Kansas State Wildcats vs. TCU Horned Frogs Betting Picks

October 8, 2020

Date:Saturday, October 10th
Time:4:00 PM ET
Venue:Amon Carter Stadium
Network:FOX
Spread:TCU -9
O/U:50.5

The 2-1 Kansas State Wildcats will go on the road Saturday to face off with the 1-1 TCU Horned Frogs at 4:00 PM ET in Amon Carter Stadium. You can watch the game on Fox Network. The Horned Frogs come in as eight-point favorites and we’re expecting a low-scoring game with just a 50.5 over/under. Let’s dive into who will win this game and cover the spread. 

When the Kansas State Wildcats Have The Ball

After a tough loss to Arkansas State to open the season, Kansas State has bounced back nicely with two straight victories against Oklahoma and Texas Tech. QB Skylar Thompson was knocked out early last week against Texas Tech with a concussion and he’s currently questionable to play. If he can’t make the start, true freshman Will Mallory has big shoes to fill. 

Thompson is in the midst of his fourth season as starter and his experience is irreplaceable. Thompson has thrown for 626 yards and four touchdowns on top of 38 rushing yards and three scores through two and a half games. He isn’t running the ball as much as last season, but that just speaks to the increased confidence in his arm. 

The best offensive player on the team is freshman RB Deuce Vaughn. He’s exploded onto the scene as both the leading rusher (205 yds, 3 TD) and receiver (234 yds, TD) and there are few weapons as dangerous across the country. TCU will be forced to pay special attention to Vaughn or they’ll be the fourth team to pay. 

Tight end Briley Moore leads all receivers with 12 catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Moore is a threat on any third down and in the RZ. Chabastin Taylor is the only other receiving threat and he’s a prototypical 6’4 outside of the hashes guy. Whether it’s Mallory or Thompson under center, the weapons are there.

If Kansas State wants to continue the win streak as underdogs, they’ll have to minimize the mistakes. TCU plays extremely aggressive on both sides of the ball and will be hunting for turnovers from the start. The winner of the turnover battle has a great chance to cover the spread.

When The TCU Horned Frogs Have The Ball

TCU has faced two tough opponents to start the season and many correctly predicted they would be 1-1. They just didn’t do it the way anyone expected. The Horned Frogs opened up the season by losing to Iowa State before upsetting Texas in a thriller. Both games were very close and it’s clear how dangerous this team is when gelling. 

Offensively, it all starts with Max Duggan. Much like Thompson for KSU, he’s a dual-threat QB that is extremely comfortable in the offense. He’s not only thrown for 472 yards and three scores, but he also leads the squad in rushing with 89 yards. Remember, they’ve only played two games and both were against solid opponents. 

When it’s not Duggan running the ball, your guess is as good as the defenses as to who will be. Five different backs have received between 8-13 carries with Kendre Miller leading the way. This is a team that runs the ball well in short-yardage situations but aren’t the best on first and second downs.

When Duggan drops back, he has a plethora of weapons. Taye Barber has caught twice as many balls as anyone with 12 for 133 yards and a score. Quentin Johnson and Blair Conwright are also over 100 yards and both have caught TD’s. Nebraska-transfer JD Spielman has caught just two balls for 38 yards and I’d expect him to get more involved in this game. He’s an elite athlete with the ball in his hands.

TCU doesn’t have a very stout defense, but they make big plays and that’s all that matters sometimes in College Football. With that being said, Skylar Thompson takes good care of the ball for KSU and the Horned Frogs will be hard-pressed to find a mistake to capitalize on. It will likely be the difference in covering the spread and not. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: TCU -9

The TCU Horned Frogs are going to dominate this game from the start. While all the weapons are there for Kansas State to continue the upset train, the Horned Frogs aren’t a team that will be cheated on either side of the ball. They made a huge mistake by starting Matthew Downing for the first two quarters against Iowa State and it cost them the victory. 

Duggan is back under center for good and the offense is a different animal when he’s in control. He has excellent chemistry with Barber and Johnson and is a threat to take off at any time. I don’t trust the KSU defense as far as I can throw them and TCU should put up 35 points by themselves here. Expect the Wildcats to keep it around 10 or so for most of the game before TCU pulls away. 

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Over 53.5 Final Score Prediction: TCU 38, Kansas State 21

This number is too low for two defenses that love to take chances and two offenses that don’t. Both defensive units are extremely talented, but they don’t communicate well and there isn’t much gap discipline to be seen. The offensive lines are experienced and you can expect both teams to move the ball on the ground. 

Both defenses will make a few big stops, but that will just put the opposing defense in a solid position to score themselves. Both teams can pass the ball when needed and neither secondary impresses. Fire the over up to 53.5 as one of my favorite bets of the entire weekend. 

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