College Football Predictions Week 9: BYU Cougars vs. TCU Horned Frogs

BYU Cougars vs. TCU Horned Frogs
Friday, 10/28/11, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  TCU -12
Current Betting Line:  TCU -13.5
Opening Total:  55.5
Current Total:  56
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The BYU Cougars are double-digit underdogs Friday night against the TCU Horned Frogs

BYU will be making its first trip to Cowboys Stadium since knocking off the Oklahoma Sooners, 14-13, which served as the first collegiate football game played inside the venue.  The Cougars are 24-20-1 all-time at neutral sites, including a 5-2 mark under current coach Bronco Mendenhall.  The program is looking for its first win in this series since a 27-22 victory as seven-point home favorites on Nov. 8, 2007.  Offensively, the team seems to be firing on all cylinders, totaling more than 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing in each of the last four games.  BYU is 8-4 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus years.

The Cougars will be aiming for their sixth consecutive win, but haven’t won that many in a row since winning 13 straight from 2007-08.  BYU’s recent play has been led by junior quarterback Riley Nelson, who has thrown for 11 touchdowns, including three in each of his last three starts.  Mendenhall seems confident that his squad has turned the corner coming into a marquee game.  “I like the matchup,” he stated in practice this week.  “And I like the game.”

TCU has battled BYU as Mountain West Conference rivals the past six years, but that will not be the case Friday night.  Head coach Gary Patterson has mixed emotions of playing this important contest at a neutral site.  “Of course, I’d have 40,000 in purple instead of 50-50,” Patterson commented about the situation.  “That’s why we won’t play people in the Big 12 over in Cowboys Stadium if I have to say because I’d rather have home-field advantage.”  TCU is 3-3 ATS this year and 18-13 ATS over the last two-plus campaigns.

The Horned Frogs will be playing on Friday night for the second time this season, dropping a 50-48 thriller on the road against the Baylor Bears to open things up in 2011.  TCU has been led offensively by quarterback Casey Pachall, who is on pace to set numerous school records.  Scoring points has become a regularity for the program, tallying 27 or more points in its last 26 regular-season games.  Running back Ed Wesley is starting to become comfortable again after sitting out three contests with an injury, averaging 104.3 yards per game on 7.6 yards per carry.

Bettors will likely back the Cougars due to their 5-0 ATS mark as an underdog, while the Horned Frogs are 0-5 ATS in non-conference action.

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