NOTE: All lines are pulled from DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change.
The TCU Horned Frogs and Iowa State Cyclones have performed below expectations on the field and at the sportsbook. TCU enters with a 3-2 record for the season, and just 2-3 against the spread after losing for the second time this season at home as huge favorites, dropping its Week 5 game vs. West Virginia as 13.5-point favorites. Iowa State was shellacked in Norman as the Sooner easily covered the 19-point spread. The OU offense covered the 48-point total on its own last week as the game went far over the 48 point over/under. The TCU offense has vastly underperformed vs. expectations (or perhaps its defense has overperformed), as a TCU game has gone over the points total just once this season - vs. Colorado in Week 1.
Moneyline: TCU -245; ISU +200
Spread: TCU -6.5; ISU +6.5
Total Points: 53
The lines for this game haven’t moved as much as some of the previous Frogs games, opening with TCU as 5.5-point favorites and a point total of 49.5, and moving towards the Frogs and across the key numbers of 51 & 52, with clear marketplace momentum to a higher scoring contest with TCU coming out on top. However from my view, if TCU is going to win this road game by a TD or more, it will be because the Horned Frog defense shut down Rocco Becht & the Cyclone offense.
Pass Yards: 260.5
Rush Yards: 34.5
Although Iowa State is only allowing 215 pass yards per game this season, the ISU defense got torched by Dillon Gabriel and even Alan Bowmen flew past this pass yardage number against the Cyclones. I’d like to think Chandler Morris and the TCU offense is more similar to Gabriel and less similar to Iowa’s Cade McNamara & Ohio’s Kurtis Rourke. As well, Morris has thrown for 261 yards or more in every game this season, will he have his worst statistical game of the season in Ames? Gabriel and Rourke were able to find room to run, each surpassing the QB rush yards total given here. I expect Morris to be more involved in the run game this week, but with how poorly the offensive line performed last week, it’s possible he loses so many yards to sacks that he’s unable to reach this total.
Rush Yards: 84.5
Receiving Yards: 15.5
Bailey is 11th overall nationally in yards per game this season, averaging 107.6 yards, despite just 55 yards vs. WVU last week. Meanwhile the ISU defense is allowing just 3.68 yards per carry and just 123.6 total rush yards per game - a drop off in competition from WVU, but still a stout front that will aim to slow Bailey. If the Cyclones do match its weekly YPC average and Bailey continues to receive his average of 20 carries per game, it would put Bailey 11 yards short of this rush yardage projection. While averaging 15 receiving yards per game, this one feels like a total toss up - Bailey could pick it up wit one screen pass or he could see zero targets.
Dylan Wright: 34.5
Jared Wiley: 32.5
JP Richardson: 41.5
Savion Williams: 30.5
So these guys are all going to secure more yards than this projection, right? These four projections combine for 139 total yards, with Morris projected at 260.5, will the rest of the receiving corps really earn 121.5 yards? It’s certainly possible Jaylon Robinson, Warren Thompson, JoJo Earle, Jack Bech, Major Everhart, and Chase Curtis have big days instead of Wright, Wiley, Richardson, and Williams, but Morris may be able to spread it around to get everyone involved and beyond these modest yardage totals.
Rocco Becht, Pass Yards: 234.5
Jayden Higgins, Receiving Yards: 46.5
Jaylin Noel, Receiving Yards: 58.5
Chase Contreraz, Kicking Points: 5.5
The Iowa State offense has certainly needed more out of its passing game, as the running backs have not been up to standard set by eventual NFL stars of the past, so I would expect Becht and the receivers to get plenty of opportunities. Becht has attempted at least 33 passes in each of his games against P5 opponents, but only has reached 235+ yards once this season - a 348-yard outburst vs. Oklahoma State. While Noel is the name on this offense and will be peppered with targets, but Jayden Higgins is the big play threat and may have more success getting to this yardage threshold on Saturday night. Also, Contreraz has made 2 FGs in each of ISU’s P5 games, totaling 6+ points scored in 4 of the five games this season; unless the Cyclones are scoring only TDs or are getting fully shut out of the scoring zone by TCU, have to expect the Iowa State kicker to reach this threshold.