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TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas Longhorns (9) Betting Picks and Prediction

03 October 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date: Saturday, October 3rd
Time:12:00 PM ET
Venue:DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium
Network:FOX
Spread:Texas -12
O/U:63

The 0-1 TCU Horned Frogs will go on the road Saturday to face off with the 2-0 Texas Longhorns at 12:00 PM ET in Memorial Stadium. You can watch the game on FOX. The ninth-ranked Longhorns are 12-point home favorites over a Horned Frogs team that lost a thriller to Iowa State in the opener. This is going to be a phenomenal game between powerhouse offenses. Let’s dive into who will win this game and cover the spread. 

When The TCU Horned Frogs Have The Ball

The Horned Frogs started the season off on a tough note with a 37-34 defeat at the hands of the Iowa State Cyclones. They were supposed to face off with SMU in week one, but that game was ultimately postponed due to COVID concerns. They instead faced the Cyclones, who have an equally potent offense and just edged out the Horned Frogs. 

Offensively, TCU is extremely underrated and dangerous. QB Max Duggan is in his third year as starter and has looked a lot better than in previous seasons. He shares the load with Matthew Downing, who didn’t look nearly as good as Duggan. I’d expect Duggan to get the majority of snaps at the QB position, unless he’s limited and we just don’t know it.

The backfield is a strange situation, or at least it was in week one. Each QB ran the ball 11 times with Emari Demarcado coming in second with eight rushes. Five other players ran the ball , but the team averaged just 2.3 yards per carry and were held under 100 team rushing yards on 44 rushes. If they want to beat Texas, the running game is going to have to garner some respect. 

The receiving core is dangerous and the addition of JD Spielman, a transfer from Nebraska, brings them to a different level. Taye Barber is a super athlete and a threat to take it to the house any time the ball is in his hands. Blair Conwright and Artayvious Lynch start on the outside and both are reliable options for Duggar or Downing. Demercado is also a threat out of the backfield and he caught five balls for 42 yards against Iowa State. 

If TCU wants to have success against Texas, they’ll have to look a lot more like the team against Iowa State than the team against Houston Baptist. TCU has a volatile offense, but the weapons are in place for them to dominate. We know the Longhorns can keep it close with anyone, and TCU is extremely talented. 

When The Texas Longhorns Have The Ball

The ninth-ranked Texas Longhorns opened the season with a 59-3 domination of UTEP before edging out a 63-56 overtime victory over Texas Tech. Sam Ehlinger led the way with 262 yards and five touchdowns on top of 69 rushing yards and another score. He wasn’t perfect but did just enough to lead the Longhorns to a victory. 

The backfield is packed with talent and it starts with Keontay Ingram. The future NFL draft pick rushed for 89 yards on 7.4 YPC against Tech. Roschon Johnson carried the ball 16 times, but only managed 44 yards and a touchdown. Expect Ingram to see more carries moving forward, though both guys will be in the mix all year long. Ingram has dealt with a lot of injuries in the past, so Texas won’t drive him into the ground early in the season. 

Texas had to replace some studs at WR, and Joshua Moore is the next guy up. He’s already caught 11 balls for 200 yards and four touchdowns through just two games. Expect Ehlinger to stare him down like he did Devin Duvernay in 2019. Outside of Moore, Kai Money and Brenden Schooler see plenty of targets. School is more of the sure-handed option while Money is a threat to go deep. Brennan Eagles is back from a season ago and he’s always a solid option in the RZ. 

This Longhorns team is extremely talented, but the talent only meshes on offense for whatever reason. The Longhorns will need to step up defensively if they want to cover as TCU is a better offense than Texas Tech. They have to make noise in the backfield and they can’t allow receivers to simply run free. The Horned Frogs are an underrated team and they almost upset Iowa State just a week ago. The Longhorns are coming off an exhausting game and will have to make sure they don’t take a quarter off as the Horned Frogs will take advantage. 

Spread Prediction

This Texas Longhorns team came into the season a bit overrated and we saw what a weaker Texas Tech team did to them a week ago. While the upside is certainly there if the defense can put it together, that won’t happen against the very weird TCU attack. Dugan does a good job of keeping opposing defenses on threat heels and his newfound ability to drive the ball down the field changes everything for the offense. 

I do expect Texas to escape with a win, much like they did a week ago against Tech. I just don’t see them holding an efficient TCU offense under 30 points. The Horned Frogs aren’t much better defensively, but Ehlinger can be carefree with the ball and TCU will take advantage if given the opportunity. Give me the Horned Frogs with 12 points all day. 

The Pick: TCU +12

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Total Prediction

These two offenses move the ball fast and neither defense is one to worry about. We’ll see a few turnovers from both sides of the ball and the opposing offense won’t have much issue converting. 63 points is far too low here and I wouldn’t be surprised if both of these teams end up in the 40’s once again. The Horned Frogs are my favorite bet in this game, but I have no problem dabbling with the over and certainly don’t hate the parlay or teaser. 

The Pick: Over 63 

Final Score Prediction: Texas 41, TCU 35

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

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