NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas Tech +3½ over TCU Horned Frogs

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, January 5, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

TCU is making its Big 12 basketball debut tonight vs. Texas Tech, and although TCU will be anxious to prove its worth at home, it does not shoot the ball well enough to be favored.

A new era begins for the home team on Saturday night when the Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-4, 0-0 away) pay a visit to the TCU Horned Frogs (9-4, 7-2 home), who are making their Big 12 basketball debut at Daniel Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, TX at 6:00 ET.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Texas Tech as an underdog for this contest with the current line at +3½ with odds of -109.

The Horned Frogs are making the jump from the Mountain West Conference, where they finished a commendable 7-7 last season and 18-15 overall to earn a trip to the CBI Tournament. However, their two leading scores from that team did not return this year and they in fact retuned only two starters, and neither of them averaged double-digits.

The drop-off in offensive production has been obviously noticeable as TCU has gone from finishing exactly 100th in offensive efficiency last season according to the Pomeroy Ratings to ranking a pathetic 308th this season, resulting in a putrid 57.3 points per game, which ranks 332nd in the land.

Do not be fooled by the 9-4 record either as the Horned Frog have faced the fourth easiest schedule in the country out of 347 Division I teams, facing only one team ranked in the Pomeroy Top 100 with that being a loss to 94th ranked Northwestern. Looking at the nine wins, the highest ranked team TCU defeated was 160th ranked UAB and it has just one other win over a Top 200 team.

Moreover, besides the acceptable loss to Northwestern, the other three losses came vs. 173rd ranked Tulsa on the road and to 189th ranked SMU and 192nd ranked Houston here are home, which is not nearly as acceptable. Despite their easy schedule, the Frogs rank 225th with an effective field goal percentage of 46.5 percent, hitting on only 46.4 percent of their two-point attempts and 31.4 percent of their three-pointers, and they rank 255th in offensive turnover rate.

And TCU is favored here! Yes, the Horned Frogs may get an emotional boost from playing their first game in a major conference at home and Texas Tech is projected to be the second worst team in the Big 12, but those aforementioned shooting woes and proficiency for turning the ball over makes it impossible to give any points with this team to a club with decent scoring ability.

Now Texas Tech has not beaten much either, but at least the Red Raiders lost by only four points to 75th ranked Alabama, which was probably the best game vs. a quality opponent by either of these teams this season. Also, Tech is averaging 76.5 points per game and the Red Raiders are a very good shooting team from inside the three-point arc.

In fact, Texas Tech ranks an excellent 22nd in the country in two-point shooting percentage at a nice 54.2 percent. Granted the Raiders are a horrible three-point shooting team at 26.3 percent, but given the terrible shooting by TCU, Tech should be able to do enough damage closer to the basket to pull off a mild upset.

With the in mind, look for the Red Raiders to spoil the Big 12 debut for TCU on Saturday.

[gameodds]14/146699/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas Tech +3½ (-109)