If this Game follows tune to the rest of the Big 12, it would end in yet another upset that would hurt any chance for the Conference to have a team in the College Football Playoff. TCU comes in ranked at No. 6 in the AP Poll and the favorite to win the Big 12. They opened as -4.5 point road favorites against Kansas State (as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook).
This line took an extra day to come out as Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz is dealing with a knee sprain, so that will be something to monitor through the week. Ertz was in-and-out of the lineup in the second half against Texas and sophomore Alex Delton was forced to close out the Game in overtime. The info on Delton is sparse as he’s attempted just 11 passes in his two seasons.
When these teams met last season, the situation was a bit different. It was the final Game of the regular season and K State dominated in a 30-6 win as TCU couldn’t do anything as quarterback Kenny Hill was eventually benched. In that Game, the Wildcats ran for 336 yards, led by Ertz, who had 170 of them. It’s clear the tables have turned and things are much different this time around. TCU has one of the best rush defenses in the country and is allowing just 3.0 yards per carry.
Needless to say, but if Kansas State can’t run the ball, the offense is going to struggle. Even with Ertz in the Game, he’s only completing 55% of his passes so he’s not a reliable passer as it is. Whether it’s Ertz or Delton, the Wildcats are going to run the ball plenty with the help of top RB Alex Barnes. So far, that hasn’t worked against TCU and that’s why the Horned Frogs are undefeated. They main reason they’ve allowed points in the last three Games (91 points) has been because of a suspect pass defense. If Delton is under center, that could mean even more trouble for the K State passing Game.
The play of Kenny Hill has been another huge boost for TCU as he’s playing much smarter than any other time in his career. To go with only three interceptions thrown, Hill is completing 69% of his passes, which is by far the best rate of his collegiate career. If he can continue to do that while Darius Anderson goes for 6.0 yards per carry, then TCU will be set. But betting against Bill Snyder in Manhattan isn’t usually the best idea, especially when K State is a home underdog. It also can’t be overlooked that TCU was a bit overrated last week as a double-digit favorite against West Virginia. Both teams had some big plays, but the Mountaineers played tight most of the way.
TCU may be a favorite to win the Big 12 at this point, but trusting them to cover as a road favorite is another story. The Horned Frogs won at OK State a couple weeks ago and that performance will be what most backers are counting on. The Horned Frogs have covered in their last Four road Games, while the Wildcats are 6-2 ATS in their last eight home Games vs. a team with a winning road record and 15-7 ATS in their last 22 Games following a straight-up loss.
Our Pick – Kansas St +7