Vegas Loves TCU, But Can UNLV Slow Down The Frogs?

Pete MisthaufenAnalyst IOctober 30, 2009

LAS VEGAS - MARCH 12:  The mascot of the UNLV Rebels 'Hey Reb' appears during a game against the San Diego State Aztecs during a quarterfinal game of the Conoco Mountain West Conference Basketball Championships at the Thomas & Mack Center March 12, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. the Aztecs won 71-57.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

When TCU opened as a thirty-one point favorite (now up to thirty-five) for its upcoming game against UNLV, it was obvious that the Frogs' success had not missed the eyes of the people who make money picking games.

On the other hand, UNLV has a lame duck coach who hasn't been fired only because it would cost the school a few hundred thousand dollars to do so.  Plus, would the Rebels play any better without their poor excuse for a coach?

Many people with an interest in Mountain West Conference sports had thought UNLV would be much improved this year.

After all, UNLV went 5-7 last year, took BYU to the limit and missed a bowl only by losing their final game against San Diego State.  The Rebels upset No. 15 Arizona State in Tempe and defeated Iowa State at home.

UNLV has a great quarterback in Omar Clayton.  Clayton walked on his freshman year, commuting by bus some twenty-five miles each way.

UNLV also has an excellent receiver in Ryan Wolfe, ranked No. 5 in the nation in catches per game.

Instead of building on last season, UNLV is struggling to not lose ground.

The Rebels cannot run the ball, cannot stop the run and cannot stop the pass, which clearly explains why TCU is such a huge favorite.

The only reason TCU will not cover the spread in this game is if TCU coach Gary Patterson intentionally tried to not score as much as he did against Colorado State. 

Even so, Patterson knows that style points matter, so I look for the Frogs to win by thirty-five plus here, covering the spread and winning with ease.