The Texas Christian Horned Frogs visit the No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners for an early game Friday. TCU enters the game with a 5-6 record, needing to pull the upset to become bowl-eligible. Oklahoma has a chance at the Big 12 Championship game, but will need some help in order to get there. The college football betting lines have Oklahoma favored by 13, and the total is 63. The over/under is high for the game, but the TCU vs Oklahoma game highlights a pair of high-powered offensive teams.
Location: Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma
TCU Has Been Own Worst Enemy
Barring pulling off the major upset, TCU could have the distinction of going from the college football playoffs to completely missing a college bowl game the following year. It’s not that TCU is a lousy team. But the Horned Frogs haven’t been able to win the close games.
All five Horned Frog victories have been by 17 or more points. But TCU has three losses by three points. A victory in any of those three NCAAF games would have the Horned Frogs playing in the postseason. Although those are the types of games teams lose when they’re -7 in turnovers, as TCU is.
The stats show the Horned Frogs to be a decent team. TCU is averaging 30.1 points against teams, allowing 27.1 points per game. And the Horned Frogs allow 24.1 points to teams scoring 27.3 points per game. If TCU misses out on a bowl game, it will be one of the better teams in the country to see its season end this week.
The Horned Frogs play a brutal college football schedule, although that can pretty much be said for any of the Big 12 Conference teams. TCU hasn’t succeeded against the better teams in college football this year. The Horned Frogs are 0-4 straight-up against teams in the top 30 of the Sagarin college football ratings.
TCU can run the ball reasonably well. But the Horned Frogs are a better passing team, gaining 309.3 yards per game. TCU hasn’t always taken advantage of its scoring opportunities, but the turnovers have also played a part there.
Sooners Gunning For 10th Win
The Sooners realize it’s doubtful they’ll be in the Big 12 Conference championship game. But playing for a 10-win season should provide a bit of motivation. But the Sooners looked anything but impressive against BYU last week, winning 31-24 as 24.5-point favorites.
Neither the offense nor the defense played to its potential in that game. But when things are going right, the Sooners are an offensive machine, averaging 494.7 yards of total offense and 40.8 points per game against teams, allowing 26 points a game. The Sooners pass for 314.7 yards per game, so the TCU vs Oklahoma game highlights two of the best passing offenses in the country.
Oklahoma does get the edge on defense. The Sooners allow 20.2 points per game to college football teams averaging 29.2 points. Oklahoma is decent against the run, but the pass defense is slightly better. That could make it challenging for the Horned Frogs, but TCU should get its yards. The Sooners are +9 in turnovers this season, so the defense is doing its job in that aspect.
What to Expect
The Horned Frogs are going to lay it all on the line this game, so you have to expect TCU to do what it does best. That’s throwing the football. Even if the Sooners are a shade better in pass defense than rushing defense. On average, TCU runs 34.2 times per game and throws 40.5 times. You have to believe the Frogs will throw at least as much as usual.
For Oklahoma, it will be the usual balanced offense it’s shown all season. The Sooners run the ball a few more times per game than they pass, but they complement each other pretty well. When the Sooners are running the ball well, the passing game is more effective. At this point of the season, it’s unlikely teams are going to look to do anything differently.
Who to Bet On?
The Sooners have fared much better than TCU against the NCAAF scores and odds this season. TCU is 5-6 against the spread, while Oklahoma is 7-4. The Horned Frogs are 0-3 straight-up and 1-2 ATS as an underdog this season. That, coupled with TCU’s 0-4 record against Sagarin’s top 30 teams, makes it hard to pull the trigger on the Horned Frogs. But that’s probably the way to play this game.
TCU is coming off a 42-17 beating of Baylor a week ago and nearly pulled the upset against Texas the previous week, falling 27-24 as 13-point underdogs. Even though the Sooners are 7-4 against the spread, they started off the season 6-0 ATS, so Oklahoma is on a 1-4 ATS run.
That’s a combination of being over-priced and a team not playing well. The TCU vs Oklahoma game highlights the two offenses, and the Horned Frogs should score enough to stay within the point spread here.