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TCU

vs.

Texas Tech

College Football

Free Pick

11/18/17

TCU had a chance to put its clamps on the Big 12, but came up short against Oklahoma last weekend and now has to win out in order to make the conference title game. That should be more than attainable, though, with Texas Tech and Baylor on the schedule. The Horned Frogs were -7.5 point road favorites against Tech early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

TCU’s flaws were laid bare in recent losses in that its offense just isn’t good enough to keep up with better teams. That was seen against Oklahoma and now the Frogs have just 51 points scored in their last three games, which is a low total for this conference unless you’re Kansas. Luckily, of all the bad defenses in the Big 12, Texas Tech’s is one of the worst. The Red Raiders give up 33.1 points per game, but the worst number is the 453 yards allowed per contest. They took down Baylor last week with some ease, but lost their previous four games against teams at the same level as TCU.

It’s hard to look at last year’s result, mainly because TCU is a different team on both sides of the ball. Tech also had Patrick Mahomes, which led the way in a 27-24 overtime win.

TCU’s offense may still not be electric, but Kenny Hill has been much better at taking care of the ball and only has five interceptions this season after 13 in 2016. His numbers don’t jump off the page, and that’s been a problem in recent games, but going against a pass defense that allows 300 yards per game, Hill could be in for one of his better games of the year. He’s already had success against weaker defenses from the 297 yards against K State to five touchdowns against Kansas. Still, this offense will turn to the running game as much as possible with Kyle Hicks the main back now that Darius Anderson is likely out for the final two weeks. As a team, the Frogs are averaging 4.7 yards per carry and that should be enough to get them to 30 or even 40 points in this one.

But if they don’t break that 30-point barrier, it will be difficult to cover as touchdown favorites against this offense. Mahomes is gone, but the Red Raiders are still scoring a decent amount, although not as consistent. Against Iowa State, what may be the only defense on TCU’s level in the Big 12, Tech only managed 13 points. If that happens here and the Red Raiders don't reach 20 points, it’ll be hard for them to cover.

Nic Shimonek has good numbers in his first season as the team’s starting quarterback (28 TDs), but he doesn’t provide the running element that Mahomes had. That’s led to some bad games like the loss to Iowa State. TCU is better against the run, so that could come into play for Shimonek, but this will still be a tough task. If the Red Raiders can’t get anything from Tre King or Justin Stockton on the ground, that will force Shimonek to do everything for the offense, which will be tough.

The Horned Frogs are 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games, while the Red Raiders are 1-4 ATS in their last five overall. The home team is 6-2 ATS In the last eight meetings between these schools with Texas Tech 4-1 ATS in the last five.

Our Pick - TCU -6

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