College Football Picks: Texas vs. TCU Betting Analysis

Steve Merril - Steve@prosportsinfo.com

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 2:25 PM GMT

One of the bigger games in the Big 12 this week takes place in Forth Worth as TCU hosts in-state rivalTexas. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1 at 7:30 pm ET on Saturday night. 

TCU is currently listed as 2-point favorites on the betting line with the total sitting between 51 and 51.5 at a variety of sportsbooks.

Texas comes into this conference showdown at 4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS. The Longhorns have a scheduling edge as they are fresh off their bye. Their week off came at a good time as they upset Oklahoma 36-20 as 14-point underdogs in their last game.

“The bye week was a good thing, refreshes your body,” Quandre Diggs said. “Helped get the win out of the way, put it behind you, which is tough to do when everybody is telling you congrats.”

The Longhorns are on a 3-game winning streak after opening the season at 1-2. The Texas defense has been much improved after they fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after the BYU game. In two games under Diaz, Texas allowed 47 points and 1,025 yards of total offense. If we eliminate the immediate game following the firing, the Texas defense has allowed 71 points and 1,116 yards of total offense in three games. 

Texas has been strong on offense this season despite playing with backup QB Case McCoy. Overall, the Longhorns are averaging 33 points and 456.7 yards of offense per game. The Longhorns have a strong rushing attack (202.7 yards per game) led by RB’s Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown. Texas is converting 45.4% of their third downs which ranks them #34 in the country.

TCU has surprisingly struggled this season as they come into this game at 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS. The Horned Frogs have lost three of their four games by 10 points or more while their three wins have come over FCS SE Louisiana, a 2-4 Kansas team, and SMU who is also just 2-4 on the season.

The reason TCU has been disappointing this season is because of their offense. The Horned Frogs lost starting QB Casey Pachall to a broken left forearm in the second game of the season. Trevone Boykin took over under center, and in their three Big 12 losses with him at QB, TCU has averaged just 12.3 points per game. Boykin was benched shortly last week in TCU’s 24-10 loss at Oklahoma State, and there are rumors circulating that Pachall may be ready to start this game against Texas.

Even if Pachall starts, it’s hard to expect immediate improvement from the TCU offense. Overall, the Horned Frogs average just 6.2 yards per pass attempt (#95) and convert just 28.9% on third down which ranks them #113 in the country.

TCU does have a rock solid defense that is holding teams to just 21.7 points per game on 340.4 yards of total offense per game. They are allowing only 4.5 yards per play which ranks them #10 in the country and 6.5 yards per pass attempt which ranks them #31 in the country. However, the defense seems to be wearing down some as the offense has simply put them on the field way too much. This will also be TCU’s fifth consecutive game without rest which has them at a disadvantage, especially with Texas having two weeks to prepare for this game.

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Texas also has revenge in this game as they lost 20-13 to TCU as 7-point home favorites last season. And since the Longhorns are now 2-point underdogs, they are in a strong situational spot for this game. Texas did struggle early, but they’ve turned the corner since. TCU hasn’t played well all season, and they have no stability at the quarterback position. We’ll take Texas plus the points for our college football picks in this game on Saturday night.

NCAA Football Picks: Play TEXAS (+).