Pick – Analysis
TCU and Texas Tech have been somewhat mixed bags to start the season, but both are 3-0 and looking to make waves in the Big 12, although for different reasons. The Horned Frogs are planning on going undefeated and reaching the Playoff, while Texas Tech would just like a winning record. TCU is an -8 point road favorite (at 5 Dimes Sportsbook).
The Horned Frogs squeaked out a 23-17 win at Minnesota in the opener, beat up on Stephen F. Austin and then allowed 37 points to SMU last weekend. That has resulted in a 1-2 ATS record and a question about their defense heading into this matchup.
The Red Raiders are a bit opposite, giving up 45 points to Sam Houston State in the opener, to only dominate UTEP by 49 points and then win at Arkansas last weekend as a near double-digit underdog. If there were ever a time this season for Tech to win this Game, it’d probably be now.
Texas Tech has won two of the last three meetings (and covered in those two wins), but TCU took last year’s Game in dominating fashion, 82-27, while racking up an enormous 785 total yards. There’s pretty much nowhere to go be up from that result for Tech, who are upset-minded for this Game.
Sophomore quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been excellent for the Red Raiders, looking better all around with nine TDs in the air and Four more on the ground. His rushing ability was huge last week against Arkansas, as he went for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Mahomes was also 26-of-30 in that Game, but two of those incompletions were interceptions. A major difference for this year’s team is their ability to run the ball, which wasn’t a great part to their Game last year. DeAndre Washington has 287 yards and is averaging 8.0 yards per carry, and Mahomes has looked better as well.
After a disappointing first Game defensively, Tech looked much better against the Razorbacks, even while allowing 228 yards on the ground. They’ll have to be even better in this Game against Heisman-hopeful Trevone Boykin, who threw for 454 yards and five touchdowns, along with 50 rushing yards and one more TD against SMU last week.
Tech will need to somehow keep Boykin and Aaron Green in check if they want to win this Game. It’s not entirely out of reach for this team, despite what happened last year. The Red Raiders are a better team and should compete in this Game, especially at home.
The problem for TCU will be on the defensive side, where SMU had success passing and running the ball against them, which is where Mahomes and Washington come in. If the Raiders can move the ball on the offensive end like previous weeks, that 8-point spread seems a little big, especially in LUbbock.
Then again, in the Big 12 opener, maybe TCU turns it up another notch, as this team is No. 3 in the nation for a reason. The Horned Frogs are now 9-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, while the Red Raiders are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six overall. In this series, the home team has covered Four of the last five.
Our Pick – TCU scored a whopping 82 points on this Tech defense a year ago. OUch! Surely they have the Red Raiders attention this time around. But hey, despite the revenge angle, Our numbers are starting to take shape. From week 4 on, they become VERY realiable. At week 3, those numbers are like a pie in the oven that still needs another minute or two. That being said, 3 Games in, Our model suggests Texas Tech can win this one straight up. Texas Tech +7
Check back on Friday, possibly sooner, for Our pick on this Game.