Colorado vs TCU Odds, Prediction: Target Saturday’s Week 1 Over/Under

Colorado vs TCU Odds, Prediction: Target Saturday’s Week 1 Over/Under article feature image

Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: TCU quarterback Chandler Morris.

Colorado vs TCU Odds

Saturday, Sept. 2
12 p.m. ET
Colorado Odds
-110o / -110u
TCU Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

There may not be a more intriguing matchup than what college football has in store from Fort Worth during Week 1.

TCU will take the field in Amon G. Carter Stadium as the national runner-up after an unlikely underdog run that ultimately ended against Georgia in the National Championship.

The Horned Frogs will open against Colorado for the second consecutive season after limiting the Buffaloes to minimal scoring in 2022.

Plenty has changed in Boulder since the end of last season, as Deion Sanders took the leap from Jackson State to become the 28th coach in the history of Colorado football.

"Coach Prime" had an immediate impact on the roster, communicating last December that players should "jump in that portal." The roster was fluid in the weeks after the spring game, and now more than 50 scholarship players are brand new to the Buffaloes' roster.

This game will serve as a first look at two rosters that underwent heavy maintenance in the offseason.

TCU will look to return to the Big 12 Championship game, while Colorado starts the beginning of a challenging schedule that includes Nebraska, Oregon and USC in the first month.

There's never a must-win game during Week 1, but with two fluctuating rosters, anything can happen in Fort Worth.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Colorado Buffaloes

The toughest handicap in college football throughout the 2023 preseason has been the Colorado Buffaloes. Only four players in the combined two-deep depth chart are expected to have playing experience at Colorado.

The first standout comes on the offensive line, where returning starters Van Wells and Kent State transfer Jack Bailey will man the interior. Both players list at 290 pounds or less, a point of emphasis in the trench against a TCU defensive line that all weigh in at a minimum of 310 pounds.

Transfer running backs Alton McCaskill from Houston and Kavosiey Smoke from Kentucky have lacked elusiveness, both failing to exceed 2.9 yards after contact.

The instant offense is expected to come from quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who generated 373 yards on the ground with 40 passing touchdowns a season ago.

Shedeur Sanders with the dime ➡️ Kevin Coleman Jr. with the speed 💨

A beautiful 85-yard TD for Jackson State 👏

— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 17, 2022

While there's an expectation that the Colorado offense can put some points on the board, the defense is expected to be one of the worst in the Pac-12.

Jordan Domineck brings five years of experience with 137 career tackles at Georgia Tech and Arkansas, producing 7.5 sacks for the Razorbacks last season. Demouy Kennedy and Jahquez Robinson transfer in with limited experience from Alabama to boost the back seven.

Both cornerback and nickel are expected to have talent and experience with Jackson State transfer Travis Hunter and Arkansas transfer Myles Slusher. "Slush" was a team leader for Arkansas in the locker room before an off-field incident ended his time in Fayetteville.

TCU Horned Frogs

Head coach Sonny Dykes was on the search for a new offensive coordinator after the National Championship. With the departure of Garrett Riley for Clemson, Dykes dipped into the Air Raid tree to hire Arkansas coordinator Kendal Briles.

The change in coaches will bring changes on the field, namely in rush rate and tempo. Dykes insisted at Big 12 media days that his offensive concepts were in alignment with Briles, with an expectation that TCU will move from a 55% to a 63% rush rate with the football.

Investors can also expect an increase in tempo with Briles, as Arkansas averaged 23.7 seconds per play last season compared to TCU at 26.9.

Savion Williams is about to BULLY these Big 12 corners 😤

— INSIDER TCU (@InsiderTCU) August 23, 2023

The offense is heavy in portal experience after an offseason haul that included an infusion of Alabama talent from slot JoJo Earle and running back Trey Sanders.

Chandler Morris is once again the starter for the Horned Frogs after getting injured in this very same spot last season. The potential of Morris is still to be determined with only 129 career dropbacks.

Defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie did a fantastic job of upgrading a bottom-10 FBS defense last season.

The 3-3-5 scheme will return 160 tackles at linebacker with Johnny Hodges and Jamoi Hodge, while preseason All-American cornerback Josh Newton returns three interceptions and nine pass breakups from a season ago.

The Horned Frogs finished top-25 in Passing Downs Success Rate thanks to three returning safeties in Bud Clark, Mark Perry and Millard Bradford. This was a top-30 unit in tackle grading, a key metric in Gillespie's nickel scheme that trimmed opponent explosives last season.

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Colorado vs. TCU

Betting Pick & Prediction

Colorado may be the toughest handicap of the preseason, but a known quantity is the speed of the offense. Coordinator Sean Lewis was hired away from Kent State, where "Flash Fast" ran 21.7 seconds per play.

Sanders will produce plenty of highlights leaving the pocket against a TCU defensive line that will get pressure from the interior.

Wide receivers Jimmy Horn Jr. and Xavier Weaver transferred in from South Florida after producing electric numbers in yards per route run. While the TCU defensive secondary does have experience, the Horned Frogs aggressively jump routes at the risk of giving up explosives.

TCU is also expected to have a quicker pace under Briles, one of the main components of a total that steamed in the Week 1 market. Don't expect a drop in pass explosives for the Frogs, but with an expected increase in gap running, they will need Sanders and Emani Bailey to improve from just three yards after contact.

Because of the expected tempo in the game, the natural look is on the over. The new clock rules did nothing to trim plays per game or scoring in Week 0, but with both TCU and Colorado expected to rely more on explosives than first downs, this game has the ingredients to be high-scoring.

Our key numbers in totals indicate that 65 is our limit when placing an over bet. Because TCU is expected to field a much better defense, look to back a Horned Frogs team total over if the game total exceeds 65.

Pick: Over 64.5 or Better · TCU Team Total Over 42 or Better
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