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Bunnell’s Bounces: Break the wind

TCU(+1) looks to bring their losing streak to an end tonight on the road against Iowa State.

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Texas Christian Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

After falling to No. 10 West Virginia in a close 74-66 game on Tuesday, the TCU Men’s Basketball team heads to Ames to take on Iowa State for the second time this season. The last time these teams met, the Horned Frogs snuck away with a 79-76 victory on their home court.

The Horned Frogs seemed to had found their rhythm after nearly beating Mizzou in overtime followed by two consecutive victories over Iowa State and Oklahoma State, but they’ll enter tonight’s contest on a three-game losing streak(Texas, KSU, WVU).

Not only have the Frogs had a hard time winning games outright recently, especially against ranked teams, but they’ve also struggled against the spread. TCU is 0-3 ATS in their last three outings bringing their ATS record to 7-13-1 on the year.

Essentially, this means if you were to bet $100 on the Horned Frogs spread every game this season, you’d be out roughly $600-$700 depending on your books odds. My dream of TCU making a late season push towards being profitable has come to a rapid halt.

Iowa State has a similar betting resume with an 8-11 record against the spread this season; the only difference is they have beat the spread in two consecutive outings.

I would like to say I am confident about the Frogs chances this evening considering the Cyclones are 2-17 and remain winless in Big 12 play.... but I can’t.

We are all familiar with the abundant COVID-related issues the Horned Frogs have had to deal with this season causing them to miss practices and team functions, but if anyone else could understand what it’s like to play through those circumstances it’s Iowa State.

The Cyclones had a 17-day pause to their season back in January and were missing key players upon returning to play. Now that they are back on a semi-regular routine, Iowa State seems to be playing better and with more confidence. They haven’t gotten over the hump of actually winning a conference game quite yet, but boy have they been close as of late.

Earlier this week Iowa State traveled to Waco to take on No. 2 Baylor and nearly came away with the upset of the season. The fact that they were beating Baylor for a large portion of the game is crazy in and of itself and I can’t help but wonder what that kind of performance could do for their confidence going forward.

For both TCU and Iowa State, there isn’t much left to play for this season considering neither team is projected to be selected for March Madness, but Iowa State may have a slight chip on their shoulder this evening. As I said before, the Cyclones are 0-14 in Big 12 play this season and NO ONE wants to be known as the team that went winless.

Last time these teams met, TCU closed as a -4.5 point favorite and ended up winning by three, missing the cover by a single bucket. The market on today’s matchup has fluctuated quite a bit since the lines first opened up, so let’s take a look at where the oddsmakers have set the lines for tonight’s Big 12 showdown in Ames:

TCU @ Iowa State

  • Tip-off: 5:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: ISU -1, TCU +1
  • Over/under: 141
  • Money Line: ISU -115, TCU -105

My Pick: Live bet TCU spread at +4.5 or better

You would think that after following the Horned Frogs for the entirety of the season making picks would get easier along the way. Nope. TCU is one of the toughest teams to pin in all of college basketball in the most exciting and also frustrating ways possible. This is one of the many reasons as to why I decided to not make a pick on tonight’s spreads, but rather wait until the game begins and look for an opportunity to get a better line.

Considering the last four matchups between these teams ended with a six-point margin of victory or less, I’m expecting this to be another close game that goes down to the wire. If the Horned Frogs give up a big run at any point during the game and are trailing — hammer a live bet.

The lines originally opened up as a straight pick ‘em before shifting to TCU -1, but after an influx of Cyclone bettors the line did a complete switch over to ISU -1.

At the time of writing, the public seems to love the Frogs today. 69% of public bettors are siding with the Frogs(nice) and 73% of the money pot sides with them as well. As for the over/under of 141, 63% of public bettors are taking the over while the majority of the money(56%) sides with the under.

With No. 18 Texas Tech, No. 10 West Virginia, and No. 14 Texas as the only remaining opponents for the Horned Frogs this year, today is their best bet of getting to twelve wins on the season.

I’ve had a blast making picks this season, but we are entering the final stretch. Aside from my TCU game picks, I am sitting at 23-22-1; just barely in the positive. I am absolutely loving the board today. An abundance of games to choose from leaves room for an abundance of wins. Her are my three best bets for today’s college basketball slate:

Pick 1: Duke -2.5 (1H) vs Louisville

  • Tip-off: 5:00 p.m. CST

Pick 2: Missouri State vs Evansville over 136.5

  • Tip-off: 6:00 p.m. CST

Pick 3: Baylor -4 vs Kansas

  • Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. CST