Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Shawn Robinson
TCU 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +17500
- To win the Big 12: +725
- To reach Big 12 title game: +285
- To make Playoff: Yes +1500, No -3750
- To make NY6 Bowl: Yes +360, No -540
- Win Total: 7.5 (over -125, under +105)
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TCU 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 7.4
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TCU Over 7.5 Wins (-125)
The Horned Frogs have an extremely talented roster, but they do lack experience. Shawn Robinson takes over as the new quarterback in Fort Worth for an offense that ranks 116th in returning production. However, head coach Gary Patterson has put together top-30 recruiting classes consistently in the past several years, which should allow TCU to quickly reload at the skill positions. Offensive line is a different story — Patterson described that unit as a work in progress. Robinson may be scrambling early and often this season.
The TCU defense will be the same as always. The Horned Frogs have ranked in the top 40 in efficiency on that side of the ball in recent years, but they have always allowed big plays. Over the past three years, TCU has a defensive explosiveness rank of 102nd, 105th and 128th. If TCU wants to join the Big 12 championship and/or College Football Playoff discussion, it will need a few playmakers to step up and improve that defensive deficiency.
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TCU will open the year at home against Southern and then travel in-state to take on SMU. That’s a potential tough spot, as it takes on Ohio State at AT&T Stadium in Arlington the next week.
However, the schedule then becomes very favorable after that date with the Buckeyes. Not only do the Horned Frogs benefit from five home conference games, they will leave the state of Texas only twice (Kansas, West Virginia). Considering I project TCU as the favorite in every November game, I think you have to look at over 7.5 wins. I also think we will have ample opportunity to hedge if necessary at some point during the final five games.
What else you need to know about TCU
I would look to sell TCU against Ohio State in that early season showdown. It’s really a nightmare matchup for the Horned Frogs, who will need time to build experience along a raw offensive line. Nick Bosa and the Buckeyes defensive line could have an absolute field day on Sept. 15.
Additionally, Ohio State has two of the most explosive playmakers in the nation with Dwayne Haskins and J.K. Dobbins. That spells disaster for a TCU defense that has struggled to contain explosiveness, as I mentioned earlier. I smell a blowout and would recommend the Ohio State -12 game of the year line.