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Let’s take a closer look at this Friday’s ESPN showcase game between TCU and SMU.
TCU Horned Frogs (3-0) vs. SMU Mustangs (2-1) Betting Lines from 5Dimes
Date/Time: Friday September 24- 8:00 PM
MoneyLine: TCU (-900) SMU (+600)
NCAA Betting Favorite: TCU -17 (-110) SMU +17 (-110)
The Horned Frogs of TCU have national championship aspirations again this year. This team understands that they have to win every single game to have any shot at playing in the BCS Championship Game.
The TCU offense is led by senior quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country. He has completed 75% of his passes this year and also has 113 yards on the ground. Dalton is the perfect team leader for this offense. At the running back spot, Ed Wesley is averaging 8.2 yards per carry and he has some terrific speed. The most explosive player on the offense is Jeremy Kerley. Kerley is a wide receiver who can break it every time he touches the ball, and he also is a great kick returner. TCU definitely has one of the most balanced and most productive offenses in the country.
The TCU defense was expected to be down a bit after they lost some key contributors, but Gary Patterson’s team once again has a very stingy defense. It all starts up front with Cory Grant and Kelly Griffin manning the defensive tackle positions. Tank Carder is a high quality linebacker who gets into the backfield quite frequently. The one weak spot of this defense is the cornerback position. TCU understands they are limited at this position, and their 4-2-5 defensive scheme allows their three veteran safeties to help in pass coverage.
The Mustangs would love nothing more than to spoil their rivals chance at another BCS bowl berth by upsetting them on Friday night. June Jones has turned this program around in a hurry, and this a real chance to make a statement.
The SMU offense is led by a strong offensive line that does a great job protecting quarterback Kyle Padron. Padron is just a sophomore, but he has done a great job settling into the system June Jones likes to run. SMU doesn’t have much of a running game at all, but the Mustangs use the short passing game very effectively. SMU will have to look down the field some and maybe even run Padron on some quarterback draws to keep TCU’s defense honest in this one.
The SMU defense is terrific on the front line. Taylor Thompson and Marcus Frazier can get in the opposing team’s backfield quite often, and the defense as a whole is very solid against the run. SMU is only allowing 82 yards on the ground per game so far this year. The secondary is a different story, as SMU has had trouble slowing down the aerial attack of their competition. Dalton is a guy who can beat you through the air and Kerley is a dangerous receiver, so SMU must get pressure on Dalton quickly or they could struggle to stop the Horned Frogs.
TCU vs. SMU College Football Betting Trends
TCU is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games
SMU is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games
TCU is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall
SMU is 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games against teams with a winning record
TCU vs. SMU Free College Football Pick:
I like what June Jones is doing at SMU, but I just don’t think they have the talent to stick with TCU for an entire game. The Horned Frogs defense will key in on the passing game and make life miserable for Kyle Padron. I think TCU pulls away in the second half and asserts their dominance in this rivalry. TCU -17 is the play in this one.
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