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Bunnell’s Bounces: The recipe for a cover in Lubbock

TCU(+12.5) hits the road to face No. 18 Texas Tech for the first time this season.

The Horned Frogs are back in the win column after topping Iowa State 76-72 in Ames bringing their record to 12-10 and 5-8 in Big 12 play this season. With only three games remaining on the schedule, the push to finish above .500 starts on the road tonight against No. 18 Texas Tech.

Even though the Cyclones hadn’t won a single conference game all season(0-15), Vegas had TCU listed as +1 point underdogs. This was the Frogs’ first time covering the spread since beating Oklahoma State(-4.5) outright on Feb. 3.

TCU could potentially lack motivation to push for the NCAA tournament as the odds are not in their favor at this point in the season, but the Frogs have a decent chance at qualifying for their third NIT in Jamie Dixon’s five seasons at the helm. The Red Raiders are obviously going to be favored in this game, but how fun would it be to see the Horned Frogs spoil their chance at a higher seed in the big dance and make a last-minute NIT push in the process?

Texas Tech may have a top-20 ranking, one of the best defensive units in the country, and one of the highest rated guards in Mac McClung, but they aren’t unbeatable. Tech has a 15-8 overall record on the year which is quite the contrast compared to their 8-15 record against the spread, including 1-3 ATS in their last four.

As fun as it is to roast on Tech for their poor ATS record, the Frogs are in the same boat. TCU has an 8-13-1 record against the spread this season after covering against Iowa State over the weekend.

In their last time out, the Red Raiders topped Texas 68-59 to snap a three-game losing streak and bring their conference record to 7-7 on the year. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Texas Tech is ranked in the top-20 yet are currently 7th in the Big 12 standings right above TCU. That goes to show how dominant Big 12 basketball has been this season.

The last time these teams met in Lubbock, it’s safe to say the game didn’t go the Frogs way. Texas Tech won 88-42 back in February of 2020 for their fifth win over TCU in the last six contests.

Winning and losing outright is all fine and dandy, but we’re here to break down the betting lines for tonight’s Big 12 matchup. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at where the oddsmakers have set the lines:

TCU @ Texas Tech

  • Tip-off: 6:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Tech -12.5. TCU +12.5
  • Over/under: 131.5
  • Money Line: Tech -1115, TCU +650

My pick: TCU +12.5

A 12.5 point spread… is this for real? Last time I rode with the Frogs on a double-digit spread I ate my words, but Texas Tech has gone a whopping 1-9 ATS in their last 10 home games so this number seems a bit surreal from my point of view.

The Red Raider’s largest margin of victory at home this season is 11 against Kansas State. On top of that, Tech has gone 0-5 in their last five games as 10+ point favorites. Winning the game outright is going to be one hell of a task for this Horned Frog team, but dominating opponents at home doesn’t appear to be Tech’s style, so I’ll ride with TCU and the points.

This is a beautiful recipe for any college basketball bettor: A poor home ATS team(Tech 1-9 in last 10) vs a phenomenal road ATS team(TCU 7-2 in last nine) in a seemingly overvalued line.

At the time of writing, the majority of public bettors(53%) are taking the Red Raiders -12.5 and a massive 84% of the money wagered on the line sides with them as well. As for the over/under, everything is split just about down the middle. 53% of bettors are taking the over of 131.5 which accounts for the exact opposite 47% of the money wagered.

TCU has gone 11-11 on the over/under compared to Tech’s 11-12 this season. Considering this line is set so low and the teams are both essentially .500 on the O/U, I’m staying away; though I wouldn’t be surprised to see an oddly low-scoring game. Both of these teams severely lack offensive tempo and it appears as if Vegas has taken that into account.

Outside of my TCU picks, I went a whopping 0-3 last time out to bring my record on the season to 23-25-1. Not ideal, but things could be worse. There is still plenty of time for a last minute push back into the green. That all starts with a perfect 3-0 tonight. Here are my three best bets for tonight’s college basketball slate:

Pick 1: Arkansas -6 vs South Carolina

  • Tip-off: 5:30 p.m. CST

Pick 2: Youngstown State +3.5 vs Oakland

  • Tip-off: 6:30 p.m. CST

Pick 3: Michigan State -3.5 vs Indiana

  • Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. CST