The Horned Frogs hope their offense stays red hot as they try to advance in the Diamond Head Classic in the Nevada vs TCU betting matchup. Texas Christian (9-1) became the first team in the history of this tournament to score 100+ points as they topped Old Dominion 111-87 on Thursday.
Nevada (10-1) isn’t going to be an easy topple in this semifinal matchup, as they just dominated Temple 80-56 in their opener. TCU is still a -3.5 favorite from this tournament game in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Why Nevada Has Value at +3.5
Although TCU put up big numbers on Thursday, Nevada might have had the better overall game while putting up 80 points against Temple while holding the Owls to 18-65 (28%) shooting from the field. Texas Christian on the other hand allowed nearly 90 points in their tournament opener as Old Dominion shot 29-62 (47%).
Nevada had three players tally at least 16 points on Thursday, the kind of depth that becomes more and more important in tournament play. Jarod Lucas had his third 20+ point game of the season in the tournament opener, while Nick Davidson was dominant with 19 points and 16 rebounds.
Nevada playing solid defense in Honolulu on Thursday isn’t a surprise, as they rank 25th in the country in opponent field goal shooting (38.3%) and allow just 63.9 ppg. The Wolf Pack are a top 25 team in the KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency ratings.
Why TCU Has Value at -3.5
Nevada has a good defense, but TCU is a very tough matchup in a tournament situation. The Horned Frogs have the 15th fastest adjusted tempo in the country which could lead Nevada to run out of gas playing two games in as many nights.
TCU has scored 90+ points four times this season, and their 89.8 ppg average is the 7th best in the country. The Horned Frogs can get hot at any time as their 50.9% field goal percentage ranks 10th in the country.
Emanuel Miller leads TCU with 16.6 ppg, and he’s been consistent in going for 18+ in four of the last five including 29 in a win over Georgetown on December 2nd. The Horned Frogs showed their depth and star studded lineage in the Thursday opener of the Diamond Head Classic with Charles O’Bannon, Jr. leading the way with 25 points while Jameer Nelson, Jr. added 18.
Free Nevada vs TCU Betting Preview
Friday afternoon’s matchup is a classic offense vs defense meeting, with the Nevada pressure being challenged by the TCU tempo. Bettors have to determine which part of basketball travels better playing on consecutive days at a neutral site.
67% of the betting public likes TCU in this spot, but with both teams having just one loss on the year and the tournament situation it might be a spot to take the points and the better defensive club.
Free Pick: Nevada +3.5