Who: TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
When: Saturday, September 26, 4:45pm
Where: Lubbock, Texas
The all-Texas affair between the injury-riddled TCU and the upstart Texas Tech will decide which side reigns supreme in the Lone Star State.
Both TCU and Texas Tech are 3-0 this season and this game will severely impact both teams’ seasons. The No.3 ranked TCU are looking to keep their spot inside the top four and make the college football playoffs, whereas Texas Tech will be wanting to notch a rare win against a ranked opponent.
TCU are currently favoured at -260, which is understandable considering their past college football success, but they have lost numerous starters for this game with injuries and another off-field incident, and Texas Tech will be looking to avenge their loss from last year.
Plenty of NCAA games to bet on this Saturday, but this looks the pick of the bunch.
TCU vs. Texas Tech betting
TCU -220 (-7)
Texas Tech +220 (+7)
TCU were always going to open as the favourites, but there will be some bettors put off by the short price. The ‘value’ is clearly with the Texas Tech Red Raiders which are unbeaten this season and they will be looking to capitalize on the off-field miscues by TCU.
To open Big 12 play for TCU, they will be without suspended senior defensive end Mike Tuaua and freshman receiver Andre Petties-Wilson. Both players have been suspended after their arrests last Monday on charges of robbery-bodily injury.
TCU coach Gary Patterson has been through the ringer over the past few years, but he has always rebounded with a good on-field performance.
“I’ve been through a lot of different situations here, and you’ve always seen how I handle it,” Patterson said. “My job is also to be a father to my players, and if they screw up, they screw up. And in my lifetime here at TCU in 18 years, we’ve had a few of those, but not as many as others.”
What TCU do have going for them is quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Trevone Boykin, who threw for a school-record seven touchdowns in their 82-27 win over Texas Tech last year, but Texas Tech have improved since and it will only give them more motivation for this contest.
“Trevone Boykin, he can extend plays,” Texas Tech defensive back Justin Nelson said. “He likes to move around. He can throw the ball for sure. He’s a great player, and we’ll have to try to contain him as much as we can.”
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is reflecting on their loss last year where they were missing multiple players due to illness.
“I don’t think you can forget losses like that,” Kingsbury said. “I know as a player, I didn’t. It’s an in-conference game, that should be motivation enough but I’m sure they haven’t forgotten what happened last year.”
It’s fair to say that Texas Tech has responded well since that loss. They have won their past four from five, with the only loss coming in the Baylor Bears in November last year.
The Red Raiders lost 48-46 on a failed two-point conversion, even though they held a record of 4-7 entering that game – Baylor were 9-1.
This season, Texas Tech have won all three games by a combined margin of 74 points. They are scoring more points per game than TCU, but they have given up over 490 yards per game, which is over 150 more yards per game than that of TCU’s defense.
TCU have a balanced attack and their rushing game that averages 231 yards per game is a key element to their overall offense. That allows Boykin to have more time in the pocket and this could give the Texas Tech secondary severe problems.
TCU vs. Texas Tech spread betting
TCU -7 (-105 at Bovada.com)
Texas Tech +7 (-115)
In three games so far this season, TCU has covered the spread on only one occasion. They defeated Minnesota by only six points to open the season, but they racked up 70 points in their win against Stephen F Austin. A steady 29-point win against SMU followed, but this is their shortest line of the new season.
Texas Tech are 2-1-0 for points spread betting and they covered the spread in their only start as an underdog. They upset Arkansas last week and that came away from home. Entering Arkansas is never an easy task so that win will give them great confidence.
Not forgetting that TCU were very unlucky to miss out on a college football playoff spot last season, the Horned Frogs could well be playing with a chip on their shoulder. Even though they are missing some of their key players, it hasn’t deterred them in the past and Trevone Boykin can overcome plenty of barriers.
We’re leaning towards TCU -7 because we think the line will move as game time draws near. Expect the line to shift out a half or full point.
2015 Big 12 standings and odds
Both TCU and Texas Tech are 3-0 this season which sits them in first-equal with three other teams in the Big 12. In a conference that has been struggling to gain any traction over the past few seasons, the Big 12 looks strong this season.
Oklahoma 3-0 (+2500)
Kansas State 3-0 (+20000)
Oklahoma State 3-0 (+5000)
TCU 3-0 (+700)
Texas Tech 3-0
Baylor 2-0 (+1400)
West Virginia 2-0 (+20000)
Iowa State 1-2
TCU are well favoured to win the college football playoffs this season, so a loss to the unranked Texas Tech Red Raiders will all but eliminate them from the running.
Texas Tech aren’t yet in the discussion for a national title, hence why there are no odds available for them, but if you think they can pull off the upset, contact Bovada.com and they will frame a market for Texas Tech.