TCU vs. Louisiana Tech: Betting the Spread for the Poinsettia Bowl

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2011

BOISE, ID - NOVEMBER 12:  Casey Pachall #4 of the TCU Horned Frogs calls for the snap during the game against the Boise State Broncos at Bronco Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

TCU takes on Louisiana Tech in one of the most underrated bowls of the season. The Horned Frogs have stolen the show from the Bulldogs because they are more of a name brand and were ever so close to automatically qualifying for a BCS Bowl. Vegas has them as a 9.5-point favorite.

Most people don’t know anything about Louisiana Tech, but they actually received two votes in the final USA Today Coaches poll of the season. Three of the team’s four losses came by six or less points against teams that were—or are—ranked, and the Bulldogs have won their last seven games.

The biggest strength for the Bulldogs is their big-play defense. The team ranks 10th in the country in turnover margin and 17th in sacks per game.

In order to win this game, they will have to have a lot of big plays, because TCU is measurably better.

The Horned Frogs have the ninth best scoring offense in the country and are allowing just 21 points per game.

Tech has given up some big point totals to the best offensive teams they’ve played—particularly ones with a solid passing game. The Bulldogs were blown out at home by Hawaii and Casey Pachall is much better than Bryant Moniz. If the Horned Frogs come to play, they should walk away with a pretty easy win.

But don’t get caught up in the spread. Louisiana Tech has edged out a number of solid wins and their losses—with the exception of Hawaii—were all really close. Taking them to cover in this one is the smart bet.