TCU Horned Frogs at Oklahoma State Cowboys Expert Picks and Betting Predictions
TCU Horned Frogs at Oklahoma State Cowboys, Saturday Sept. 23, 3:30 p.m. ET
The state of Oklahoma is in a serious football zone right now. The state doesn't have many people in it, but it does have two of the Top 6 teams in the AP Poll at this point, and it would be all but impossible to argue that both teams are anything but completely deserving of being there. And while we are used to showdowns between highly-ranked teams from Oklahoma against teams from Texas, what is strange here is that it's Oklahoma State and TCU lining up for what could be a great game, not Oklahoma and Texas.
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For Oklahoma State this is a chance to prove just how good their offense actually is, and for TCU it's an opportunity to make a massive statement about where they are and where they could go. The stakes are incredibly high - higher than we are used to seeing in recent years in an early Big 12 showdown.
TCU at Oklahoma State Betting Storylines
The Oklahoma State offense has been a true work of art through three games. They are second in the country in total yards and fourth in points scored. If you think, though, that we really know anything about what they are and what they can do you then are kidding yourself. Sure, Mason Rudolph and company are talented and dangerous, but we don't have any way of knowing how dangerous. Their opponents have been horrific defensively. Tulsa ranks 130th nationally in yards allowed. Pitt is just slightly better at 117. South Alabama is, relatively, the star of the group, but they still rank 80th in yards allowed and 90th in points allowed. The Cowboys, simply put, haven't played a defense that is even remotely a challenge, so all we really know is that they are good enough to exploit a defense that is susceptible to being exploited. TCU doesn't have the potent offense they had in their prime, but they humiliated Arkansas, and while SMU was able to score some points last week the Horned Frogs totally shut out highly-touted NFL prospect receiver Courtland Sutton. This is by far the biggest test OSU has faced to date - by a factor of about 50. It would be a mistake to assume that the Cowboys will do exactly what they have done up to this point when they have the ball.
The story for TCU so far, as much as anything else, has been Kenny Hill. The transfer QB was not particularly impressive last year in his first year with the Horned Frogs, but through the first quarter of this season he has been a whole new guy. He's far more confident and competent, and he wasn't rattled playing at Arkansas in his only road game - something that was a problem for him last year. Oklahoma State doesn't have a great defense, and this is the best offense they have faced, Tulsa, had an alright night with 432 total yards and 24 points. If Tulsa can do that then the chances are good that TCU can do more. The Horned Frogs, after all, rank seventh in the country with 49 points scored per game. If Hill can have a good day then he has a chance to really make this interesting.
TCU at Oklahoma State Odds and Betting Trends
The Cowboys are currently favored widely by 12.5 points . The game opened in the range of 11 to 12. 5 and has moved around slightly, but it has mostly stayed within that range. Nearly 80 percent of bets have been on the Cowboys, so it is quite possible we will see the line go higher, though it would be a mild surprise if it climbed through the key number of 14. The total opened as low as 65 and has been on the climb. It currently sits at 71 and could go higher.
TCU is 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games but just 2-7 ATS in their last nine conference games and 2-7 ATS in their last nine September games. They are 1-4 ATS in their last five against the Cowboys. Oklahoma State has covered their last four spreads and is 5-1 ATS in their last six against teams with winning records. They are 6-2 ATS in their last eight September games. Four of the last five games between these squads have gone "under" the total.
TCU at Oklahoma State Predictions and Picks
I respect Oklahoma State. I just don't think people are respecting TCU enough. The Cowboys are the better team, and playing at home will help, but TCU is tough and extremely well-coached, and they are going to be able to keep this one interesting. If the line were to climb to or over 14 then this would be a no-brainer, but even at the current level it is worth a gamble to take the points and go with the underdog here. TCU is the pick.
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