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Bunnell’s Bounces: One last push

TCU’s(+7) season will be decided as a winning or losing one based on tonight's result against No. 15 Texas.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

TCU Men’s Basketball is back in Fort Worth to close the regular season against the No. 15 Texas Longhorns after a three-game road trip.

The Horned Frogs went 1-2 on their extended road trip coming away with a close win in Ames and losses to No. 6 West Virginia and No. 18 Texas Tech. Their record stands at an even .500 with twelve wins and twelve losses, so this final game in the Schollmaier Arena will determine if 2020/2021 will be a winning or losing season for Jamie Dixon’s crew.

In terms of covering the spread, the Frogs went 2-1 ATS this past week with covers against WVU and ISU to bring their ATS record to 9-14-1 on the year. Despite the Longhorn’s illustrious 16-7 record, they are in the same boat against the spread with a 9-13-1 ATS record this season.

Last time these teams met back in February, Texas closed as -11.5 favorites at home and ended up winning by 15(70-55) after a late-game push. TCU showed that they are capable of hanging with the big dogs like Texas, but holding on to leads and closing games in general has been a massive issue this season; mostly against ranked teams.

At this point in the season, the Horned Frogs dream of making the big dance is long gone, but they have been talked about on the bubble of the NIT. At the time of writing this, the Horned Frogs are being left out of the majority of NIT bracket projections, but a win against a top-15 Texas team to close the year would be HUGE for any postseason chances.

Pulling off an upset tonight would not only be massive for the Frogs’ NIT-chances, but huge for the team’s morale and confidence as well. In case you missed our SB Nation Reacts, it seems that Frog fans in general have lost confidence in this team as the season has progressed.

I would like to think the Frogs have a decent chance of correcting their mistakes from their last game against UT, but I’ve been dead wrong with my past predictions so I’m going to lay low on this one.

At this point in the year I’m convinced my TCU game picks are cursed. Whatever I think will happen, the exact opposite happens.

With that in mind, I’m going to try something a little different today. But first let’s see where the oddsmakers have the lines set for tonight’s Big 12 rematch at the Scholly:

TCU vs Texas

  • Tip-off: 6:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Texas -7, TCU +7
  • Over/under: 136
  • Money Line: Texas -315, TCU +250

My Pick: Texas -3.5 (1H)

TCU has covered the first half spread in only one of their last seven contests. Texas on the other hand is 5-1 against the 1st half spread in their last six. As much as I hate to pick against the Frogs — this one makes sense.

As I said before I’m convinced my picks are cursed, so this is one of the few instances where I would be happy to lose a pick for the Frogs’ sake.

I was extremely tempted to make a play on the over/under of 136 but the Horned Frogs inconsistency on offense steered me away. You never know which TCU team is going to walk out of that locker room. Sometimes they could drop 80+ in a night whereas other times they’d struggle to score 20 in a half.

Inconsistency can be entertaining from a fan’s perspective, but as a bettor it makes my job near impossible. Last time these teams met, TCU was held to just 55 points and the combined score only reached 125, missing the over by 16 points.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see another slow-tempo game, especially if the Frogs control the pace, but as I said before you never really know with this team.

I expected TCU to be less of an underdog than they were the first time around, but a 4.5 point dip down to Frogs +7 was more drastic than I anticipated. Vegas seems to be taking into account the Horned Frogs motivation to finish the season on a win and salvage at least a shred of postseason hope.

This has been one hell of a ride having the opportunity to share my college basketball picks with you all and analyze the betting lines for TCU games, but the regular season is coming to an end. I’m not certain what the future will hold in regards to Bunnell’s Bounces for the Big 12 Championship tournament, so I’ll treat today as if it’s the final ride.

After Youngstown State failed to cover the spread by 0.5 points in overtime last time out… my record for the year sits at 25-26-1. I can’t afford ANY losses today in order to finish the season positive, so I present to you the best of the best top three picks for today’s college basketball slate:

Pick 1: UNC Greensboro -3 vs East Tennessee State

  • Tip-off: 4:00 p.m. CST

Pick 2: Oregon State vs Oregon over 136.5

  • Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. CST

Pick 3: Coastal Carolina -5 vs App. State

  • Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. CST