NOTE: All lines are pulled from DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change.
The TCU Horned Frogs completed a big comeback last week to not only defeat Kansas State, but cover the 3.5 point spread as well, ultimately walking away with the 10-point victory. TCU improved to 7-0 straight up and 6-1 against the spread, only failing to cover in the 2OT win over Oklahoma State. The West Virginia Mountaineers got throttled in Lubbock last week, dropping a 48-10 result as 5-point underdogs to fall to 3-4 on the season and 4-3 against the spread. Both squads have consistently gone over game totals this season, going a combined 9-5 over the total, as both defenses have been vulnerable while the offenses can score in bunches.
Moneyline: TCU -265; West Virginia +225
Spread: TCU -7.5; West Virginia +7.5
Total Points: 69
Morgantown is certainly a difficult place to play and the Frogs have played WVU to some incredibly tight contests there, sneaking out 1-point victories in 2012 and 2014. The Horned Frogs are coming off a gauntlet of four consecutive Top-20 opponents and is set up for a dangerous trap spot against the Mountaineers if they take a moment to exhale. The spread has basically not moved, with a consensus opening with TCU as 7.5-point favorites and still sitting on that number. The Total took a large jump up from an opening of 63.5 to the nice key number of 69. West Virginia has performed as one of the worst defenses of the Power 5, ranking 83rd in Defensive SP+, while the TCU offense is currently #6 in Offensive SP+. If the Horned Frogs are able to play a complete game through four quarters it could an an easy cover, but given that hasn’t been on display since perhaps vs. Oklahoma, and in this tough environment, this game could play closer than the numbers project.
Note: Prop lines are pulled from PrizePicks and are subject to change
JT Daniels (WVU): 265.5
Max Duggan (TCU): 285.5
JT Daniels (WVU): 23.5
Max Duggan (TCU): 22.5
The first instinct on the Daniels passing numbers here is to think this is far too low for a QB whose primary ability is in the passing game, rarely gaining yards with his feet. However, Daniels has only cleared 266 yards twice through 7 games while the TCU Defense is allowing an average of just 260.1 pass yards per game. On completions, Daniels is averaging over 38 attempts per FBS game and completing about 64%. With injuries to the Mountaineer Running Back depth chart, it’s likely Daniels will be asked to let it rip on Saturday to carry the WVU offense.
Duggan’s yardage number also seems too low - he just barely missed this number last week (280 yards) against KSU in an extremely windy Amon G. Carter where he had a season-low 26 pass attempts. Add to the fact that the West Virginia pass defense is one of the worst in college football - ranking 126th in defensive EPA per pass (via cfb-graphs.com) - while its rush defense is strong in comparison, ranking 48th overall in EPA/rush. This suggests Duggan and his stable of pass catchers could be in for a big day.
JT Daniels (WVU): -5.5
Max Duggan (TCU): 35.5
Kendre Miller (TCU): 96.5
Daniels has only gone over this number twice this season, his only games with positive yardage at all. While TCU has not been overwhelming with QB pressure and sacks, it may only take one or two negative plays over the course of 40+ drop backs for Daniels to fall below the -5.5 yards.
On the TCU side, the rushing yardage may be a little tougher to come by, as that is a relative strength of the Mountaineers’ Defense which gives up just 130 rush yards per game on the season. If WVU matches that average vs. the Frogs, Duggan and Miller couldn’t both go over, that’s before any other Horned Frog carries the ball. The chance for overs here comes in a game scenario where TCU is up and looking to burn clock, but of course Kendre has been smashing this over week after week regardless of game script.
Bryce Ford-Wheaton (WVU): 66.5
Kaden Prather (WVU): 58.5
Sam James (WVU): 45.5
Quentin Johnston (TCU): 78.5
Derius Davis (TCU): 40.5
Kendre Miller (TCU): 11.5
Bryce Ford-Wheaton (WVU): 5.0
Kaden Prather (WVU): 5.5
Quentin Johnston (TCU): 5.0
The TCU’s Defense surrendering over 260 yards per game; the Mountaineer Offense that concentrates its targets to these three receivers; the top WVU RB is out for this game. Conclusion: All three of these West Virginia pass catchers can go over the yardage total on Saturday. The sleeper may be James to be the best bet for a breakout day against the Frogs, as TCU’s CB combo of Tomlinson and Newton have been very stingy to WRs on the outside and James can work from the slot against the TCU LBs and Safeties, with the opportunity to break away on yards after catch.
Similarly on the TCU side, this looks like an opportunity for all pass catchers to potentially have big days. WVU has let top opposing WR have monster days, while also allowing secondary, tertiary, and RBs amass receiving yards. The reception total may be a bit high for QJ, as he’s only gone for 5+ catches twice this season, but he doesn’t need 6 catches to garner 79 yards.
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