the Frogs would have to lose out for the remainder of the season. Sorry “Mr. Pom”, not gonna happen.

TCU has a history of proving the analyst’s wrong, and that won’t stop this season.

Squeezing out a win today is going to be tough as Baylor is by far the best team in the Big 12 this season, and arguably the best in the country.

As much as this pains me to say, Baylor is scary good. The Bears are a top-5 team in both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, and are also top-5 in assists per game.

On top of that, the Bears have five players averaging double-digit points per game and are the 2nd best three-point shooting team in the country (43.6%).

The more you look into Baylor’s incredible season, the more daunting of an opponent they become. But this is a rivalry game and anything can happen, proven by Desmond Bane’s “I’M LIKE THAT” celebration in the same matchup a year ago.

Let’s see where the oddsmakers have set the lines for tonight’s rivalry game:

TCU vs Baylor

  • Tip-off: 2:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Baylor -12, TCU +12
  • Over/Under: 144.5
  • Money Line: Baylor -835, TCU +575

My Pick: Baylor team total over 78.5

Against Kansas my pick could not have been more wrong, I was convinced the Frogs would pull off the upset. Today rather than playing the spread or over/under, I decided to go with the Bear’s team total due to the Frogs recent defensive woes and Baylor’s lights out shooting.

Believe me, I want TCU +575 to hit more than anything, but I don’t think there is much value in any of these lines.

At the time of writing this, the majority (55%) of public bettors are siding with the Horned Frogs to cover the +12 point spread, yet 90% of the money has been placed on Baylor indicating some sharp action.

If TCU are going to win this game, or even cover the spread for that matter, here is what will need to happen:

  • RJ Nembard score 20+ points
  • Mike Miles to score at least his average of 13.6 PPG
  • Kevin Samuel grab 15+ boards
  • Shut down the perimeter on defense
  • Contain the Bears backcourt trio
  • Overall play a perfect game of basketball

Not too much to ask for, right?

If you haven’t heard of Baylor’s backcourt trio, you likely will this afternoon. Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell, and MaCio Teague are averaging a combined 42.8 points per game, 5.3 steals per game, and shoot over 47.5% from the field.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this game was a back-and-forth scoring fest between each team’s guards.

One thing the Frogs will certainly need to do today is make their free throws. They are currently shooting just 64% from the charity stripe which ranks them outside of the top 250 in the nation for free throw percentage.

Regardless of the outcome, this should be a fun game to watch; rivalry games always are.

Moving on to some games outside of Fort Worth, I have hit a bit of a slump when it comes to my picks. Overall, I am currently at 16-12-1 on the year, but have gone 1-4-1 in the last two articles.

I’ve already forgotten about the last two days, it’s behind me, time for an easy peasy 3-0. Here are my three best bets for Saturday’s college basketball slate.

Pick 1: Georgia +9 vs Arkansas

  • Tip-off: 2:30 p.m. CST

Why: Arkansas has been playing out of their minds this season, but a 9-point spread is wayyy too big for my liking. The Razorbacks have now dropped two in a row following a 9-0 start, which is the same scenario for the Bulldogs though they started 7-0. My biggest issue with Arkansas despite all the hype is that they really haven’t played anyone fantastic other than Tennessee and Mizzou, which account for both of their losses. Georgia is one of the better teams the Razorbacks have faced this season, so winning by double-digits is a big ask. I’m backing Georgia to keep things close in Fayetteville.

Pick 2: Georgia Southern +2 vs App. State

  • Tip-off: 3:00 p.m. CST

Why: I had GA Southern +2.5 against App. State just yesterday and the Eagles lost by 3 meaning App. State covered by just half a point. Welp… NOT THIS TIME! The Eagles were winning by 10 after the first half but surrendered to the Mountaineers’ late game comeback. Last time GA Southern lost the first round of a back to back was against South Alabama 88-59. They turned that 29-point loss into a 13-point win the next day. In the wise words of J. Cole, “History repeats itself and that’s just how it goes,” back the Eagles to get their revenge.

Pick 3: Oklahoma State -4 (1H) vs Kansas State

  • Tip-off: 5:00 p.m. CST

Why: It seems to be common knowledge at this point that Kansas State has been the most disappointing team in the Big 12 this season, especially in the first half. The Wildcats are 1-3 against the first-half spread against Big 12 opponents this year while on the other hand OK. State is 3-1 (TCU is their only L). The Cowboys have won the first half by an average margin of 8 points over the course of their last three games, including matchups against West Virginia and Texas Tech. It’s safe to say the Pokes are a first-half team, and K-State is well… at least they are trying.