Take TCU to Cover -31.5 vs. SMU for College Football Picks

Darin Zank

Thursday, September 25, 2014 4:39 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 25, 2014 4:39 PM UTC

After its first losing season in a decade TCU appears back on track, off to a 2-0 start both SU and ATS this year. The Horned Frogs have an excellent chance to get to 3-0 when they head to Dallas Saturday for their 94th meeting with downtrodden SMU (noon ET).

The Betting Odds
Most college football odds opened this game with TCU favored by 29 points or so, but have since had to bump the Frogs to upwards of -32. Meanwhile, the total on this game started off at around 51, but then got bet down to 47.

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The Match-Up
TCU opened this season with a 48-14 victory over FCS Samford, squeaking out the cover as 33-point favorites. The Frogs then, after a week off, beat Minnesota 30-7, covering at -17. TCU then also had last week off.

The Frogs outgained the Gophers 427-268, outrushed 'em 169-99 and forced five Minnesota turnovers.

Running a new up-tempo offense, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin threw for 258 yards against the Gophers and ran for 92 more.

TCU returned 16 starters this season from a team that went 4-8 last year. Eight starters came back on offense, including last year's top two rushers and receivers and three along the offensive line, and eight starters came back on defense.

The Frogs averaged 25 points per game last year, and gave up 25 PPG. They have a good chance to improve upon both those figures this season.

SMU, meanwhile, is off to an 0-3 start both SU and ATS, and has already lost both its head coach and starting QB. The Mustangs opened with a 45-0 loss at Baylor, losing ATS as 31-point dogs. They then lost at North Texas 43-6, whiffing on the cover as two-point dogs. And last week SMU lost at home to Texas A&M 58-6, losing ATS as 33-point home dogs.

The Mustangs got outgained by the Aggies 663-241, and it could have been worse, had not A&M called off the dogs.

SMU returned just 12 starters this year from a team that went 5-7 last year. Six starters were back on offense, including three on the O line, and six starters came back on defense, including five of the front seven.

Head coach June Jones bailed on the Mustangs after the loss to North Texas, and starting QB Neal Burcham was lost for the season to an elbow injury. In his first college start last week new QB Garrett Krstich hit on 13 of 24 throws for 137 yards, and ran for 33 more.


Frogs-Mustangs Recent History
TCU has beaten SMU each of the last two seasons, by scores of 24-16 and 48-17. The Frogs couldn't cover as 15-point favorites two seasons ago, but covered at -17 last year.

The Mustangs actually led last year's game 10-7 at the half, and only trailed by a touchdown through three quarters. But TCU put up 31 points in the fourth quarter, scoring on a kickoff return and an interception return, to pull away.


Free College Football Pick
SMU may be the worst team in FBS football right now. There's just no way we can recommend placing even a dollar on this outfit at the moment. So we’ll go with the Frogs, at the -31.5 points offered at Bookmaker, for our free college football pick in this spot.

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