NCAA Basketball Picks: Bet SMU -4 vs. TCU Even With Nic Moore's Uncertain Status

David Lawrence

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 12:27 AM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 12:27 AM GMT

The SMU Mustangs and TCU Horned Frogs renew their in-state rivalry on Wednesday. Both teams have a lot of issues to address as they move forward with seasons that are basically still in the developmental stage. 

Momentum
This game is an important time for both teams to learn what they can and can’t do with various sets of players. SMU beat Brown without Nic and Ben Moore this past Sunday. Nic is the much more important Moore, and the best player on the Mustangs. He might be the single best and most important player in the American Athletic Conference. Nic Moore is a talented playmaking guard with a good jump shot and great defensive instincts. He is a strong floor leader for his team who sets up the offense and gets everyone else in the right position. He is quick enough off the dribble that he can drive into the lane and draw help before dishing the ball off to a teammate. SMU did not need to blow out Brown to show that it was a really good team. It just needed to make do with what it had. The Mustangs hope that playing without a couple of valuable players will make the backups more prepared and generally sharper for this game against TCU.

TCU lost at Rhode Island and then won at Illinois State last Wednesday to move to 3-2 on the season. The Horned Frogs have not played very tough teams, so it’s really hard to judge where they are in terms of their progress or slippage from game to game. Coach Trent Johnson is trying to move the Horned Frogs up a few notches in a very tough Big 12 Conference. The team needs a few quality wins out of conference in order to feel that it can compete in the Big 12. This game against SMU represents as good an opportunity as the Horned Frogs might get in this portion of the whole season.

 

Home-Away Trends
This is SMU’s second road game of the season. The Mustangs won their first road game a few weeks ago at Stanford.

TCU is 2-1 at home this season, but the Horned Frogs lost at home to South Dakota State, which is not very encouraging for them.

 

Injuries
SMU forward Ben Moore missed the last game with a suspension and is probable for this game. Starting guard Nic Moore is questionable for this game with a finger injury. Guard Ben Emelogu is out for the season with a knee injury.

TCU forward Chris Washburn is out indefinitely with a finger injury. Guard Kenrich Williams is out for the season with a knee injury.

 

What’s The Pick?
SMU has opened as a 3.5-point favorite on the NCAA Basketball odds but that is tentative due to the uncertainty surrounding Nic Moore’s status. The SMU coaching staff is without Larry Brown, who is serving a nine-game suspension due to the violations which have made the Mustangs ineligible for this season’s NCAA Tournament. It’s a tricky spot for SMU, but having played without Nic Moore on Sunday should help. Take them with your NCAA Basketball picks to win a tight game.

NCAA Basketball Picks: SMU -4 at Heritage

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