TCU vs. Colorado Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Friday Night’s Favorite

TCU vs. Colorado Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Friday Night’s Favorite article feature image

Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Duggan (TCU)

TCU vs. Colorado Odds

Friday, Sept. 2
10 p.m. ET
TCU Odds
-110o / -110u
Colorado Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Two programs familiar with a teardown and rebuild are set to meet on the opening Friday of college football.

Colorado has competed in two bowls over the past 15 years with numerous coaching changes. When the Mike MacIntyre era ended in 2018, Mel Tucker was picked to be the next upcoming star from the Georgia coaching tree.

Tucker spent just a single season in Boulder before exiting for Michigan State, taking a few recruits and current players through the portal.

Head coach Karl Dorrell enters his third year off consecutive four-win seasons.

The rebuild is ongoing for Colorado, just as TCU is starting from scratch.

Gary Patterson was one of the more respected head coaches in college football, but losing a voice in the locker room was the ultimate ending to one of the longest-tenured coaches in FBS.

Outside of playing Texas Tech and Kansas, TCU won just four conference games over the past three seasons. The respected 4-2-5 defense of the Horned Frogs had become the laughing stock of Power Five stop units.

TCU finished last year's 5-7 season ranked near dead last in tackling, Havoc and Defensive Finishing Drives.

Patterson's departure paved the way for SMU head coach Sonny Dykes, as the Air Raid will move from Dallas to Fort Worth.

Both Colorado and TCU are in rebuilding mode, with a goal of making a bowl game at the end of the season. This opener between former WAC and Big 12 members will be a measuring stick of which program is further along in its rebuild.

TCU Horned Frogs

Dykes stood at the podium during Big 12 media day and claimed he hired the best defensive coordinator in the nation. That coordinator is Joseph Gillespie, leader of the movement to make Tulsa one of the most respected and chaotic defenses at the Group of Five level.

A former high school coach of 20 years in the state of Texas, Gillespie runs the 4-2-5 scheme and creates a heavy amount of pressure.

TCU returns nearly every contributor in the tackles for loss and pass breakup category, led by linebacker Dee Winters.

Lined up at WILL, TCU’s Dee Winters read his keys, shoots the backside gap, and makes the TFL. The fourth-year LB—who has 167 tackles and 19 TFLs in his career—is one of the best defensive prospects in the Big 12 for the 2023 NFL Draft.

— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) August 20, 2022

The Horned Frogs will move to the Air Raid attack and start with a two-quarterback system. Both Max Duggan and Chandler Morris have game experience to prove each can run Dykes' system.

Morris has the lesser experience over two years spent at Oklahoma and TCU. To date, the redshirt freshman has three touchdowns and no interceptions on 81 career passing attempts.

Duggan sports a 41:20 touchdown-to-interception ratio during his three years at TCU, but he can work outside of the pocket and create electric plays. The junior has logged nearly 1,100 designed yards and over 750 scramble yards, reaching the end zone 19 times on the ground.

Look away Texas Tech (+9.5) bettors 🤢

After attempting (and missing) a FG on 2nd down on the previous possession, the Red Raiders allow Max Duggan to run it 81-yards to the house on 3rd & long. TCU now covering…

— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 8, 2020

Outside of the two quarterbacks, there is explosive talent coming from every skill position player.

Quentin Johnston returns after averaging nearly 20 yards per catch last season. Johnston averaged 2.6 yards per route run, making the sophomore one of the most explosive wideouts in the nation.

With 82% of the snaps returning to the offensive line, both quarterbacks should see clean pockets to execute more highlight plays.

Colorado Buffaloes

Dorrell needed a change at the offensive coordinator position after a lifeless effort in 2021. The Buffaloes relied on a 61% rush rate while ranking outside the top 100 in nearly every offensive statistical category, including Line Yards and Stuff Rate.

New coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. has struggled to make offenses better at each stop throughout his career (Notre Dame, Western Kentucky, Minnesota)

Dorrell has yet to name a starter at quarterback, with Brendon Lewis and Tennessee transfer J.T. Shrout expected to get action against TCU.

Brendon Lewis 👀

Now THAT'S a

— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) October 16, 2021

Sanford will look for replacements at the skill positions, as he's returning less than 60% of rushing and receiving yards from last season.

The bigger questions on the roster come from a defense returning just 42% of experience from a season ago. The cornerback, free safety and nickelback positions will all have new faces. Strong safety Isaiah Lewis had two interceptions, which is half of the returning four on the team.

TCU vs. Colorado Betting Pick

When asked which team is farther along in its rebuild, TCU is the answer even without Dykes coaching a game. Defensive transfers, a new coordinator and a change in offensive philosophy are all positives coming from Fort Worth.

If the success at SMU follows Dykes, the Horned Frogs may be the most potent offense in the conference. If the success at Tulsa follows Gillespie, TCU could contend for the Big 12.

There were already positives in this matchup, with the renewed TCU defense getting a Colorado offense struggling to find answers at the skill positions. When making a checklist of teams to back in Week 1 for a side or over the total wager, TCU fills all the boxes.

Both Duggan and Morris will be competing for starting duties through live game action, giving potential to a blowout in the second half. The Horned Frogs explosiveness from Johnston, Taye Barber and Kendre Miller will pole-vault a Buffaloes defense that nearly replaces the entire back seven.

This has been one of the steamier lines of all games on the Week 1 slate. An opener of 8.5 mid-summer has now pushed to 13.5 in favor of TCU as of this writing.

As betting professionals and Joe public all identify the upgrades with the Horned Frogs, what number would be too much to back Dykes in his debut?

Action Network projects this line at TCU -16.5, giving the current number a shade of value. The total has been stable in the market, but if the point spread reaches oversold territory, a Horned Frogs team total would serve equal value as a ticket on the road favorite.

Pick: TCU -13.5 (Play to -17)

The must-have app for college football bettors

The best NCAAF betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.