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Frogs Odds: vs. Colorado Buffaloes

Projections show a high scoring game with big days from Chandler Morris & JP Richardson

NCAA Football: Texas Christian Spring Game Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Game Odds

NOTE: All lines are pulled from DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change.

The TCU Horned Frogs defied all expectations in 2022 - surprising college football pundits, fans, and oddsmakers with an undefeated regular season and trip to the National Championship. Although there is no expectation nationally that the Frogs will reach such heights in 2023, TCU is earning a bit more respect ahead of this season, ranking in the Top 20 of the polls and viewed as a heavy favorite in its first game of the season.

Moneyline: TCU -1000; Colorado +650
Spread: TCU -20.5; Colorado +20.5
Total Points: 63.5

In 2022 TCU defeated the Buffaloes by 25 points in Boulder despite only scoring seven first half points. Certainly the 2023 versions of these squads are vastly different, with Coach Prime bringing in over 70 transfers to overhaul the roster while the Frogs sent eight players into the NFL Draft and will need to replace key starters all over the field. TCU has been given a preseason win total of 7.5 and would certainly need to win this game Saturday if it expects to exceed that number; Colorado’s season win total is set at 3.5 and a win in Fort Worth would set the course for an incredible first season for Deion Sanders. Asking a team with a new Offensive Coordinator, all new QB, WR, and RB, and a re-tooled offensive line to step in from game one and produce enough fireworks to win by three touchdowns and produce one of the week’s highest scoring games appears to be a tall task. Perhaps the new weapons for Colorado keep the game within reach or even pull an upset to shock the CFB world, or perhaps Coach Dykes throws up the red light and eases off the accelerator down the stretch. However, TCU is looking to wash away the rancid taste of the CFP Championship beatdown it received, to show the world on the national stage that the success of last season was no fluke. The Buffs are also coming in with motivation, hoping to show that the free agency roster turnover experiment can be a success, looking to back up nine months of boisterous tough talk from the players and coaching staff.

Player Projections

Note: stat projections are pulled from PrizePicks and are subject to change. Join today to get a 100% deposit match up to $100 using promo code Frogs12

As of publishing, PrizePicks has not yet posted any Colorado player stat projections yet, so we’ll just focus on the Frogs

Chandler Morris:
Pass Yards: 237.5
Pass TDs: 2.0
Rush Yards: 50.5
Rush TDs: 0.5

In games in which Morris started and finished a game for the Horned Frogs, he averaged 293 yards passing, 22.5 yards rushing with 1 pass TD and 0.5 rush TD. This of course is the smallest of sample sizes from two seasons ago, a game as a superhero vs. Baylor and a game as a hapless toddler vs. Oklahoma State in 2021. In his half of play as the starter in Boulder last season the offense didn’t do any scoring, but he completed 65% of passes for 111 yards and ran for 18 yards. That’s all ancient history, Morris is a different QB, the TCU offense is another new scheme, and Colorado has an entirely new defensive personnel and coaching. On the ground, I’d expect the TCU coaching staff to do everything possible to keep Morris safe this season; he may break enough clean scrambles to still go more than the number, but perhaps the designed QB run effort is limited on Saturday. However, this passing yardage projection is simply far too low. Unless it’s your belief that either 1) the TCU Offense will be fully shut down by the Buffs or 2) TCU is going to get whatever it wants on the ground and won’t need to sling it around. If the game is remotely in question in the second half, Morris will certainly still be throwing; if the game is not in question in the second half it’s likely because Morris has already gone over this number torching the Colorado secondary. Go pair this with the Dak Prescott free square

JP Richardson:
Receiving Yards: 51.5

Even if Richardson is Morris’ number one target, this number still feels a bit scary. I can see Richardson having a monster fantasy day - something like 7 catches for 48 yards and a TD - and there is certainly a path to him accumulating far more yards in this one, heck it may take just one play to surpass this. My hesitation is with the deep list of TCU pass-catcher options, Morris will be able to spread the ball around without any single guy dominating the day statistically. For Richardson specifically, he’s only gone for 52 or more yards three times in his 19 game career, even his big day in Fort Worth against Josh Newton and the Frogs was only 51 yards.