TCU Horned Frogs vs Colorado Buffaloes Odds, Picks, Predictions (9/2/22)

It’s odd to see a Big 12 team open their season with a non-conference road game against a Pac-12 opponent. Especially when that opponent is Colorado, who went 4-8 last season and has a win total of 3 this season.

It’s even more strange when you consider TCU’s potential. TCU may have a new head coach, but Sonny Dykes has been around the block and has a very old roster. 18 starters return for the Horned Frogs including 10 offensive starters.

TCU should win this game. But can they do it convincingly?

Read on for our TCU Horned Frogs vs Colorado Buffaloes odds, picks, and predictions.

TCU Horned Frogs vs Colorado Buffaloes Odds

TCU opened at -10 but this line has quickly been bet up, reaching two touchdowns at some books. Projections were pretty high on TCU to start, with SP projecting this game at TCU -13.4. So the market has moved to where it should settle.

Clearly, the right side was TCU. But has all the value been sucked out of them because of the line movement?

We’ll have to dig a little deeper to see.

The total opened at 54.5 but has been bet up slightly, although it’s moved back and forth a bit.

TCU Horned Frogs vs Colorado Buffaloes Prediction & Pick

It’s worth mentioning there’s a quarterback battle in Fort Worth. Max Duggan started the first eight games last season before missing the rest due to a foot injury. Chandler Morris came in and was very serviceable, even putting up a massive stat line in an upset over Baylor.

PFF grades out the two very similarly, and it probably doesn’t matter who starts. I’d project TCU the same no matter who they go with.

That brings us to this game.

Colorado has a chance to be historically bad this season. They went 3-6 in Pac-12 play last year but finished dead last in yardage differential per game, with -187. They bring back most of their offensive production outside of their leading rusher from last year. But with three returning offensive linemen and an Alabama transfer (Tommy Brown), the run game should be alright.

But only five defensive starters return, including just two of the top seven tacklers. This is all from a defense that finished 92nd in Success Rate and 115th in Havoc last season.

I like betting teams with high returning production against teams with low returning production, and this is the ideal scenario. TCU might bring more back than any team in the country, specifically on offense. And this was an offense that finished top-15 in Explosiveness last season and fourth in Passing Explosiveness.

This spread should be TCU -16. I’m happy to lay two touchdowns with the Horned Frogs, who should be a threat to make a huge jump in the Big 12 this season.

TCU Horned Frogs vs Colorado Buffaloes Key Matchups

Check out the key matchups and mismatches for TCU vs Colorado below.

Key Matchup No. 1: Offensive Coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. vs Defensive Coordinator Joe Gillespie

Joe Gillespie running this TCU defense should give the whole unit a bump. He’s one of the best defensive minds in the college game, having become a Broyles semifinalist twice in the last three years at Tulsa.

Mike Sanford was the head coach at Western Kentucky for two years and spent offensive coordinator stints at Minnesota and Utah State. Everywhere he goes, the offense seems to falter.

But the TCU defense was horrific last season. The Horned Frogs finished among the bottom 10 FBS teams in Success Rate, Explosiveness, Havoc, and Finishing Drives. It’s the reason TCU finished just 2-9-1 ATS last season. They do return five of the top six tacklers, but how much talent is on this roster, and what can Gillespie make of it?

Hypothetically, Colorado should take a jump on offense with their returning production on the line, but how much will Sanford limit that production?

This matchup will decide both the spread and the total. I like Gillespie and the TCU defense to win, thereby covering the spread, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Colorado punches a few in to hit the over.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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