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College basketball expert pick for No. 2 Houston vs. TCU on Saturday

The No. 2 Cougars will look to rebound after their loss earlier in the week while the Horned Frogs will try for back-to-back upsets over top 10 foes.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 10 Oklahoma at TCU Photo by Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We have Big 12 action in the Lone Star State this evening as the No. 2 Houston Cougars head up to Fort Worth to meet the TCU Horned Frogs. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. ET and the game will air on ESPN.

Houston (14-1, 1-1 Big 12) is undefeated no more, as it took its first loss of the season in a 57-53 setback against Iowa State on Tuesday. The Cougars struggled from the field in this road matchup, shooting just 38% from the field. They still managed to tie the game in the final minute before Cyclones forward Milan Momcilovic put it away with a jumper and a pair of free throws.

TCU (12-3, 1-1 Big 12) was able to score a homeupset on Wednesday, knocking off No. 9 Oklahoma in an 80-71 win. The Horned Frogs held the lead for most of the game and were able to take advantage of Sooners mistakes, scoring 25 points off turnovers. Emanuel Miller had a monster game with 27 points and nine rebounds in the victory.

Houston still boasts the No. 1 defense in adjusted efficiency per KenPom and is No. 1 in defensive categories like effective shooting, turnover rate, and two-point shooting percentage. Even in Tuesday’s loss, the Cougars still gave themselves a chance by holding Iowa State to just 38.3% shooting. TCU boasts also boasts one of the best turnover rates in the country at 22.1% and like it did against Oklahoma, it will have to capitalize on any mistake UH makes to keep pace.

What this game means for Houston

Houston was bound to drop a game at some point and these tough conference losses will become a tad more frequent now that it has jumped up from the American to the nation’s toughest league. The Cougars will be fine, but they would still prefer not to have a two-game losing streak this early in Big 12 play.

What this game means for TCU

TCU got a huge resume boost with its upset earlier in the week, as it was the team’s first Quad 1 victory of the season. Pulling off back-to-back upsets over top 10 teams would be a a huge boost for the Horned Frogs and they would certainly go from unranked to the top 20 of next week’s AP poll.

Houston vs. TCU odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Houston -4.5
Total: 136.5
Moneyline: Houston -192, TCU +160

Pick: Houston -4.5