TCU owns six wins in a row in the Iron Skillet rivalry with SMU, and that includes a 3-2-1 stretch against the spread. Which way should the smart money fall for the 98th meeting between the Horned Frogs and the Mustangs on Friday night?
College football point spread: The Horned Frogs opened as 19-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Line updates and matchup report.
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 32.8-12.8 Horned Frogs. College football picks on every game.
Why the TCU Horned Frogs Can Cover the Spread
TCU opened its 2018 season with a 55-7 romp over Southern University on Saturday. The Frogs scored on each of their first six possessions, led 38-7 at halftime and breezed to victory from there. They also nearly covered the spread as 49-point favorites, but a late drive that reached inside the Jaguars' 30-yard line ended on a fourth down.
On the day, TCU outgained Southern 499-185, and 55 of the Jaguars' yards came on one play. The Frogs also made 30 first downs to just nine for Southern and won the turnover battle 3-0. Meanwhile, new TCU starting quarterback Shawn Robinson, a sophomore, threw three touchdowns passes and ran for two more.
TCU lost four seniors from last year's offensive line, but that unit looked pretty good Saturday, paving the way for 235 yards rushing and allowing zero sacks.
Why the SMU Mustangs Can Cover the Spread
SMU opened the 2018 season with a 46-23 loss at North Texas, and there's not enough lipstick in the world to cover that performance. The Mustangs fell down 36-0 before finally hitting the board midway through the fourth quarter. The best thing for the Mustangs to do is put Week 1 behind them and move on.
Southern Methodist returned 14 starters this year from a team that finished 7-6 last year. Six starters came back on offense, including junior quarterback Ben Hicks (33:12 touchdowns:interceptions ratio last season) and three along the offensive line. And eight starters came back on defense, including five of last year's top seven tacklers and the entire secondary. So the cupboard isn't exactly bare for new head coach Sonny Dykes.
Smart Betting Pick
TCU beat SMU 56-36 last year, but the Mustangs gave the Frogs a good game that day and covered the spread as 22-point dogs. Friday's game might play out along similar lines. TCU is likely to win this contest, but SMU is not as bad as its Week 1 showing suggests. Smart money takes the points with the Mustangs.
College Football Betting Trends
The total has gone over in four of TCU's past five games against SMU.
SMU is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in its past seven games at home.
TCU is 7-0 SU in its past seven games in September.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.