College Football Betting: TCU at SMU

College Football Betting:  TCU at SMU

Texas non-conference football action as TCU makes the short trip from Fort Worth to Dallas to take on SMU. SMU is 2-1 at this point but that’s really ‘done with mirrors’ with a win over FCS entrant Liberty and another over an awful North Texas team that has a record of 5-19 SU and 0-13 SU/2-11 ATS away from home. SMU looked like they’d ‘turned the corner’ at the start of the decade but following a 1-11 season in 2014 and a 2-10 season last year it looks like business as usual. TCU is 2-1 SU/0-3 ATS with the loss coming at home against SEC opponent Arkansas. They’ve got a big game on deck at home against Arkansas but with the Sooners at 1-2 that might not be as significant as it once was.

So the salient question here: is SMU significantly better than last year when TCU won 56-37 but didn’t cover as a -36.5 favorite or in 2014 when TCU won 56-0 at SMU and covered as -31 chalk? It doesn’t really look like it. Baylor played a very sloppy game against them on 9/10 turning the ball over 3 times but still won 40-13. The defense is as porous as ever and TCU should be able to score at will. The offense is showing improvement under second year head coach and former Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris. A very young SMU team last year improved by 114 yards per game over the previous season and returned 9 starters on offense though two of them–quarterback Matt Davis and lineman Chad Pursley–are out for the season.

SMU has been a horrible ATS team at home (4-10 ATS L3 years) and are 1-21 SU/8-14 ATS as an underdog. TCU, meanwhile, is on a 4-12 ATS run as a road favorite. The Horned Frogs aren’t much on defense ranked #83 in yards per game (403) and #102 in points allowed per game (34). Making that performance even worse is their opposition–Arkansas is legit but their other two games were against a FCS team and a Iowa State team that went 3-8 last year. Hard to see the home team pulling the upset but their improved offense should get enough done against a weak TCU defense to cover this number.