Oklahoma Sooners vs. TCU Horned Frogs Preview
Where: Amon G. Carter Stadium – Fort Worth, Texas
When: Saturday, October 1, 5:00 PM ET
Line: Oklahoma Sooners (-3.5) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (+3.5); total 69.5 – view all NCAA Football odds and lines
TV Broadcast: FOX
Writer’s Pick: TCU Horned Frogs (+3.5)
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Betting on the Oklahoma Sooners (-3.5)
Oklahoma (1-2, 0-3 ATS) was a College Football Playoff semifinalist last season, but the Sooners’ dreams of a playoff return are basically over with two losses (33-23 to Houston and 45-24 at home to Ohio State) in their first three games. They still have a shot at another Big 12 title, though, and that road begins in Fort Worth against TCU.
The Sooners have the advantage of getting the past week off, which they’ve no doubt used to work on the mistakes they made in their losses.
That week off has also given Samaje Perine more time to recover from his lingering injuries. The junior is averaging just 50 rushing yards per game this season, which is obviously not enough. He’s a vital cog in the Sooners offense, as he showed in last year’s meeting with TCU. He gashed the Horned Frogs for 188 yards to lead an Oklahoma ground game that garnered 333 rushing yards overall.
The Sooners also need to improve on defense. Their rebuilt front has been unable to put consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and Greg Ward Jr. and J.T. Barrett have punished them as a result. TCU’s Kenny Hill (four interceptions in four games) is a pretty generous quarterback, though, and could help out a defense which has been able to force just two turnovers through three games.
Betting on the TCU Horned Frogs (+3.5)
No. 21 TCU (3-1, 1-3 ATS) may be a 3.5-point home underdog against Oklahoma, but not only do the Horned Frogs have a good chance of covering, they have a decent shot of winning outright.
Quarterback transfer Kenny Hill hasn’t been perfect, but he’s getting the job done. TCU is currently fourth in the nation in total offense, averaging 576 yards per game. As Houston and Ohio State have shown, you can throw on this Oklahoma defense, and Hill will have no hesitation attacking them deep even without top wideout KaVontae Turpin.
John Diarse has stepped up in Turpin’s absence, with 236 yards on 13 catches and a touchdown in his last two games. He’s just one of a handful of weapons Hill still has at his disposal.
TCU’s pass defense, which struggled early in the season, has since improved over the past few weeks, albeit against less-than-stellar competition. The run defense has been consistently good, though. It currently ranks second in the Big 12 in both yards per game (130.5) and yards per carry (3.3) allowed. Stopping the run is key to stopping the Sooners offense, so the Horned Frogs are in good shape there.
Gary Patterson’s solid defenses have been a major factor in TCU playing Oklahoma very tough in recent years. Since joining the Big 12 in 2012, the average margin of victory in the four TCU-Oklahoma matchups has been 3.8 points, with only their first meeting decided by more than four points.
TCU lost by just one point last year despite missing their two best offensive players, and won 37-33 the last time they played in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs have gone 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings with Oklahoma.
Kenny Trill outduels Baker Mayfield as TCU (+3.5) wins a 37-33 shootout.
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