TCU vs West Virginia Odds, Picks and Predictions: Grinding Toward the Under

TCU will win but that doesn't mean this game will see a deluge of touchdowns. Expect the Mountaineers to turn to their ground game, slowing down the flow en route to hitting the Under on the 69.5 total.

Chris Hatfield - Betting Analyst at
Chris Hatfield • Betting Analyst
Oct 27, 2022 • 11:45 ET • 4 min read
Max Duggan John Lanz TCU Horned Frogs College Football NCAA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It's been a storybook season for the TCU Horned Frogs. They have flirted with defeat but have yet to taste it. Two weeks ago, they overcame a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Oklahoma State. Then, last week, they overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to beat Kansas State. They've bent but haven't broken.

Things couldn't be more fickle for West Virginia. The Mountaineers have experienced ups and downs at a rapid rate. They've beaten a rival in Virginia Tech and had an impressive win at home against Baylor two weeks ago, but are also coming off a beatdown to Texas Tech.

How will this one shake out? Find out in our college football picks and predictions for West Virginia vs. TCU.

TCU vs West Virginia best odds

TCU vs West Virginia picks and predictions

We'll see points on the scoreboard but the current number is too high, so I'm betting on at least one of these teams being slowed down.

In a rare twist, it's actually TCUs defensive inefficiencies that may make this one go Under the set total of 69. West Virginia's game plan must be to run the ball for two reasons. One is to keep one of the most efficient offenses in football off the field. The second is because that's where its advantage lies.

The Horned Frogs rank outside the Top 100 in stuff rate, and rushing offenses have plagued them — even in wins — most of the season. That dedication to the running game will mean the clock runs early and often. It also points to a few drives that will inevitably stall around midfield.

While the Mountaineers will move the ball well, they'll also make plenty of mistakes as they commit penalties at a slightly above-average rate. The TCU defense isn't a world-beater, but it will force West Virginia to pay for these mistakes. The Horned Frogs rank in the middle of the Big 12 in virtually every defensive metric and have an opportunity to take a step forward here. Instead, I expect them to give up tons of yards on their opponents' side of the 50 and to stiffen once they get past it. That's the perfect recipe for the Under.

The other side of this is what TCU will do with the ball. Counting on the West Virginia defense to put up much of a fight is a risky endeavor after giving up 40 points in back-to-back games and currently ranking last in the Big 12 in points allowed per game at 33.7. There are two scenarios where this offense could have a smaller output than we expected.

One, and the most likely, is that TCU shell shocks this subpar West Virginia defense early. Once that happens, TCU will revert to a pretty vanilla offense for the rest of the game. The Horned Frogs face Texas Tech and Texas in the next two weeks, which is their most significant hurdle in a potential playoff berth. They'll want to keep as much as they can off tape if they can.

The other scenario is the West Virginia defense exploits its most significant, and maybe only, advantage on that side of the ball. On passing downs, the Mountaineers have the second-best EPA in the Big 12. They aren't a good passing defense overall, but they become one when they get their opponents in those positions. If they can keep TCU in obvious passing situations, they won't slow them down a ton, but they'll do enough for us to get this Under.

This will not be a fun sweat, but it's the right side. Sharps have brought this down slightly from its opening number of 70.5. Unfortunately for the books, they've not brought it down enough. There are too many scenarios that would lead to this one falling short of toppling such a large number.

My best bet: Under 69 (-115 at PointsBet)

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TCU vs West Virginia spread analysis

TCU is going to win this game, the question is by how much. The Horned Frogs have entirely too many offensive advantages that West Virginia doesn't.

This spread opened up with TCU -7 and bet across the college football odds board to 7.5 points. It's hard to argue that direction, too. In its last two games, TCU has faced uphill battles and passed them with flying colors. West Virginia showed it couldn't handle success. The Mountaineers got one of their better wins against Baylor, then went on the road and were buried by Texas Tech.

I'm going to grab the Horned Frogs here. I want to get a flat 7, so I'll wait to see if the market gives it to me. But if not, I'll still be at TCU. It has too many horses. If its defense isn't on its game, West Virginia will make enough mistakes to stop itself.

TCU vs West Virginia Over/Under analysis

I expect plenty of points, but the number is still too high. In fact, I would play it all the way down to 67.5. Some trends also point us in this direction.

  • The Under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings between these two teams.
  • The Under is 8-3 in West Virginia's last 11 games after scoring 20 points or less in the previous matchup.
  • The Under is 11-5 in West Virginia's last 16 games when they gave up 40 or more points in the previous matchup.

The Mountaineers usually respond from a defensive perspective from these positions. We don't need them to do a ton here; we simply need them to slow down TCU. They'll do their part by running the ball and milking the clock on the other side of the ball. The situational aspect of this game and the matchup point to one side: the Under.

TCU vs West Virginia betting trend to know

The Under was 11-5 in West Virginia's last 16 games when they gave up 40 or more points in the previous matchup. Find more NCAA betting trends for TCU vs. West Virginia.

TCU vs West Virginia game info

Location: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV
Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. ET

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