TCU vs SMU Pick and Prediction – Friday 9/7/2018
No. 16 TCU Horned Frogs (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. SMU Mustangs (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Friday, September 7th, 2018. 8:00PM (EST)
Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium Dallas, T.X.
by Jay Horne, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TCU -21 -105 / SMU +21 -105 (5dimes)
Over/Under Total: TBA
While the majority of football fans will have their sights set on opening day in the NFL this Thursday night, the college gridiron will provide another prime betting opportunity when the TCU Horned Frogs make the short drive east on I-30 to meet the SMU Mustangs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. TCU won their 5th straight home opener under Head Coach Gary Patterson last weekend with a 55-7 thumping over Southern and will now have another opportunity to flex their muscles against an SMU team that is still licking their wounds after Saturday’s rather surprising 46-23 blowout loss to North Texas.
SMU’s new Head Coach Sonny Dykes was handed an embarrassing loss last week at the hands of the Mean Green to kick off a new era in Dallas. North Texas quarterback Mason Fine abused the SMU defense with a relentless aerial assault that featured 40 completions on 50 passing attempts for 444 yards with 3 touchdowns. Prior to the game, SMU was considered slight 3 point dogs but were simply beat in every facet of the game. In fact, the Mustangs trailed 36-0 going into the 4th quarter before some garbage time touchdowns put a blanket on the massacre. Now SMU will have to search for answers and adjustments on a short week against a legitimate top 15 football team.
I know last week’s victory over an FCS opponent will not swoon any disbelievers. However, TCU played exceptionally well despite what the scoreboard may or may not indicate. The rushing attack was solid as expected with over 200 yards on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson delivered by hitting 17 of 24 passing for 182 yards with 3 touchdowns. The offense capitalized on every big play opportunity and the defense lived up to the Horned Frogs’ reputation. On both sides of the ball, the team was disciplined and efficient.
As college football bettors, we know that you cannot trust a team based on their prior week’s performance. However, we can trust the fact that TCU is good on both sides of the ball and they are already in mid-season form. I am not trying to throw down the gauntlet and say TCU is the best team in the Big 12. However, they are a team that will feast on opportunities and weaknesses against an inferior opponent. Needless to say, that is exactly what will happen this week when SMU steps on the field.
Do Not Trust SMU’s Defense
What happened on the field last week at North Texas was not very shocking when you consider the trainwreck that has become the SMU defense over the last few years. The Mustangs returned 8 starters on defense this season which may seem like a good thing. However, this defense surrendered over 35 points per game in 2017 as one of the bottom 20 defenses in the country. So while there are returning starters, this defense still most importantly lacks talent. Last week Mason Fine made his aerial assault look easy and that is scary considering the fact SMU’s run defense was previously their biggest weakness. TCU is known for producing a balanced offensive attack. Quarterback Shawn Robinson has the arm to be efficient down the field but he also demands respect with his running ability. Considering the fact, the Horned Frogs will move the ball easily between the tackles, Robinson will have a freeroll to take shots down the field to close out drives. After running for over 235 yards against Southern with little effort from their main rushers, I would expect nothing less from the Horned Frogs’ offense on a Friday night showdown in front of a nationally televised audience as they simply run over SMU in route to cover the large spread.
Jay’s Football Pick: Take TCU -21