TCU vs. Texas Odds, Picks, Predictions NCAAB (1/11/23)

Texas has recovered well from the suspension and eventual firing of Chris Beard, picking up some big road wins early in Big 12 play. The Longhorns are back at home to face a surging TCU program on Wednesday night. The Horned Frogs, who are hoping for a better showing than their football team, are coming off a loss but just ripped off an 11-game win streak lasting from November into January.

Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for Wednesday’s game in Austin.

TCU vs. Texas Odds

Texas enters as a 6.5-point home favorite, sitting at -264 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 142.5 points.

The Longhorns are a solid favorite at home after losing their first true home game last week. TCU has been on the rise, but a home loss to Iowa State over the weekend knocked the Frogs back to reality for the time being. Kansas State has proven Texas can be beaten in Austin. Does Jamie Dixon’s team have the offense to keep up?

TCU vs. Texas Prediction & Pick

It still feels like we don’t totally know what this Texas team is made of without Chris Beard. The Longhorns had an abysmal defensive performance against Kansas State sandwiched between impressive but close road wins at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. TCU looks like a better team than both, between its experience, the presence of an elite scorer, and a strong defense.

Oddsmakers are anticipating a lower-scoring game than we’re used to seeing from Texas, and that absolutely benefits TCU. An outright win might be a stretch, but TCU +6.5 is the better pick in this bloodbath of a conference.

TCU vs. Texas Key Matchups

Texas has played some wildly different games recently, and maybe that’s a sign the program is still figuring things out under interim coach Rodney Terry. The Longhorns somehow allowed 116 points to Kansas State at home last week, and they responded by holding Oklahoma State to just 46 points in Stillwater. The reality is somewhere in the middle, but this Texas team generally wins with its offense.

Averaging 82.3 points per game, the Longhorns don’t shoot very well from three-point range but are efficient elsewhere. The only truly efficient three-point shooter to this point has been Marcus Carr. The fifth-year senior is shooting 44.6% from beyond the arc and is averaging 17.7 points per game. TCU will need to find ways to contain him. Texas is averaging under 70 points when Carr shoots under 40% from the field, so he’s the engine that keeps this team running.

Carr’s backcourt mate Tyrese Hunter is the x-factor here. He’s struggled after a hot start to the season, but we’ve seen enough of his career to know he’s capable of burning defenses with his shooting ability. TCU is holding opponents just under 30% from beyond the arc. The size advantage goes to TCU, as lead Texas rebounders Timmy Allen (6’6”) and Dillon Mitchell (6’8”) can’t match 6’11” Eddie Lampkin Jr. in that department.

Like Carr and Texas, TCU runs through Mike Miles Jr. offensively. Miles is averaging close to 20 points per game and just torched Baylor last week for 33. He’s not an efficient three-point shooter – in fact, TCU isn’t an efficient team from beyond the arc, shooting just 29.7% – but Miles finds ways to get to the basket and get to the free-throw line.

He’s attempted 9+ free throws in each of his last four games, and Texas has committed more fouls than average this season. The Longhorns surrendered 85 and 116 points in its two losses this season, so if the Longhorns can contain Miles, their chances are great.

While they average a very solid 78 points per game, the Horned Frogs’ strong defense will be key to a win here. Texas probably won’t be able to consistently attack TCU’s tall frontcourt, so this game comes down to whether a Horned Frogs defense that has defended the three well can limit Carr and Hunter’s effectiveness from deep.

TCU has plenty of experience, which is helpful against a veteran Texas team. Fourth-year players Damion Baugh and Emanuel Miller are TCU’s second and third-leading scorers, while Chuck O’Bannon Jr. gives the Frogs a fifth-year piece in the frontcourt.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and graduate of Boston University. He’s covered several sports on Instagram since he was 12 and now writes about everything from betting trends to breaking news for Lineups.

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