TCU at Kansas Big 12 Football Pick ATS – 10-8

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Kansas will host TCU this Saturday in what will no doubt be one of the biggest home games in the history of Kansas football. Certainly in modern history. TCU is as high as -7 still at a book or two but as of this writing it’s mostly -6.5’s across the board. The total is 69.5 at GTBets.

Kansas enters this game ranked for the first time since 2009. They rank 19th to TCU’s 17th. The Jayhawks are fresh off a 14-11 home win over Iowa Sate last week. That game is a perfect example of the role luck and perhaps fate play in any given college football season.

Sometimes teams have magical years where everything just goes their way. Iowa State had several chances to at the very least tie last weeks game and send it into OT. They missed three easy field goals with a freshman kicker. Kansas would not have beaten a more complete team last week.

How Good is Either Team?

So far, what do we really know about either of these teams. As magical as it’s been for Kansas, their other wins are Tennessee Tech, West Virginia, Houston and Duke. Not exactly college football’s elite. But granted, all games recent Kansas Teams may not have won.

We’ll find out more from here forward of course as Kansas has all of the top Big 12 teams in the coming weeks. It won’t be easy. There’s not a breather the rest of the way. I’d hold off on the Bowl game reservations for another week or two.

Same can be said for TCU. Yes, they blew out Oklahoma last week. But Oklahoma has lost two in a row and those two happen to be the only legitimate opponents the Sooners have faced in their 5 games. The other TCU wins came against Colorado, Tarleton State and SMU. We all saw SMU collapse against UCF last night.

Head to Head

head-to-head history (lined games):
11/20/2021  Kansas                   28  +21.5  at T.C.U.                   31
11/28/2020  T.C.U.                   59  -24.0  at Kansas                   23
 9/28/2019  Kansas                   14  +14.5  at T.C.U.                   51
10/27/2018  T.C.U.                   26  -13.5  at Kansas                   27
10/21/2017  Kansas                    0  +39.0  at T.C.U.                   43
10/ 8/2016  T.C.U.                   24  -30.0  at Kansas                   23
11/14/2015  Kansas                   17  +47.0  at T.C.U.                   23
11/15/2014  T.C.U.                   34  -28.0  at Kansas                   30
10/12/2013  Kansas                   17  +24.5  at T.C.U.                   27
 9/15/2012  T.C.U.                   20  -21.0  at Kansas                    6
 9/ 6/1997  T.C.U.                   10  +10.0  at Kansas                   17
 9/14/1996  Kansas                   52  - 4.5  at T.C.U.                   17
 9/14/1995  T.C.U.                   20  + 3.5  at Kansas                   38
 9/17/1994  Kansas                   21  - 5.0  at T.C.U.                   31
   average outcome:
     T.C.U.                  29.7  Kansas                  22.4
     margin =  -7.36
   time-weighted average outcome:
     T.C.U.                  38.4  Kansas                  20.4
     margin = -18.01
   average result when the home team is Kansas                 
     T.C.U.                  27.6  Kansas                  23.4
     margin =  -4.14
   average result when the home team is T.C.U.                 
     Kansas                  21.3  T.C.U.                  31.9
     margin =  10.57
    54.55 % of games went Over
    66.67 % went Over at Kansas                 
    (since        1995 )
   average total points per game =  52.07
   time-weighted average total   =  58.86
   the home team covered  57.14 % of the time
   the road team covered  42.86 % of the time
   Ave ATS differential =  0.79
   the favorite  covered  35.71 % of the time
   the underdog  covered  64.29 % of the time
   Ave ATS differential = -5.93
   the favorite won SU    85.71 % of the time
   T.C.U.                  covered  35.71 % of the time
   Kansas                  covered  64.29 % of the time
   Kansas                  covered  71.43 % of the time at home
   Kansas                  covered  80.00 % of the time as home underdogs

You can see from the head to head that Kansas has been a solid play against the number at home in this series, especially as an underdog.

Here’s some more interesting numbers…..

TCU 11.6 16.6 4.4
KAN 10.5 15.8 2

What you’re looking at above are the yards per point numbers for both teams in the first two columns and then the yards per rush attempt in the last column.

Both teams have played approximately the same schedule strength. You can see from those numbers that both offenses have been very efficient. TCU get’s the slight edge defensively but it’s close and neither of those defensive numbers are off the charts good.

The rushing yards per attempt obviously stands out for TCU. That’s huge and also 2nd best in the nation behind Alabama. You can attribute much of that success to TCU QB Max Duggan. Not only is Duggan #1 in the nation in passing efficiency with a rating of 202.2 and third in completion percentage at 74.5% having completed 70 of 94 pass attempts but he can also run like the wind.

He’s a dual threat for sure. 3 TD passes plus he ran for 116 yards and two additional touchdowns last week against the Sooners. One of those was a 67-yard TD run.

Here’s the prediction from our model.

T.C.U.                    -6.5          38           
Kansas                    66.0          34

Our Pick

The model predicts a TCU win, but not by enough to cover the number. We’re going to agree with the model here and suggest this is a game Kansas could very well win straight up for a number of reasons.

Start with recent history. Going back to 2014 there have been 5 games decided by a TD or less. That’s 5 of the last 8 meetings. Four of those were by 4 points or less and of course last year’s was a 1 point game.

This just shows that despite Kansas not having winning teams in those years while TCU had some teams winning 11 and 12 games, Kansas was still able to field talent that could and did compete with TCU. The only thing different this year is that the Kansas talent is a tad better than those past teams AND they now have a winning mentality having had everything go their way thus far in 2022.

You also can’t underestimate the role of emotion. Having the opportunity to play in a game like this for these kids on the Jayhawks is HUGE. They’re used to playing in an empty stadium. Kansas coach Lance Leipold promised these kids they’d sell this place out and he delivered on that promise. These kids have bought in 100%.

We expect a great game here with Duggan and Kansas QB Jalon Daniels going head to head and leaving everything on the field. We ultimately don ‘t think either team is as good as people think. But both are good. Maybe very good and we think this is a close one.

We also feel the total may be too high here.

Kansas +7 (at – a betonline book)

TCU/Kansas UNDER 69.5


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