The TCU Horned Frogs and Kansas State Wildcats are set for a clash on Saturday for the Big 12 Championship, projected as a close, high-scoring contest as noted in our odds preview. It’s a rematch of a classic played in Fort Worth in October, where Will Howard and Deuce Vaughn propelled the Wildcats to a big early lead, but a 2nd Half shutout from the TCU Defense plus 3 TDs from Max Duggan and a monster showcase for Kendre Miller gave the Frogs a 10-point victory. Who will be the heroes that will determine whether the trophy travels to Manhattan, KS or to Fort Worth, TX
Note: Prop lines are pulled from DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change
Max Duggan (TCU)
- Pass TDs: Over 1.5 (-150); Under 1.5 (+115)
- Pass Yards: Over 249.5 (-115); Under 249.5 (-115)
- Interceptions: Over 0.5 (-155); Under 0.5 (+120)
Max Duggan is mounting a Heisman-worthy season in leading the Frogs to an undefeated regular season. He has thrown for multiple TD in all but two starts this season, including three passing scores vs. these Wildcats in October, appropriately represented as a favorite to go over 1.5 TDs this week. Conversely, it is a bit surprising to see Duggan as such a heavy favorite to throw an interception, as he’s only thrown three all season, over 332 pass attempts. Duggan is averaging over 276 yards per game in his 11 starts, but has only surpassed even 212 yards once in the last four games, so his yardage prop is a tough call.
Will Howard (KSU)
- Pass TDs: Over 1.5 (-110); Under 1.5 (-120)
- Pass Yards: Over 248.5 (-115); Under 248.5 (-115)
- Interceptions: Over 0.5 (-205); Under 0.5 (+155)
Will Howard must love playing against the Horned Frogs: running wild for 86 yards and a TD in a win in 2020 and his breakout performance off the bench vs. TCU in 2022. He has thrown for multiple TDs in every game played this season and should be more heavily favored to get there again vs. TCU Saturday. As well, he’s only tossed two picks in his five games and although one of those was to TCU’s Tre’Vius Hodges Tomlinson, the Under on interceptions could be a good value at plus-money. As with Duggan, the yardage is a difficult position, K-State is a heavy running squad with Deuce Vaughn and Howard is averaging just under this target number, but the Wildcats may throw the kitchen sink at the Frogs and Howard has proved plenty capable of attacking the TCU Defense.
Kendre Miller (TCU)
- Rush TDs: Over 1.5 (+185); Under 1.5 (-250)
- Rush Yards: Over 106.5 (-115); Under 106.5 (-115)
Miller was absolutely snubbed for the Doak Walker award finalist list, which I’m sure has nothing to do with it being an award maintained by SMU and everything to do with inefficient volume stats - Blake Corum’s 5.9 ypc on 247 carries; Chase Brown’s 5.0 ypc on 328 carries; and Bijan Robinson’s 6.1 ypc on 258 while Miller went for 6.3 ypc on 199 carries. In any case, Miller has had a breakout season as the Frogs’ lead back rushing for 105 yards per game, including 153 yards against K-State. Miller has only rushed for multiple TDs just four times this season, so it’s a bit surprising his O/U is 1.5 scores, but he did accomplish that feat last time vs. the Wildcats.
Max Duggan (TCU)
- Rush TDs: Over 0.5 (+210); Under 0.5 (-295)
Mad Max has only rushed for 5 TDs on the season, but he is a threat both in goal-to-go situations and to break off a long scamper to the endzone. This Over might be the best plus-money value on the board.
Deuce Vaughn (KSU)
- Rush TDs: Over 0.5 (-240); Under 0.5 (+175)
- Rush Yards: Over 119.5 (-110); Under 119.5 (-120)
Deuce is one of the scariest weapons out of the backfield in all of college football, averaging 108 rushing yards per game with 7 TDs on the ground. Vaughn is the most likely individual to score, as represented in the heavy favorite for a rush TD. While the projected total yardage is lower than average, Vaughn has crushed 120+ yards 5 times this season and frankly it would take quite a leap of faith to ever take sides on a prop against Vaughn.
Will Howard (KSU)
- Rush TDs: Over 0.5 (+185); Under 0.5 (-255)
Howard did score on the ground vs. TCU earlier this year, but only had one other rushing score on the season. It is curious that Howard is seen as more likely to score on the ground than Duggan, but Howard is capable and the KSU Offense likes to run plays that will give him opportunity to score.
- Malik Knowles (KSU): Over 0.5 (+180); Under 0.5 (-245)
- Phillip Brooks (KSU): Over 0.5 (+205); Under 0.5 (-285)
- Ben Sinnott (KSU): Over 0.5 (+210); Under 0.5 (-300)
- Kade Warner (KSU): Over 0.5 (+240); Under 0.5 (-350)
- Deuce Vaughn (KSU): Over 0.5 (+300); Under 0.5 (-450)
It’s surprising to see Knowles as the best odds and Vaughn as the lowest odds for a receiving score. We know Deuce can score any time he touches the ball, including on a reception, as he has 3 receiving TDs on the season. Although Knowles leads the Wildcats in yardage, he only has two receiving TDs. Kade Warner leads KSU in TD receptions and scored in the game vs. TCU in October, on a play that looked to be a Josh Newton INT before Warner wrestled it away. Warner at +240 appears to be the best bet from this group.
- Quentin Johnston (TCU): Over 0.5 (-110); Under 0.5 (-120)
- Savion Williams (TCU): Over 0.5 (+210); Under 0.5 (-295)
- Derius Davis (TCU): Over 0.5 (+300); Under 0.5 (-450)
- Taye Barber (TCU): Over 0.5 (+350); Under 0.5 (-550)
Savion Williams has been a beast over the final stretch of the season, filling in for QJ as necessary and making highlight catches all over the field. Johnston listed as the overwhelmingly most likely candidate to secure a receiving score is a bit of a surprise, at least in the separation from the rest of the field - He has been a bit slowed with injury that kept him out of the season finale vs. Iowa State. If these odds were for Anytime TD, to capture rushing and return TDs, Derius Davis might be most likely of the group to find the endzone. With so many weapons available in TCU’s offense, it’s hard to consider any a huge favorite, with others not even listed with odds such as Jared Wiley, Geor’Quarius Spivey, Trent Battle, Emani Bailey, Emari Demercado, Jordan Hudson, Gunnar Henderson, etc.
Receiving Yards :
- Malik Knowles (KSU): Over 64.5 (-115); Under 64.5 (-115)
- Phillip Brooks (KSU): Over 42.5 (-105); Under 42.5 (-125)
- Kade Warner (KSU): Over 38.5 (-115); Under 38.5 (-115)
- Deuce Vaughn (KSU): Over 34.5 (-105); Under 34.5 (-125)
- Quentin Johnston (TCU): Over 77.5 (-110); Under 77.5 (-120)
- Savion Williams (TCU): Over 38.5 (-115); Under 38.5(-115)
- Derius Davis (TCU): Over 28.5 (-120); Under 28.5 (-110)
These yardage numbers feel too low for all parties here. If the QBs are each expected to throw for about 250 yards, there’s over 100 yards unaccounted for that Max Duggan would need to capture and 70 yards unclaimed for Will Howard. While you could throw darts and guess which of these has the disappointing game or just go with the theory that the teams are going to let it fly and take the over for everyone.