TCU Horned Frogs at Oklahoma Sooners Expert Picks with Odds and Predictions
TCU Horned Frogs at Oklahoma Sooners, Saturday Nov. 11, 8 p.m. ET
This is a great Big 12 showdown. It is not, though, quite as interesting as it could be. Up until this year the Big 12 didn't have a title game, so winning the conference was all that mattered. Both of these teams are in good shape to win out after this game, so this is essentially a showdown for the Big 12 regular season. There is a pretty good chance, though, that this will be the matchup for the conference championship game regardless of who wins, so this is really just the appetizer for what will be a pretty good main course in a few weeks. The loser will be in a bit of a log jam for second place, but they will be well positioned - especially if Oklahoma State beats Iowa State this week. The potential rematch shouldn't take too much away from this game, though - it's not like the teams are going to hold back to save anything for next time.
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TCU at Oklahoma Betting Storylines
This is a clash of styles. Oklahoma is a truly elite offense. They are tops in the country in both total yards and passing yards, and they are third in points scored. They just overwhelm teams. But they aren't exactly defensively disciplined. They are below average in total yards, and they rank a dismal 109th in the country against the pass. They just want to have the ball last and outscore an opponent in a track meet. And it is mostly going pretty well for them. TCU, on the other hand, is a very ordinary offense that is back to having a scary defense like they used to. They are sixth in the country in total yards allowed and also sixth in points allowed. The offense is pretty ordinary, though - right around the national average in most spots. It's strength against strength - at least on the surface.
There are a couple of reasons for concern for TCU, though. They are the top team in the country against the run. That isn't the advantage against Oklahoma that it is against other teams, though. The Sooners are a decent running team, but it's just a secondary thought compared to the passing game. If the Horned Frogs slow them down on the ground then they'll just pass more. And that's a problem because TCU is relatively weak against the pass - they rank 57th in yards allowed. So, there is a decent chance that Oklahoma is going to be able to score some points despite the TCU defense, and TCU could struggle to keep up despite the Oklahoma defensive woes.
One aspect of this game that is very interesting comes when TCU has the ball. They are a very good team at converting third downs - sixth best in the country, which is well ahead of what you would expect given their offense overall. And Oklahoma is disastrous at defending third down, allowing their opponent to convert on more than 40 percent of attempts in five of the last six games. If TCU wants to win this one then they are going to have to make the most of their offensive opportunities, and this is one way that they can level the playing field offensively and give themselves a chance. The more they can convert on third down, the more they can keep the ball out of Baker Mayfield's hands - and that is absolutely essential.
TCU at Oklahoma Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Oklahoma favored by the key number of seven, and it has since fallen off that number to 6.5 . Action is pretty evenly split between the two teams at this point, so we aren't likely to see a dramatic further move without significant breaking news. The total opened as high as 64.5 and is widely available at 61.5 at this point.
The Horned Frogs are 5-1 ATS both in their last six on the road and their last six in November. They are, though, just 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games played on grass. They are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win. The Sooners are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 against teams with winning records and 8-1 ATS in their last nine at home. They are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 overall. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these teams.
TCU at Oklahoma Predictions and Picks
I have real respect for Gary Patterson and what is going on at TCU this year, but I think they are over their heads here. The Sooners are going to be able to pass the ball in this one, and that will open up the passing game more than it is for most TCU opponents. They will score points, and TCU isn't likely to be able to match them on that front. It will be a good game, but I expect Oklahoma to pull away at the end sufficiently to cover this spread.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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