NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas Tech vs. TCU

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, January 18, 2014 5:00 AM GMT

The Texas Tech Red Raiders come off of an upset win over Baylor, and they now pay a visit to a TCU Horned Frogs team that is 0-4 in Big 12 Conference play Saturday.

The visiting team is coming off of an upset or a ranked team, but it may also now be an overlay as a road favorite Saturday evening when those Texas Tech Red Raiders (9-8, 0-4 away) pay a visit to the TCU Horned Frogs (9-7, 5-3 home) at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, TX at 6:00 ET.

The point spread at Bet365 has TCU as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +2½ with odds of -110.

Texas Tech was sitting at 8-8 when it upset nationally ranked Baylor on Wednesday to avenge three previous losses by at least 34 points to the Bears. That emotional effort could conceivably have a negative effect here though vs. a lightly regarded TCU team.

The Horned Frogs actually have a better overall record than Texas Tech at 9-7, although TCU is off to an 0-4 start in Big 12 play. Then again, all four of those losses have come against teams that are in the upper half of the conference including one of the best teams in the entire country in Oklahoma State last game.

Texas Tech comes off of an 11-20 season a year ago that included a dismal 3-15 Big 12 mark, with two of those three wins coming vs. this TCU team. But again, that may actually work against the Red Raiders with the Horned Frogs now being the team in the revenge spot, similar to the spot that Tech was in when it rose up and undoubtedly played above its collective heads in the shocker over Baylor.

Not that much was expected from the Red Raiders this season and they are still ranked just 90th overall on the Pomeroy Ratings even after Wednesday’s upset. Perhaps more importantly, they have continued to struggle on the road, much like last season when they went 1-8 in true road games. In fact they are winless in true road affairs this season at 0-4, which does not exactly inspire confidence in a road favorite.

Besides having the benefit of being home vs. what has been a bad road team, TCU should appreciate a bit of a drop on class here as all four of it conference losses have come vs. teams ranked 61st or better on Pomeroy, with three of the losses coming to Pomeroy Top 50 schools. Yes those losses included a blowout at the hands of the same Baylor team that Texas Tech just beat, but that TCU loss was on the road in Waco.

Also TCU could end up with a nice positive disparity at the foul line in this game. No we are not saying that because the Horned Frogs figure to get the calls at home, although that may be the case, but rather because TCU has a good FTA/FGA percentage of 46.5 percent to rank 67th in the country in that underrated category, while Texas Tech ranks 260th at just 36.5 percent.

That stat points to Texas Tech settling for a lot of perimeter shots instead of drawing fouls by driving to the basket, and yet the Red Raiders are not a good three-point shooting team at 32.6 percent, as the bulk of their offense comes from mid-range jumpers.

All things considered, TCU looks like a very live home underdog in what could be a huge letdown spot for a bad road team in Texas Tech on Saturday.

[gameodds]14/255215/?r-1=43-238-92-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: TCU +2½ (-110)