Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#783 Illinois State vs.
#784 TCU
Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 9:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.



#783 Illinois State University
#784 Texas Christian University


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TCU will play its first game in a week when the Horned Frogs host Illinois State on Tuesday night at Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena. The Horned Frogs are off to a 5-1 start, with their lone loss coming on the road against Clemson. The Redbirds are 3-4, but they broke their four-game losing skid with a win against Illinois-Springfield on Friday.

Illinois State looking to spring upset

Illinois State opened its season with a win against Belmont, which is still its best win of the season. The Redbirds followed that game up with a victory against Little Rock to get to 2-0 on the year. Then came a four-game losing skid that included losses against UCF, Cincinnati, Western Kentucky and Grand Canyon. They got back on the winning track with a 76-57 win against Illinois-Springfield on Friday night, despite shooting 3 of 16 from the 3-point line. Illinois State was 15 of 15 from the free-throw line.

The Redbirds are led by senior guard Zach Copeland, who is scoring 14.9 points per game. He has made the most 3-pointers on the team, hitting 16 of 42 from distance. Sophomore guard Dedric Boyd is the team’s second-leading scorer with 12.6 points per game. He has come off the bench in all seven games and is the most efficient shooter on the squad at 13 of 30 from beyond the arc. Sophomore forward Rey Idowu is adding 7.3 points per game and leads the team with 4.7 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Ricky Torres is scoring 7.0 points per game and is the best distributor with 3.9 assists per outing.

TCU back for first game in a week

TCU is off to a 5-1 start this season, including wins in its first four games of the year. The Horned Frogs picked up wins over Southwestern, Louisiana, Air Force and UC Irvine to open the season. Their lone loss came in the fifth game—a 62-60 overtime loss on the road against Clemson. TCU led by 15 points, but Clemson erased the deficit and won in overtime. The Horned Frogs bounced back with a 64-47 win against Wyoming last Tuesday. They forced 13 turnovers, while turning the ball over just eight times.

The Horned Frogs are led by senior guard Desmond Bane, who is scoring 18.0 points per game. He is also the team’s second-leading rebounder with 7.3 boards per contest. He has been the most prolific shooter on the squad, hitting 20 of 43 attempts from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard RJ Nembhard is the second-leading scorer with 13.4 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game. He is 9 of 27 from distance. Sophomore center Kevin Samuel leads the team in rebounding with 8.5 rebounds per game, including 3.7 on the offensive glass. He is also the only other player in double figures, averaging 10.8 points per game. Senior guard Edric Dennis Jr. is adding 9.5 points per game and Jaire Grayer is scoring 8.8 points per outing.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


TCU has done a good job of taking care of business against lesser competition, but that should not continue against Illinois State on Tuesday night. The Horned Frogs are coming off an extended Thanksgiving break, which will likely lead to some rust in the early going. Illinois State has been competitive in every game this season, losing by just one point to a solid Cincinnati team on the road. The Redbirds should cover this spread against TCU.

Prediction: Illinois State +14.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


This game should go under the total, as both teams like to play slow basketball. Illinois State is ranked No. 288 in KenPom’s adjusted tempo ratings, whereas TCU is ranked No. 290. Both teams look to slow the ball down and play basketball in the half court. The Horned Frogs have been off for a week, so the first half could see some sloppy play and missed shots. I like this game to go under the number.

Prediction: Under 126.5

Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.