College Football Betting Preview: TCU Horned Frogs at Utah Utes

TCU Horned Frogs at Utah Utes
Saturday, 11/6/10, 3:30 PM EDT
Opening Point Spread:  TCU -5.5
Current Betting Line:  TCU -5
Opening Total:  52.5
Current Total:  5

The Utah Utes have never lost to the TCU Horned Frogs in Salt Lake City and are a home underdog this Saturday

TCU is currently the highest-ranked team in Texas and heads to Salt Lake City to face the Utah Utes in a key Mountain West Conference matchup.  The Horned Frogs improved to 9-0 and 5-0 in conference play with a 48-6 victory over UNLV, out-gaining the Rebels by a 530-197 margin.  “I didn’t think we played that well on both sides of the ball, but we did what we needed to do,” said head coach Gary Patterson.  His team hasn’t lost a regular season games since a 2008 loss at Utah.  “They know us,” he commented.  “We’ve been playing them for years.”  Saturday will mark the team’s first regular-season game since 1956 in which both squads are ranked in the top 10.  ESPN’s College GameDay will be on hand and the Horned Frogs have won both such games last year, 38-7 at BYU and 55-28 over Utah in Fort Worth.  The team is 15-6 ATS versus conference opponents and the college football lines page has them favored in this contest.

The Horned Frogs certainly benefited from playing seven of its eight opening games in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but will now be on the road for the second consecutive week.  TCU has never won in three trips to Salt Lake City, but the program has won its last 14 MWC games and 22 of its last 23.  Defensively, the unit has held five opponents under 200 yards this season, including four of five conference foes.  Dominance is certainly a word in describing the squad outscoring those opponents by 189-16 margin.  The team leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing 8.7 points per game, which is on pace for the lowest mark since 1988, when Auburn surrendered 7.2 points.

Utah escaped with a 28-23 road victory over the Air Force Falcons by surviving a 13-point fourth quarter rally by the home team.  “It was a little frustrating because we had a chance to put the opponent away,” said head coach Kyle Whittingham.  The Utes were actually out-gained 411-327 in the contest, but forced five turnovers to push its record to a perfect 8-0 overall and 5-0 in conference play.  A key component of this game is Utah’s 21-game home winning streak, which is the third-longest active home win streak in the nation and second-longest in school history.  It dates back to a September 15, 2007 victory over UCLA and is five shy of the all-time mark.  The team is 6-1 ATS this year and 54-43 ATS at home.

The Utes don’t plan on watching any defensive film from the Air Force game due to the major differences between their offense and TCU.  “They’re having a great year.  Their defense is having another good year,” said quarterback Jordan Wynn.  “They showed us last year how great they were.”  Offensively, 16 players have scored touchdowns for Utah this year, which is tied for the most in the country.  The unit’s 45.2 scoring average is also not far off the school record of 45.33 points per game that was set in 2004.  It’s best offensive quarter is the second, out-scoring foes 141-16.  Utah takes pride in being efficient in the red zone, converting on 90 percent of their trips (35-of-39).

Bettors will find that the Horned Frogs are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up win, while the Utes are 27-7-1 ATS in their last 35 games as an underdog.

Let the college football handicappers at Maddux Sports supply you with a week’s full of winners this weekend!

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