The TCU Horned Frogs (2-2) host the Iowa State Cyclones (1-2) this weekend in a Big 12 showdown. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM PM EST at Amon G. Carter Stadium and the game will be available on ESNPU.
Taking a look at the Week 5 college football odds, TCU opened as a 10.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That line hasn’t changed at all after early betting, as the Horned Frogs are still listed at -10.5. The total for the game is sitting at 49 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: TCU vs Iowa State
Iowa State won their first game of the season last weekend, defeating Akron 26-13 at home after consecutive loses to Iowa and Oklahoma. The Cyclones have struggled mightily on offense, scoring an average of just 18.7 points per game. Starting QB Kyle Kempt was forced to miss the last two games due to an MCL issue and is currently listed as questionable for the game on Saturday. His replacement, sophomore Zeb Noland, has played well over the past several weeks. Noland was especially sharp against Oklahoma, passing for 360 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Iowa State hasn’t looked good on the ground, as they are currently averaging just 2.7 yards per rushing attempt. Their most consistent weapon on offense appears to be WR Hakeem Butler, who has already caught 14 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cyclones have been quite good defensively, allowing an average of just 21 points per game to opponents (41st). Iowa State has especially performed well against the run, limiting opponents to an average of just 3.46 yards per carry and 122.3 yards per game (36th).
TCU got off to a hot 2-0 start before falling back to Earth in Weeks 3 and 4 after losing consecutive games to Ohio State and Texas. The Horned Frogs looked like they might be on the verge of rebounding from their loss against the Buckeyes against Texas last weekend before eventually falling 31-16. QB Shawn Robinson struggled for most of the game, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. Robinson has thrown for 833 yards and six touchdowns over the first four weeks of the season, but he has struggled with his accuracy and is clearly turnover prone (5 interceptions total). RB Darius Anderson has led the way on the ground, averaging an impressive 7.4 yards per carry. As a whole, this offense is currently averaging 35.3 points per game (44th) on 443.8 total yards.
On the other side of the ball, the Horned Frogs have limited opponents to an average of 22.5 points per game (49th overall). However, they have struggled over their past couple of games, giving up almost 34 points per game. Texas moved the ball through the air quite easily all game long, passing for 255 yards total (8.0 yards per attempt). TCU should have a much easier time this Saturday against an Iowa State team that struggles to put up points.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Iowa State +10.5
I think that this one might be a lot closer than the point spread is suggesting. The Cyclones have shown that they are a resilient bunch, and haven’t lost by more than 10 points so far this year. TCU isn’t the same defensive powerhouse that they once were, as they have struggled in consecutive weeks against two good offenses. I’m not sure if Iowa State has enough firepower to win this one outright, but I do think there is some value taking the road underdog and all the points. It is certainly worth noting that TCU has failed to cover in nine of their last thirteen games where they were a double-digit favorite.
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Iowa State is 6-1-1 ATS over their past eight road games, 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 conference games, and 19-6-1 ATS over their last 26 games overall. TCU has struggled against the spread as of late, going just 1-4 ATS over their past five conference games, 3-14 ATS over their past 17 home games, and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall.
The Cyclones have also covered the spread six out of the last seven times they were listed as a double-digit road underdog. I expect that trend to continue this weekend against a .500 TCU team. While I’m certainly not expecting Iowa State to pull off another big upset in Amon G. Carter Stadium like they did last year, Noland has shown that he is a capable backup. The Horned Frogs can’t seem to fix their mistakes on offense, as the sheer volume of costly turnovers has really burned them lately. I think this one stays close throughout before Iowa State loses by a touchdown or less. I’ll take the Cyclones to cover.