Will Baylor Dominate TCU Yet Again? NCAAB Preview & Free Picks

Willie Bee

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 12:43 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 12:43 PM UTC

With losses in their first Big 12 games, Baylor and TCU enter their Tuesday tilt desperate to avoid an 0-2 start, and we have a free college basketball pick for the key matchup.

My NCAAB Pick: Baylor -1½Best Lines Offered 5Dimes

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Season: 18-21 (-4.05)

TCU vs. Baylor

It’s always tough to put your first loss of the season behind you, especially when it comes in your first conference game of the schedule like TCU this past week. Making it even tougher on Jamie Dixon and the Horned Frogs is the fact they’ll be going up against a Baylor Bears team that has beaten them 11-straight.

Baylor is also coming off a loss in its conference opener last week, putting the loser of this contest in an early 0-2 Big 12 hole. The 7 PM (ET) parochial pairing at Ferrell Center in Waco will be carried by ESPN News, and 5Dimes is carrying a short -1½ on the Bears in their den with 149 for the scoreboard mark.

Bears Might Be Without Lual-Acuil For 2nd Straight Game

Dixon has done a great job turning TCU’s ballers into a ranked program, but now comes the difficult part of the season against a very deep and talented Big 12 bunch. There’s no real shame in dropping a 90-89 decision to Oklahoma, the Sooners relying on Trae Young’s 39 points to finally overcome the Horned Frogs in Ft. Worth this past Saturday. Defense is the biggest area of concern, TCU allowing nearly 74 per game (188th nationally) on 44.7% shooting (187th).

After averaging more than 97 in their final five wins of the nonconference schedule, the Bears feel flat in their conference opener at Texas Tech in a 77-53 blowout loss as 8 point underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds. Some of that can be attributed to not having their big man in the middle, Jo Lual-Acuil Jr., due to a foot injury that has the 7-foot senior questionable for tonight’s contest. Without him, Baylor was dominated on the glass with Texas Tech grabbing 15 offensive boards to help build a 21-point lead at intermission.

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

One of the most-played college basketball rivalries in the country is being renewed for the 182nd time with the Bears up 100-81 since they first met on the hardwood in 1908. Baylor’s 11 wins in Big 12 clashes haven’t even been that close, a 7-point overtime victory two years ago the nearest TCU has come to beating the Bears since joining the conference. Baylor won by 18 and 19 last season and has covered the last six, five of those as chalk, with three of the last four staying ‘under’ the totals.

The uncertainty of Lual-Acuil tonight makes this one a very tough call. Still, that’s an awfully impressive streak the Bears have in this series, and too difficult for me to ignore when making my free college basketball pick.

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