Texas Tech-TCU Betting Preview: Will Patterson & Co. Slow Red Raiders Again?

Texas Tech-TCU Betting Preview: Will Patterson & Co. Slow Red Raiders Again? article feature image
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USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Gary Patterson and Kliff Kingsbury

Texas Tech-TCU Betting Preview

  • Odds: TCU -7
  • Over/Under: 61
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET, Thursday
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of 8 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.


Gary Patterson might just have some secrets for slowing down Texas Tech’s offense.

Since TCU joined the Big 12, it has allowed a 56.6 completion percentage and only 6.8 yards per pass attempt to the Red Raiders. Against the rest of the conference? Texas Tech has completed 63.7% of passes at 7.55 yards per attempt.

Heck, even Patrick Mahomes threw for just 206 yards against TCU in his final season, a week after he hung 734 (!) passing yards on Oklahoma.

Will this continue on Thursday? Let’s dive in.

TCU-Texas Tech Betting Trends

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is 6-1 ATS with at least 10 days between games. Gary Patterson is 9-4 ATS in that same spot, but has lost his last three. Both teams last played Sept. 29.

Texas Tech has played four games with a total lower than 61 in the last four seasons, and all four have gone under by an average margin of 10.8 points per game.

Tech has been held under 28 points just 15 times since 2013, and four of those were against TCU.

Inside Coaching Knowledge?

Is Sonny Cumbie TCU’s secret weapon? Since he arrived in Fort Worth, TCU’s defense has shut down Texas Tech, save for 2015.

The Horned Frog’s co-offensive coordinator played quarterback at Texas Tech and took over the starting job when Kingsbury graduated. He coached at Tech for five years, including one as Kingsbury’s offensive coordinator.

There may not be anyone better prepared to help Patterson scheme for the Red Raiders’ aerial assault than Cumbie, even though he’s not a defensive coach.

Texas Tech has averaged 5.4 yards per play (quite low by its standards) and 27.5 points per game against TCU since Cumbie joined the Frogs staff.

Quarterback Questions

The quarterback situation for both teams has been hazy since they last played on Sept. 29.

Texas Tech’s Alan Bowman sustained a collapsed lung two weeks ago against West Virginia, but is expected to play. Jett Duffey was good in his place and efficient running, as well.

TCU’s Shawn Robinson banged up his non-throwing shoulder against Iowa State, and while he’s available, he may not start. The Horned Frogs went solely out of the wildcat to set up a last-minute, game-winning field goal against the Cyclones.

In his place would be Michael Collins, who lost out on the starting job to Robinson after transferring from Penn in 2017. He’s just 6-of-14 for 105 yards this season.

Can TCU Offense Get on Track?

How have teams attacked Texas Tech with success this season? Throwing early in a drive, then throwing more on passing downs. Tech’s opponents are throwing on 57.82% of their plays, the third-highest mark in the country.

TCU’s offense is hard to gauge because it’s played three really good defenses (Ohio State, Texas, Iowa State), and two really bad ones (SMU, Southern). Nothing in the middle. But TCU hasn’t been great throwing the ball.

Robinson is averaging just 6.8 yards per pass attempt, and TCU ranks 91st in passing efficiency, per Football Study Hall.

Where the Horned Frogs had success against Ohio State was with big plays, scoring two touchdowns of at least 50 yards. And Texas Tech is among the worst at stopping big plays, ranking 124th of 130 FBS teams in IsoPPP.

The Pick

In previous meetings, Patterson has shown a clear desire to slow the game down — in each of the last two years, Tech’s possessions have been two below their yearly average.

Plus, he’s got the athletes and speed on defense to keep up with the Red Raiders offense.

Though the total opened lower than expected and now sits at 61.5, I’m riding with the under thanks to Patterson’s history of stymieing Kingsbury offenses.