We are in a for a great game tonight as two of the best teams in the Big 12 matchup in Lubbock as the Texas Tech Red Raiders host the TCU Horned Frogs. Both teams are very much in the mix for the Big 12 regular season title, as it is crowded up top and no team has fewer than two conference losses so far this season. The Red Raiders are looking to get back on track as they had lost three straight games before beating Arkansas in their last game.
For TCU, they are trying to adapt to play without Jaylen Fisher, as the star guard is out for the rest of the season with an injury and has made his intentions to transfer out of the program next season clear. The loss of Fisher hasn’t seemed to hold them back lately though as they have won three out of their last four games. The Red Raiders are -5-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 130.5-points. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST from United Sprint Arena in Lubbock, Texas.
The TCU Horned Frogs came into the season with some fairly lofty expectations. They won the NIT two years ago in 2017, and then turned around last year and made the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade. It looked like new head coach Jamie Dixon was able to turn the program around in just a matter of months. That success has continued into this season as the Frogs are 15-4 and looking like a lock to get an NCAA tournament bid. ESPN’s bracketoligist Joe Lunardi currently has them safely in the field of 68 at a nine seed right now.
The wins have been more quantity over quality so far this season but wins over USC, Baylor, and Texas should hold up as solid ones on Selection Sunday. All three of their conference losses have been on the road this year, but all three came against solid teams and were close games. Losses to Kansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas State were all decided by ten or fewer points. If they are able to go into Lubbock and knock off the Red Raiders, it would be their biggest win of the season and go a long way into boosting their tournament chances.
The Red Raiders of Texas Tech were supposed to be rebuilding this year. They lost pretty much all of last year’s team to either graduation or the NBA, and it looked like they would be starting over. But that just hasn’t happened as sophomore standout Jarrett Culver has exploded onto the scene as one of the best players in the Big 12 and he leads a Texas Tech team that is ranked number one in the nation in defensive efficiency per kenpom.
The Red Raiders have used that elite defense to beat some very good teams, including USC, Nebraska, Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Texas. But the Red Raiders have fallen on hard times lately as they have lost three out of their last four games. All three losses were understandable as they lost to Big 12 foes, Iowa State, Baylor, and Kansas State. They bounced back in their last game and edged a solid Arkansas team at home.
This game feels like a race to sixty points. We talked about how Texas Tech has the top-ranked defense on kenpom, but when you look at TCU, they are 18th so they can defend as well. Both of these teams play a slowed down pace where they are happy to win games by grinding them out. That makes me want to take a hard look at the under. The number is a low one at just 130.5 points, but both of these teams regularly score in the sixty-point range, and that is against teams that aren’t nearly as good defensively. I think this game ends in the low sixties, maybe something like 63-62. So, I will jump on the under.
But in a game that is seemingly very evenly matched, I also like snatching up the points as well. When very few points are going to be scored, those five points matter a lot more. I think this game will be very low scoring and tightly contested. If I had to make a stand on the side, I would back Texas Tech, but I think the five points are just too high to not like backing TCU. So, I will give you the rare double bet today as I take the TCU Horned Frogs getting five points, and I will take the under 130.5 game total as well!