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College Football Pick
TCU and Texas will hook up on Thanksgiving Day, the only college football game of the day. It's a 730 pm est. start time and the Texas Longhorns are currently favored by 8 at 5 Dimes Sportsbook and betonline while the betting trends at sportsbook.ag currently favor the Longhorns with 62% of the action thus far.
These two played each year from 1927 thru 1995. Texas holds the lead in the series since that time with a 49-20-1 mark, but most of those TCU wins came back in the 20's and 30's. In fact since 1968, Texas is 28-1 in the series with the average score being 37-12. A glaring example of one programs dominance over another. They last played in 2007, a 34-13 Texas win. Now, they renew the rivalry once again and as long as both stay in the Big 12, could once again play each year.
Fortunately for Texas, they didn't have to play TCU during the last 5 years, a time when the TCU program was at it's best and Texas had a year or two not up to par. Now, Texas is on it's way back up while it looks as though TCU is down a notch. But perhaps TCU is more capable now that at any time in the series history.
When we look at this game and take into account the entire season to date using our model, Texas comes out on top by 9. What a coincidence, just about right on the number. The problem with using season to date stats is that they include the early season cupcakes. For TCU that would be Grambling, Kansas and even Virginia. For Texas that would include Wyoming, New Mexico and we could even throw Ole Miss in there. Ultimately, we'd want to take a closer look at each team as they got into the guts of their schedules.
When we take into account only the last 5 games for each team, our model comes back with a 41-40 TCU win. If we use the last 7 games, it's Texas by 6, 44-38. In both instances we see a high scoring game with TCU covering the number which is right in line with the way these two teams have played this year. They have both shown the ability to put some points on the board and the inability to keep points off the board.
Texas was 5-1 against common opponents this year while TCU was 3-3. The average score in those games for TCU was 33-32 while the average score for Texas in those games was 38-30. Texas was only able to extend the margin against Iowa State, a 33-7 win. They beat Texas Tech by 9 and the rest were by 5 points or less and a loss to West Virginia.
There's plenty of motivation for both sides here, aside from the renewed rivalry. For Texas, they could still end up in a 4 way tie for the Big 12 Championship and a potential Fiesta Bowl birth. For TCU, with 6 wins under their belt, they are bowl qualified, but the potential to grab 7 or 8 wins this year would get them to a better bowl game with increased exposure. Both teams have monster games on deck, so always the chance that either of these teams or both could be caught looking ahead a bit.
As mentioned above, we feel TCU is a more capable program now, going into this game, than at anytime in the history of this series. Texas is the better team. However, this isn't a vintage Texas team as they have some serious holes defensively. We agree with our model here. Getting +8 could loom large as this will likely be a game that sees both teams find the end zone often. One question you have to ask yourself is, when the gun sounds ending the 4th quarter, would you be shocked beyond belief if the scoreboard showed TCU on top? We wouldn't. We'll grab the points. TCU +8
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