TCU vs Houston Odds
Saturday September 16
8 pm Eastern Time
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
TCU makes a short trip to Houston as both teams open Big 12 play on Saturday night.
TCU lost a high-scoring matchup in the opener against Colorado, but bounced back last weekend with a blowout win over Nicholls. The Horned Frogs aren’t the same team that made the national title game last year, but they are heavy favorites here in Houston.
Houston fell behind, 28-0, at Rice last weekend, rallied to tie the game and send it to overtime, only to then lose, 43-41.
The Cougars are going through a bit of a rebuild right now after losing their starting quarterback and best wide receiver, which is why they are such big underdogs at home.
Let’s examine the odds for TCU vs. Houston and let’s make a choice in this betting preview for Saturday, September 16.
With Kendal Briles as the new offensive coordinator, TCU is playing at a breakneck pace. The Horned Frogs rank third in pace, running a play every 20.2 seconds. That’s not really surprising considering Briles’ offense finished in the top 20 in seconds per play at Arkansas in 2022.
The Horned Frogs’ offense was one of the best in the country last year. Given what we’ve seen in two games and considering the transfers they brought in, I’m not sure we’re going to see a massive drop-off like some expected.
They played in a crazy high-scoring game with Colorado in the opener, scoring 42 points and averaging 6.9 yards per play.
Chandler Morris was supposed to be the starter last season before getting injured, opening the door for Max Duggan to lead TCU to the national title game and secure a spot in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
Morris was ineffective in the game against Colorado and committed three turnover-worthy plays. But he bounced back against Nicholls last weekend, going 26 of 30 for 263 yards and two touchdowns with a 92.5 PFF passing rating.
TCU’s defense returned just seven starters from a unit that ranked 103rd in both explosiveness allowed and kills allowed. The Horned Frogs were torched for over 500 yards against Colorado in the opener, so it looks like nothing has changed.
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Donovan Smith transferred to Houston from Texas Tech after starting four games for the Red Raiders. However, he really wasn’t a great passer in Lubbock.
He posted a PFF passing grade of just 65.1, while averaging 6.8 yards per attempt and making just six big throws compared to 11 turnover-worthy plays. He’s been pretty average in his first two games with the Cougars, but Smith is really at his best when he can run in space.
Smith ran for three touchdowns against Rice last weekend and has already gained more than 100 yards rushing in two games.
Speaking of the running game, Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen entered the transfer portal and grabbed Tony Mathis Jr. from West Virginia. Mathis averaged just 4.2 yards per carry in 2022, but is a very elusive running back who forced 33 missed tackles and recorded 15 runs for 10-plus yards in 2022.
The Cougars also return their top two running backs from last year in Stacy Sneed and Brandon Campbell. What we have seen so far is that the three are splitting the carries. However, Mathis is averaging 6.1 yards per carry, so he may emerge as a leader sooner rather than later.
The Cougars’ defense was pretty bad in 2022, finishing 93rd in EPA/play allowed, 69th in final drives allowed, and 71st in success rate allowed. They returned seven starters, but lost their starting safeties and their best linebacker.
They had a solid performance against UTSA in the opener and then gave up 470 yards (and over 400 yards passing) to JT Daniels and Rice last weekend in a 43-41 loss in double overtime, so it seems that are still standing. having problems.
TCU vs. Houston
Analysis of confrontations
Toggle the dropdown menus below to hide or show how TCU and Houston match up statistically:
TCU offense vs. Houston defense
|Yards of line||90||88|
Houston offense vs. TCU defense
|Yards of line||88||26|
Pace of play/Other
|Approach to PFF||92||108|
|SP+ Special Equipment||63||98|
|Seconds per play||20.1 (7)||22.9 (13)|
|Rush rate||49.7% (97)||49.7% (116)|
TCU vs. Houston
Bet selection and prediction
Most importantly for TCU’s offense is the addition of running back Trey Sanders and wide receiver JoJo Earle from Alabama.
Sanders was a five-star recruit and the second-ranked running back in the country coming out of IMG Academy. He never appeared as the Crimson Tide’s primary back and suffered multiple injuries in Tuscaloosa. He scored three touchdowns against Colorado in the opener and was limited to just five carries against Nicholls after suffering an injury against the Buffs. So, we’ll see if he’s unleashed in this game.
If so, it will bode well for the end.
With how bad these defenses have been or are projected to be this season, and with both offenses in the top 20 in seconds per play, I like the value of over 64.5 points.
Choose: Over 64.5 (-105 at BetMGM)
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