Alamo Bowl Betting Preview: #11 TCU Horned Frogs vs #15 Oregon Ducks

2016 Valero Alamo Bowl
#11 Texas Christian Horned Frogs vs #15 Oregon Ducks
Saturday, January 2, 2016, 6:45 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas
Opening Line: Oregon pick
Current Line: Oregon -7
Opening Total: 75
Current Total: 74 1/2
Opening Money Line: Oregon -110 / TCU -110
Current Money Line: Oregon -260 / TCU +220

Oregon is a 7 point favorite against TCU in the Alamo Bowl.
Oregon is a 7 point favorite against TCU in the Alamo Bowl.

In the only bowl match-up Saturday featuring two ranked teams, the 10-2 Texas Christian Horned Frogs take on the 9-3 Oregon Ducks in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. TCU is #11 and Oregon is #15. The line moved from a pick to Oregon -7 when TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin got into a bar fight Wednesday night and then inadvertently punched a San Antonio police officer. He has been suspended for the game after being arrested.

This is only the third ever meeting between these teams They split a home and home in 1977 and 1978 with each winning on the road.

TCU tied for second in the Big 12 with Baylor at 7-2 behind 8-1 Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs are 14-15-1 all time in bowl games. TCU has never played in the Alamo Bowl before. The TCU campus in Fort Worth is only 268 miles from San Antonio. Last year, the Horned Frogs crushed Ole Miss 42-3 in the Peach Bowl.

Oregon is 14-17 all-time in bowl games. The Ducks beat Texas 30-7 in their only other trip to the Alamo Bowl in 2013. Oregon lost to Ohio State 42-20 in the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship game in Arlington last year. It snapped a four game bowl winning streak for Oregon.

TCU is coached by Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs have road wins over Minnesota 23-17, Texas Tech 55-52, Kansas State 52-45 and Iowa State 45-21. TCU has home wins over Stephen F. Austin 70-7, SMU 56-37, Texas 50-7 and West Virginia 40-10, Kansas 23-17 and Baylor 28-21 in double overtime in the last game of the season. TCU lost at Oklahoma State 49-29 and Oklahoma 30-29. TCU started off the season 8-0 but went 2-2 in the last four games.

TCU was a 2 point underdog against Baylor and the total was 74.5. The game was played in heavy freezing rain throughout. It didn’t affect the teams too much early as they were tied at 14 early in the second. TCU had just tied it up on a 56 fumble return for a touchdown with 12:55 left in the second. However, from that point on neither one of the high powered offenses did much of anything. Neither team scored again until overtime. Neither team had a drive longer than 35 yards. The teams combined for 7 turnovers including 5 by the Bears. In the first overtime, each team scored a touchdown. TCU scored first in double overtime and stopped Baylor on their possession to take the 28-21 win. The Horned Frogs are 6-6 ATS and the total is 5-7 this season.

Oregon is coached by Mark Helfrich. The Ducks have a road loss at Michigan State 31-28, plus home losses to Utah 62-20 and Washington State 45-38. Oregon has home wins over Eastern Washington 61-42, Georgia State 61-28 California 44-28, USC 48-28 and Oregon State 52-42 in last game of the season, along with road wins at Colorado 41-24, Washington 26-20, Arizona State 61-55 in triple overtime and Stanford 38-36. The Ducks have won six straight games.

Oregon was a 34.5 point favorite against Civil War rival Oregon State and the total was 71.5. The Ducks jumped out to a 31-7 lead at halftime. However, Oregon State rallied to within 3 points twice in the fourth quarter, the last time at 45-42 with 7:05 left. Oregon scored a touchdown with 4:39 left to expand the lead to 52-42 with 4:39 left. The Ducks held on for the win. Oregon had 674 total yards to 427 for Oregon State. Oregon is 7-5 ATS and the total is 8-4 this season.

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TCU is outscoring teams 42-26 this season. The Horned Frogs are #7 in scoring nationally. TCU averages 564 yards per game, including 345 passing and 219 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs are in the top 8 nationally in total and passing offense, and #24 in rushing. On defense, TCU is allowing 397 yards per game, including 214 passing and 183 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs have forced 18 turnovers and have 18 of their own. TCU averages 70 penalty yards per game and opponents average 55 per game. The Horned Frogs are 86/191 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 69/223. TCU has forced 28 sacks and allowed 16 this season. The Frogs are 46/59 scoring in the red zone with 39 touchdowns. Opponents are 31/40 with 23 touchdowns. TCU has three defensive touchdowns and a punt return touchdown this season.

Quarterback Trevone Boykin has completed 64.9% of his passes for 3,575 yards with 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has also rushed for 612 yards on 123 carries with 9 touchdowns. Back-ups Bram Kohlhausen and Foster Sawyer split the snaps against Oklahoma when Boykin was out with an ankle injury. Kohlhausen has thrown for 369 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception, and has 7 carries for 20 yards. Sawyer has 155 passing yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and has 14 carries for 53 yards, plus 11 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Aaron Green has 219 carries for 1,171 yards and 10 touchdowns, plus 14 catches and a touchdown. Trevorris Johnson has 43 carries for 262 yards. Kyle Hicks has 49 carries for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Receiver Josh Doctson has 79 catches for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is out for the season with shoulder and wrist injuries.  KaVontae Turpin has 40 catches for 584 yards and 8 touchdowns. Kolby Listenbee has 29 catches for 598 yards and 5 touchdowns. Desmon White has 19 catches for 258 yards.  Shaun Nixon has 38 catches for 430 yards and a touchdowns. Ty Slanina has 11 catches for 134 yards, but is out for the season with a broken collarbone. Receivers Preston miller and Ja’Juan Story are both out as well. Four defensive players are listed as questionable or out.

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Oregon is outscoring teams 43-37. The Ducks are #5 in scoring but #114 in points allowed out of 128 teams. Oregon is averaging 548 total yards including 260 passing and 288 rushing yards. The Ducks are in the top five nationally in rushing and total offense. Oregon is allowing 480 yards per game on offense including 301 passing and 179 rushing yards. The Ducks are #116 or worse in total and pass defense. Oregon has forced 21 turnovers and has 16 of their own. The Ducks average 64 penalty yards per game and opponents average 59. Oregon is 80/187 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 94/201. The Ducks have forced 36 sacks and allowed 35 this season. Oregon is 56/65 scoring in the red zone with 41 touchdowns and opponents are 53/59 with 42 touchdowns. Oregon has 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Quarterback Vernon Adams, Jr. has missed three games with various injuries. Adams has thrown for 2,446 yards with 25 touchdowns and 6 interceptions and rushed for 155 yards on 79 carries with 2 touchdowns. Jeff Lockie started in place of Adams. He has thrown for 554 yards with 5 touchdowns and four interceptions, plus 31 carries for 109 yards.Taylor Alie has thrown for 96 yards with a touchdown, and has 10 carries for 142 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Quarterback Travis Jonsen is out for the season for undisclosed reasons.

Running back Royce Freeman has 257 carries  for 1,706 yards and 14 touchdowns, along with 24 catches for 325 yards and 2 touchdowns. Taj Griffin has 73 carries for 529 yards with 3 touchdowns, plus 10 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. Kani Benoit has 50 carries for 359 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tony Brooks-James has 29 carries for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also has 5 catches for 20 yards.  Thomas Tyner is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

Receiver Bralon Addison has 58 catches for 775 yards and 10 touchdowns. Darren Carrington has 25 catches for 502 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Dwayne Stanford has 27 catches for 431 yards and 5 touchdowns. Charles Nelson has 15 catches for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns. Byron Marshall has 9 catches for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He is out for the season with a knee injury. Tight end Pharoah Brown is out indefinitely with a leg injury.

TCU is 4-0 ATS after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, 15-2 on grass, 6-2 in non-conference games, 11-4 against teams with winning records, 15-6 after a straight up win, 19-8 overall, 11-5 after a cover, 1-4 after passing for and allowing less than 170 passing yards, 1-5 in bowl games and 1-7 in neutral site games.

Oregon is 4-0 ATS after allowing more than 40 points, 6-1 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, 5-1 overall and in neutral site games, 21-5 on grass, 4-1 after failing to cover, in bowl games and after gaining more than 450 total yards, 11-4 after scoring more than 40 points, 27-11 after a straight up win, 34-15-2 after rushing for 200 yards or more, and 34-16-1 against teams with winning records.

Even without Boykin and a decimated receiving corps, I think TCU can score on Oregon’s porous defense. TCU isn’t exactly great on defense either, so this should be a shootout inside the Alamodome. I like the Ducks to pull away late for the win.

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