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Pick - Analysis
One could say that neither of these teams has lived up to preseason projections yet. Oklahoma State is still ranked No. 21, but their lone loss is against West Virginia, and they haven't beaten anyone with a winning record. TCU has a worse record, although their losses are a little more respectable with all of them being away from home against solid teams. The Cowboys are coming off a bye week and are -7.5 point home favorites at GTBets sportsbook.
It was almost the same situation last year, with the game at Oklahoma State and the home team being -6.5 point favorites. That one ended in a 36-14 win for the Cowboys. Of course, these aren't the same teams we saw a season ago. The biggest difference is that the Cowboys lack a legitimate running threat as top RB Joseph Randle is now playing in the NFL.
OK State can score points, but they aren't unstoppable. Combined with a defense that is fairly weak and they may get into trouble later in the season with a tougher schedule. Quarterback J.W. Walsh has been okay, and that's all you can say about him. It's been a lot of short routes for him, yet he is only completing 60 percent of his passes. His nine TDs and three INTs through five games can be considered low for what this offense has been in recent years. Walsh also leads the rushing game with 265 yards, but that's not a good thing. Jeremy Smith is the top RB and he only has 233 yards to go with seven TDs.
It's going to be a real test for Walsh and this offense as the Horned Frogs probably have the best defense they've faced so far. While TCU's offense is still a work in process, their defense is reminiscent of previous years. In their two road conference losses, they only gave up 20 points to both Texas Tech and Oklahoma. That's pretty good, but a poor offense is the reason for the losses.
With a new class of receivers, Trevone Boykin hasn't looked better than he was last season. With only five TDs and four INTs through six games of work, he hasn't shown much. Last week against Kansas, the worst team in the Big 12, Boykin only had 173 yards, one TD and two interceptions. The Horned Frogs won that game by just 10 points as -24 point favorites. Someone has to step up and it's still a toss up for who can do that. B.J. Catalon isn't great out of the backfield with only 313 yards. He doesn't get a ton of carries because Boykin keeps the ball a lot, but so far that hasn't been working. Without Josh Boyce on the opposite side of the field, Brandon Carter hasn't done much in the receiving game with 170 yards and zero TDs.
The Horned Frogs are just 1-6 ATS following a straight up win and are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall. The Cowboys are a solid 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games and 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games following an ATS loss.
Losing to West Virginia may be reason enough to go against Oklahoma State here. Our model would agree with that statement as it likes Oklahoma State to win by just 4. In fact, if we shrink the game sample size to only the last 4 games, that margin becomes just 1. TCU +7.5
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