If this spread was at 50 points, no one would be surprised. This matchup features the top and bottom of the Big 12 standings with the team in first place at home. The Horned Frogs barely won this Game last year, but were early -39 point favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
It’s hard to take away anything from this matchup last season in which TCU won 24-23 with the help of 10 Fourth-quarter points. Things were much different then mainly because the Horned Frogs have looked like a new team in the first half of 2017, now at No. 4 in the AP Poll. Kansas is still Kansas and has lost its last two Games by 45 points and 46 points, to Iowa State and Texas Tech, respectively. The Jayhawks had some more hope coming into the season, but losses to Central Michigan and Ohio threw those hopes down the drain and it’s another usual year for them. This spread is huge, but after not scoring against the Cyclones, Kansas could have trouble finding the end zone yet again.
Gary Patterson has once again turned his defense into one of the best in the conference, with TCU already disposing of some quality offenses, most notably that of OK State. Even holding Kansas State to six points on the road last week was impressive.
There’s not much to the Kansas offense with quarterback a question every week. Peyton Bender has been the guy, but after last week’s shut out and his 18 passing yards on 19 attempts, Carter Stanley could be under center for this Game. Stanley, a sophomore, has attempted 26 passes this season and hasn’t looked much better than Bender. The Jayhawks were getting decent production from top running back Khalil Herbert, but he pulled his hamstring a couple weeks ago and will probably miss out again. His backup Taylor Martin had just 53 yards last week and is averaging 3.4 yards per carry for the season.
With the KU offense lacking in every area, this could be another Game in which they fail to reach double digits. That only means TCU would have to reach 40 or so points to cover this Game and that’s well within reach against a defense that’s allowing close to 45 points per Game.
TCU quarterback Kenny Hill isn’t electric, but he’s been much safer with the ball this season and is completing close to 70 percent of his passes, which is great after just 61.1% a year ago. So far, that hasn’t led to many blowouts, but things could change in this one. Either that or the Frogs will run a ton behind Kyle Hicks and Darius Anderson. Those two have split most of the carries this season with both averaging more than five yards per carry.
This spread is huge because the Jayhawks have seemingly given up on the season already. That’s reason enough to take TCU, but this isn’t the easiest offense to trust, even though the Frogs have scored with ease on lesser defenses. The Jayhawks are 1-5 ATS in their last six overall, but 5-2 ATS in their last seven Conference Games. The Horned Frogs have incredibly failed to cover in their last 11 home Games and are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. a team with a losing record. Kansas has also covered in the last five meetings between these teams.
Our Pick – OVER 61