West Virginia is just 1-3 against TCU since the latter joined the Big 12 five seasons ago, but the Mountaineers are 2-1 against the spread over the last three meetings, playing as an underdog each time out. However, West Virginia will play as the favorite when it hosts the Horned Frogs on Saturday afternoon in Morgantown.
Point spread: The Mountaineers opened as five-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 33.7-17.2 Mountaineers (College football picks on every game)
Why the TCU Horned Frogs can cover the spread
TCU is 3-1 over its last four games, after coming from behind to win at Kansas two weeks ago 24-23. The Frogs then had last week off.
Texas Christian gave up the first touchdown of the game against the Jayhawks but rallied to take a 14-10 lead into halftime. They later trailed 23-14 into the fourth quarter but pulled to within one score on a Kenny Hill touchdown pass to Jaelan Austin. They then embarked upon a 59-yard, eight-play drive that resulted in the game-winning field goal with just over a minute to go and survived a long Kansas field goal attempt in the final seconds.
TCU didn't exactly enjoy one of its better days offensively, but it did win the ground battle 160-122, as running back Kyle Hicks produced his second 100-yard effort of the season and scored a touchdown for the fifth game out of six.
A week before, the Frogs lost to Oklahoma 52-46 but had that game covered as four-point home dogs until the Sooners kicked an insurance field goal with just under two minutes to play.
Why the West Virginia Mountaineers can cover the spread
The Mountaineers didn't even receive votes in the preseason polls but, following a 5-0 start, find themselves climbing the ranks toward the Top 10. A month ago, West Virginia won a tough game out at BYU then came home and won a tough game against Kansas State. Last week, coming off a bye, the Mountaineers trounced Texas Tech out in Lubbock 48-17, easily covering as three-point favorites.
West Virginia grabbed a 7-0 lead on the Red Raiders six minutes into the game, led 24-7 at the half and pulled away from there. On the day, the Mountaineers outgained Texas Tech 650-379, slashing for 332 yards on the ground. So West Virginia has now outgained and outrushed five of six opponents this season.
The Mountaineers are coming off an impressive Big 12 road victory, while TCU had to come from behind as a four-touchdown favorite to beat Kansas. But recent impressions can be deceiving; these teams are very close in talent and ability, and the line on this game is probably inflated toward the home team by a couple of points too many. The smart money here favors the Frogs.
The total has gone under in 20 of West Virginia's last 27 games.
West Virginia is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games against teams with winning records.
TCU is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games in October.
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