Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:35 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. Before entering Big 12 play, the Horned Frogs were 12-1, but could not get much respect, as they were ranked in just one of the two major polls. It wasn't hard to figure out why, as for some odd reason, Jamie Dixon doesn’t like to play a challenging non-conference schedule. TCU is 2-3 to begin league play, which has done nothing to dispel the market perception that they are frauds, but make no mistake, this is a really good basketball team. It has a smart, veteran perimeter trio in Alex Robinson, Jaylen Fisher and Demond Bane and a microwave sixth man in 6-7 sophomore forward Kouat Noi. We also like how 6-11 freshman Kevin Samuels gives them a big body on the glass. Dixon is a much better offensive coach than anyone gives him credit for. While it looks like the Horned Frogs have struggled with an increase in the difficulty of their games, all three of those defeats have come on the road and it doesn't matter who you are, that is never an easy proposition. Defeats at Kansas, Oklahoma and Kansas State are nothing to be ashamed of and TCU should be better off for it, as they return home to the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena to battle a Longhorns’ team that is coming off a close win over its biggest rivals.
Texas is not an easy team to evaluate. The Longhorns have defeated Arkansas and North Carolina on neutral courts and beat Oklahoma, West Virginia and Purdue at home, yet they also lost at home to Radford, VCU, Providence and Texas Tech. There are some good pieces here, but the main problem has been that the players Texas depend on the most are undependable. Matt Coleman and Kerwin Roach are supposed to provide veteran leadership in the backcourt, but their spotty shot selection and unreliable touch leads to extended offensive droughts. Because we are in the business of over and under reactions we must be mindful of the significant line movement in this game, as the market has clearly drawn a line in the sand and are overwhelmingly siding with Texas. However, when we see a team move from a significant favorite to a near pick 'em, as TCU has here, we have to take a closer look. With no significant injuries to report, this appears to be a classic case of buying low and selling high or just plain market credibility, which TCU has very little of. Therefore we're going to spot this short number because the Horned Frogs are spotting a deflated price.
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#794 TCU -2 -102 (Risking 2.04 units - To Win: 2.00)