We picked up a nice win last night when we backed the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in their Big Sky Conference game against Montana. This was one of the more perplexing line moves of the year, as these two teams had matched up in the same building just two days prior, and the T-Birds gutted out a 1-point home floor victory. So, to see the public hammer Montana, and make them -3-point favorites in a game that yesterday in my pick I called a carbon copy of the game they just played, just didn’t make any sense at all.
It was hard to expect a drastically different outcome last night than what we saw on Thursday night, so I faded the public and backed Southern Utah at home. I acknowledged that it is awfully hard to beat a team twice in such a short period of time, but thanks to the public, I didn’t even need Southern Utah to win to cash my ticket, I just needed them to lose close, to get paid. So, I fired on the T-Birds and expected another close game that looked a lot like the first time these teams matched up.
Thunderbirds Sweep Montana In Another Close Contest
— SUU Men's Basketball (@SUUBasketball) December 5, 2020
And that is exactly what happened. This game played out nearly identically to the game on Thursday night. Montana took an early first-half lead, only to see Southern Utah tighten things up in the second half. The game was tied late in the second half, and when all of the smoke cleared, Southern Utah again gutted out a 1-point victory, and we cashed our ticket. A glance at the box score shows a nearly identical game to the game these teams played two night’s before.
Sometimes I wonder how the public can always get it so wrong, and other times I just fade them and take the free money. I don’t know what made everyone think that we were going to see Montana just blow the T-Birds out on the road, but I am thankful that they did. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will again look to position ourselves on the other side of the betting public, as we head to Fort Worth for the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Oklahoma Sooners.
- Oklahoma Sooners (1-0) at TCU Horned Frogs (4-0)
- Schollmaier Arena, Fort Worth
- 1:00 PM PST
- TV: ESPN2
The TCU Horned Frogs are off to a surprising undefeated start to their season and host the Oklahoma Sooners tonight in a non-conference matchup. TCU appears to be in the midst of a rebuild this season, but at 4-0, they are playing well. The schedule has been a soft one, but in an abbreviated season like this one, wins are wins, and a win over a solid Oklahoma team would be the best win of the year so far for Jaime Dixon’s Horned Frogs.
— TCU Basketball (@TCUBasketball) December 6, 2020
For Oklahoma, the Sooners have a team chalked full of upperclassmen, and Lon Kruger is hoping to get his Sooners back to the NCAA tournament this year. Last year, Oklahoma had a bit of a down season, as they were squarely on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. Oklahoma didn’t have to suffer through not hearing their name called on Selection Sunday, but their 12 losses would have seen them have one of the highest loss totals of any at-large bid team had they been selected.
Oklahoma Sooners (1-0)
This is the first game of the year for the Oklahoma Sooner is Big 12 league play, and while they do go back to a couple of non-conference games before they get into their full Big 12 schedule, these conference games are going to be key to their success this season. Particularly on the road, if the Sooners can take care of business in the Big 12, they are going to safely be an NCAA tournament team.
Last year, the Sooners lost six out of their first seven Big 12 road games before finding a way to knock off West Virginia, and this TCU team, on the road, two wins that may have gotten them into the NCAA tournament. But bad road losses to teams like Iowa State and K-State kept the Sooners on the bubble, rather than clearly inside the field of 68. The next two road games for Oklahoma in Big 12 play are at Baylor and Kansas, two games they just aren’t going to win. That makes a winnable road game like this one tonight, that much more important.
TCU Horned Frogs (4-0)
Can Jaime Dixon’s Horned Frogs team make the NCAA tournament this year? I am going to lean towards no, as they seem to be destined to finish near the basement in the Big 12 this year, but if they can win at home, they might make a case for an at-large bid. The Horned Frogs have yet to play a true road game and won’t, until they head to Stillwater on December 16 to play the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
After this game, TCU hosts Providence and Texas A & M, both teams that are in the top-70 nationally, and if the Horned Frogs can keep up their winning ways, they are going to have a strong case to be an NCAA tournament team. Dixon is going to lean on RJ Nembhard to lead the Horned Frogs this year, and after a slow start to the year, he has really turned it on recently for TCU. Nembhard has averaged 18.5 points and 7 rebounds a game in his last two contests. He has been sloppy with the ball, with 11 turnovers in 3 games, but it is a great sign for this TCU team that he is scoring the basketball at a high rate.
Who Do I Like?
This line opened up at Oklahoma -2-points. That is exactly where kenpom had the game, and it felt like a sharp number. I think we can all likely agree that Oklahoma is the far superior team in this game. They are ranked 26th on kenpom and assuming they play up to their ability, they are probably going to be playing in the NCAA tournament this year. But I have been surprised to see that basically all of the action has been coming in on the Sooners, moving this number three and a half points.
I was leaning towards backing OU on the road in this one as well at the opening number, but the public just never knows when to stop, and now that I can back the Horned Frigs getting +5.5-points, that is the side I am going to take. Oklahoma struggled on the road in league play last season, and TCU wasn’t great last year, but one area that they did have a lot of success, was at home in Big 12 conference games.
Last year, TCU beat Baylor, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State at home. Three of those wins came against top-20 teams, and two of them, the wins over West Virginia and Baylor, were against the top-10. Jaime Dix doesn’t have a great team this year, but they always play better than expected at home, and that is what I expect tonight in this game. The Sooners might find a way to win the game, but I don’t see them blowing this game out on the road.
I will make my standard fade the public play in this one and back the Horned Frogs at home. Five and a half points is just too many to be laying in a road league game, and I see TCU finding a way to keep this game competitive. Give me the TCU Horned Frogs tonight as home dogs, getting +5.5-points against the Oklahoma Sooners!