NOTE: All lines are pulled from DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change.
The TCU Horned Frogs were one of the top teams against the spread in 2022, consistently doubted by the marketplace and consistently proving those doubts to be unfounded. However in 2023, TCU has failed to cover the spread through two weeks, losing outright as 21-point favorites vs. Colorado and winning by just 35 points when favored by 41.5 vs. FCS Nicholls State. The Houston Cougars are 1-1 in the standings and 1-1 vs. the spread, while winning outright as 2-point underdogs vs. UTSA but falling to Rice as 7-point favorites. Both teams are also each 1-1 going over the points total.
Moneyline: TCU: -278; Houston: +225
Spread: TCU -7.5; Houston: +7.5
Total Points: 64.5
This line has continued to move in favor of the Horned Frogs and the Over, opening with a total of 62.5 with TCU favored by 5. Given how these defenses have played through two weeks - TCU allowing 45 points to Colorado and Houston surrendering 43 to Rice - it’s easy to see a scoring explosion on Saturday night. However, neither offense has shown the killer instinct that is often found with Sonny Dykes and Dana Holgorsen led offenses. Both teams have the playmakers to score in a hurry, both with dynamic athletes at QB, WRs that can break off the big one, and RBs that can churn yards. For the Frogs to come away with a win by more than a TD, it will take the defense stepping up to make stops and force turnovers. However it plays out, get your popcorn ready because you should expect a show.
Note: stat projections are pulled from PrizePicks and are subject to change. Join PrizePicks today to get a 100% deposit match up to $100 using promo code Frogs12
Pass Yards: 264.5
Rush Yards: 44.5
Pass+Rush+Rec TDs: 2.5
The Houston defense has been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde through two weeks, allowing Rice’s JT Daniels to throw for over 400 yards and three TDs a week after holding UTSA’s Frank Harris to 209 yards passing one TD and three interceptions. These projections feel a bit high for Morris, but if he is able to break the defense while also still need to be throwing late in the game he should be able to go higher. The rushing number is always tough for college QBs, with sacks counting against that number, and Houston D-Lineman Nelson Ceasar has been a wrecking crew with three sacks already this season.
Rush Yards: 77.5
Rush TD: 0.5
Bailey had a monster game against Colorado with 164 yards on an insane 11.7 yards per carry, but then got bottled up by Nicholls, rushing for just 3.5 yards per carry, and he has yet to find the endzone this season. If you see this game script playing out where TCU pushes around the Cougars up front, creating big running lanes for Bailey & Trey Sanders, this number may be too low.
FG Made: 1.5
TCU fans hope to only see Kell on the field converting extra points and not attempting field goals, but given how poor the TCU offense has been when crossing into the scoring zone of the opposing 30-yard line, perhaps some Kell attempts are preferred to the four turnovers the Frogs have given away in such spots through two games.
Pass Yards: 259.5
Rush Yards: 32.5
Rush+Pass+Rec TD: 2.5
Smith has only thrown for 260+ yards five times in his career and most of those required at least 40 pass attempts, including his 260 yards on 42 attempts in double-overtime vs. Rice last week. It’s possible that the Cougars are trailing early and chasing the game, forcing the offense to attack a vulnerable Horned Frogs secondary via the air and giving Smith that volume of pass attempts. However I can see Holgorsen relying on Smith’s athleticism and the Tony Mathis in the run game to shorten the game and keep the Cougars hanging around within striking distance for longer.
Matthew Golden: 75.5
Joseph Manjack IV: 45.5
Samuel Brown: 79.5
This trio has an opportunity for an explosive weekend, as the TCU Defense allowed four different players to have over 100 receiving yards in Week One. Each receiver should certainly have opportunities and have a high volume of receptions; the TCU defensive backs have played soft coverage, giving plenty of room off the line of scrimmage. The question will be if any (or multiple) pass catchers break a big one, so TCU DBs will be tasked with making sure tackles at the catch point. If that doe not happen, all three of these receivers could have more yards than projected on Saturday.