2019 TCU Horned Frogs College Football Odds and Expert Betting Picks
2018 Record: 7-6
2019 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 7.5
2019 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
Gary Patterson has been down this road before.
In both 2013 (4-8) and 2016 (6-7), the Horned Frogs were coming off rare seasons with fewer than 10 wins. They rebounded to go 12-1 and 11-3, respectively, in their follow-up seasons. And after last year's 7-6 slog, Patterson has his Horned Frogs in a perfect position to bounce back once again.
TCU has some momentum after closing out last season with three straight wins, including a hard-fought victory over Cal in a bowl game.
Offensively, the Horned Frogs are looking for a major jump. They were No. 106 in the nation in scoring and averaged below 31 points for the first time in five years. This team struggled to finish drives all season and are hoping that one of the quarterbacks on the roster can seize the reigns.
Kansas State transfer Alex Delton, Ohio State transfer Matt Baldwin and freshmen Justin Rogers and Max Duggan are all battling for the starter role.
Whoever earns the nod will have a solid foundation to work with. All five starting offensive linemen are back, including a pair of three-year starters, and TCU boasts one of the best receivers in the Big 12 in Jalen Reagor. The Horned Frogs also have three of their top four leading rushers back and plenty of speed on the outside.
Turnovers were a major issue for TCU last year. They were -12 in their six losses and +7 in their seven wins. Whoever takes over at quarterback needs to take care of the ball.
Defensively, TCU is a force. They were No. 1 in the Big 12 last season - admittedly a low bar - and Patterson always has a dynamic group on that side of the ball.
The Horned Frogs are a woeful 15-25 against the spread the last three years, which indicates to me that this team is overrated nationally. Last season's loss to Kansas is also a red flag, as is the fact that five of their seven wins were by a touchdown or less. They have also won seven games or less in four of the seven years they have been in the Big 12.
That said, TCU has a chance to get off to a hot start this year and build off last year's strong finish. If they can win at Purdue on Sept. 14 - and they have a bye week to prepare - then the Horned Frogs should be 4-0 heading into road games at Iowa State and at Kansas State.
I'll peg them at 5-1 when they host Texas on Oct. 26. That precedes a season-defining stretch of three of four on the road. Home games against Baylor and West Virginia should be W's.
That means I'll take TCU 'over'. I think they will win at least two of their five league road games and their game at Purdue. Throw in five home wins - or six if they can upset Texas - and that will clear this number. If a quarterback emerges and the defense doesn't drop off, then I think TCU could be a factor in the league race.
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