Utah vs. TCU Simmons Bank Showdown Preview and Best Bet

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Guard Mike Miles #1 of the TCU Horned Frogs. John E. Moore III/Getty Images/AFP

It’s a matchup of former conference rivals on Wednesday night in college basketball as Utah takes on TCU in the Simmons Bank Showdown from Fort Worth, Texas. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

Utah Utes vs. TCU Horned Frogs

Wednesday, December 08, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at Dickies Arena

Utah of the Pac-12 faces TCU of the Big 12 in the Simmons Bank Showdown on Wednesday night. While the game is from Fort Worth, where TCU is located, it’s technically a neutral site at Dickies Arena in the city and not on the Frogs’ campus gym of Schollmaier Arena, about three miles away. This game can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. 

Utah leads the series all-time 16-4 on the NCAAB picks and has won the last seven games. The last meeting came when both teams were members of the Mountain West Conference, on Feb. 22, 2011, a 50-48 win by the Utes in Salt Lake City. TCU’s last win vs. Utah was in Fort Worth on Feb. 27, 2008. 

Utah Down Few Injured Players 

Utah is 6-2 thus far in non-conference play and not expected to contend in the Pac-12 Conference this season, currently a +5000 long shot to win it at BMR’s top-rated books. Frankly, everyone at the school isn’t thinking basketball right now but the Utes’ Rose Bowl game vs. Ohio State, Utah’s first-ever trip to the Rose Bowl. The school beat Oregon in the Pac-12 title game in football. 

The Utes have played back-to-back conference basketball games, losing at Southern Cal on December 1st, and then beating California 66-58 on Sunday. That Bears win was the first Pac-12 victory for new coach Craig Smith, formerly of Utah State. 

Senior guard Both Gach, a transfer from Minnesota, led Utah with 19 points against Cal with six rebounds. He’s the Utes’ third-leading scorer at 13.0 ppg. The team’s best player is likely junior 7-footer Branden Carlson. He barely played vs. USC due to an ankle injury but looked fine vs. Cal with 12 points and four rebounds. He averages 13.5 points and 5.9 rebounds. Guard David Jenkins Jr. is the third member of the Big 3 and averages 13.1 ppg. He had just two points vs. Cal. 

Lazar Stefanovic was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week on Monday. The Serbia native averaged 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in two games. Utah forward Bostyn Holt has been lost for the season, while fellow forward Dusan Mahorcic is out until mid-January. Guard Marco Anthony is questionable for Wednesday. The Utes have just 22 turnovers over their past three games, the lowest total in any three-game span in program history dating to the 1996-97 season. 

The Utes always are strong defensively and they lead the Pac-12 in three-point shooting defense (24.5 percent) and are third rebounds per game (41.4) and defensive rebounds per game (29.1). Utah is 3-4-1 ATS at BMR’s top-rated books this season.  

TCU Almost Entirely New Team 

The Horned Frogs are off to a solid 6-1 start but are +10000 long shots on the NCAAB odds to win the Big 12 title and probably will not be an NCAA Tournament team. Coach Jaime Dixon’s team hasn’t played in the Big Dance since 2018. 

TCU is off a 71-63 home win over a very good Oral Roberts team last Thursday – remember, Oral Roberts made a Cinderella run in last season’s NCAA Tournament. The Frogs held the Golden Eagles to 24 points below their season average of 87.4 points per game. TCU outrebounded Oral Roberts 43-33 and is 5-0 this season and 86-26 under Dixon when outrebounding its opponent. The Frogs also improved to 6-0 this season and 89-20 under Dixon when outshooting their opponent. 

Preseason All-Big 12 guard Mike Miles has scored in double figures in every game and is the only player that ranks in the top six in the Big 12 in scoring (sixth, 15.8) and assists (third, 4.7). Texas A&M transfer Emanuel Miller averages 7.6 rebounds per game, which is second in the Big 12. TCU ranks the top 12 nationally in offensive rebounds per game (third, 16.4), rebounding margin (11th, 11.4), and rebounds per game (12th, 43). 

TCU lost nine players from last season’s team and welcomed eight newcomers, all transfers. The Frogs returned only 29.2 percent of their minutes from last season, second-fewest in the Big 12 and the 10th fewest nationally.  

Under Dixon, TCU is 18-9 in neutral sites and 1-1 this season. The Frogs are 1-1 in games at Dickies Arena. We have to back them in what is basically a home game. They are 6-4 ATS in their past 10 as underdogs.  

NCAAB Pick: TCU +1 (-110) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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TCU +1 (-110)
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