This Game would have all the makings of a Thursday night scoring fest, but TCU’s head coach Gary Patterson doesn’t want to get into a track meet. The Horned Frogs kept this Game low scoring last season in a 27-3 win and will try to do the same as an -8.5 point home favorite early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Last year’s matchup was far from exciting as TCU controlled things most of the way even with only 85 passing yards. Playing at home, Texas Tech managed just three points even though it ran for 174 yards as a team. It’s hard to see this Game going the same mainly because TCU hasn’t consistently held down the Red Raiders offense. In fact, Tech won in this spot two years ago and dropped 52 on them the year before that.
The big question and the reason this spread was released late is the status of Tech quarterback Alan Bowman. He had a collapsed lung last week and then was reinjured in the 42-34 loss against West Virginia. It may not matter who is quarterback because Bowman’s backup Jett Duffey moved the ball fine against West Virginia, though he threw a couple picks. His mobility added another element to the offense rushing for 86 yards and a touchdown in addition to 172 yards through the air. That ability should at least allow for the Red Raiders to move the ball against a TCU defense that’s allowing only 304 yards per Game. If Bowman can return, he had monster numbers in the first month with 1,680 yards on 8.44 yards per attempt. Either way, the Raiders have someone that should move the ball, even against a stout defense.
Of course, TCU’s offense is the only way it can cover this Game because that’s been a big issue the past couple Games. The Frogs have just 30 points in their last two Conference contests and they barely moved the ball in last year’s meeting. Tech doesn’t have a good defense, but quarterback Shawn Robinson has been more of a detriment to his team this season with six interceptions and only seven touchdowns. Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua should move the ball fine on the ground, but if Robinson continues to struggle, it’ll be hard to back TCU to win by more than a touchdown against the Tech offense. Given how Robinson has looked, there’s a decent possibility the Red Raiders stack the box against the TCU running attack and force Robinson into action. If he doesn’t produce, it could be a shaky situation for the home team, even under the lights.
The Red Raiders are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 Games following an ATS loss, but 1-5 ATS in their last six Games on grass. The Horned Frogs are 7-2 ATS in their last nine home Games against a team with a winning road record, but just 5-16 ATS in their last 21 at home and 2-6 ATS in their last eight overall. There are no head-to-head trends, though the last two meetings went under and Texas Tech has covered two of the last three.
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