Texas Christian University visits Texas Tech for a Thursday night game this week. The Horned Frogs have dropped three of their last four games to fall to 4-4. With games against Texas and Oklahoma still remaining, this is a huge game for TCU. A loss could mean going from the college football playoffs to not qualifying for a college bowl game in one year. Texas Tech is 3-5 and in need of a win to keep its faint bowl hopes alive. The TCU vs Texas Tech odds and spread sees the Red Raiders favored by 3 points, with the total at 58.5 points.
Location: Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas
Line: Texas Tech -3
TCU Rushing Defense Needs to Improve
The Horned Frogs have allowed at least 200 rushing yards in three games this season. TCU is 0-3 in those games. The Horned Frogs are 3-1 when holding the opposition to fewer than 100 rushing yards, so the team goes where its run defense takes it. Overall, the run defense is pretty average, allowing 4.0 yards per carry to teams averaging 3.9 yards. TCU allows 149.1 rushing yards per game. The Horned Frogs’ passing defense is pretty solid, allowing just 55% completions and 230.8 yards per game.
TCU is pretty solid offensively, scoring 29.4 points per game against defenses that allow 26 points per game. The running attack works pretty well, with the team rushing for 175.4 yards per game. The Horned Frogs rush for 4.8 yards per carry and gain 6.0 yards per play. TCU throws for 289.5 yards per game, so moving the football isn’t a problem. But the Horned Frogs don’t always take advantage of their opportunities and average one point for every 15.8 yards gained. The defenses they’ve played allow a point for every 14.6 yards allowed.
Texas Tech Hurt by Turnovers
The Texas Tech NCAAF team stats look much better than those of a 3-5 team. The Red Raiders can hold their own in the stats department. But there is the one they haven’t been able to overcome, and that’s the -7 in turnovers. Teams can’t give the ball away so many times and expect to win games. The Red Raiders are averaging 30 points per game against teams allowing 27.1. Texas Tech runs the ball for 176 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. The passing game has been good for another 231.4 yards per game.
Texas Tech’s defense isn’t all that bad, allowing 25.4 points to teams averaging 26.5. The Red Raiders allow 4.0 yards per rush to teams that average 4.4 yards per carry. The passing defense is a little better than average regarding yards allowed per pass attempt. But the offensive turnovers have also hurt the defense, having to defend shorter fields and remain on the field too long.
What to Expect
This is a crucial game for each team looking to increase their college bowl odds. The NCAAF schedule isn’t particularly kind to either team, as each have two ranked opponents in their final three games after this one. Both teams should look to do what they do best. For TCU, that means throwing the ball and mixing in some running plays to keep the defense honest. The Horned Frogs throw a few more times than they run, but overall, the balance isn’t bad.
Texas Tech has a perfect balance, rushing and throwing 37 times per game. The Red Raiders have been a little more consistent with the running game. Other than the season-opening loss to Wyoming, Texas Tech has rushed for 153 to 239 yards in each game. The Red Raiders aren’t one-dimensional and can throw the ball, although they prefer not to. Texas Tech has thrown for more than 200 yards on four occasions this season and lost all four NCAAF games.
Who to Bet On?
The TCU vs Texas Tech odds and spread of Red Raiders -3 was pretty much expected. The teams are fairly comparable and Texas Tech is at home. Neither team has any real edge in strength of schedule. Both teams are 3-5 against the spread and TCU is 2-6 in totals, while Texas Tech is 3-5.
The TCU vs Texas Tech odds and spread does put TCU in one of its worst situations, as the Horned Frogs are 4-8 ATS as a road underdog the last three years. And Texas Tech is 5-0 ATS after at least two straight losses the last three years, so the Red Raiders have a bit of an advantage in the trends.
It’s a tough game to call and looks as though it could go either way. When that’s the case, you’re usually better off sticking with the underdog, which is the case in this game. Take TCU +3.