NCAA betting odds at football betting websites favor the TCU Horned Frogs to best the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday, September 17th at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.
Iowa State +24 (-110) 61 (-110) +1400
TCU -24 (-110) 61 (-110) -2500
The Horned Frogs dropped two spots in the AP poll following a 38-41 loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks on September 10th. It was the irresistible force versus the unmovable object all over again, only this Andre the Giant won. TCU had the win in the hands – or rather the feet – of kicker Ryan Graf, but his field goal attempt was blocked with 16 seconds on the clock. It was an anticlimactic ending to a comeback from a 20-7 deficit.
Except it was far from the end; two overtime periods followed during which the Horned Frogs ran out of steam. Nonetheless, this loss does not necessarily mean TCU is no longer an NCAA betting dark horse pick to sneak up on Oklahoma and win the Big 12, but they need to get back on track before it’s too late.
The Cyclones have not fared very well in their own backyard, losing the season opener to the Northern Iowa Panthers 20-25, and then falling to the Iowa Hawkeyes 3-42. Next, they will lose to Slipknot’s second album Iowa. The Cyclones only moved beyond the Hawkeyes’ 40 yard line once, on their field goal drive. Penalties proved to be the drive-killer for Iowa State; they had 10 for 73 yards. In addition to that, The Cyclones averaged only 21 yards on two kick returns and failed to get a return on four punts. Believe it or not, all of this bodes well for Iowa State. Sort of.
In 2013, the Cyclones lost their first two games to the Panthers and the Hawkeyes, same as this year. They went on to win their third game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Furthermore, Iowa State has not opened a season 0-3 since 1997. None of this changes the fact that the Cyclones are NCAA betting underdogs, of course. As a matter of fact, if the Horned Frogs played Iowa State like they did Arkansas – and that’s not to say that they played well at all – that should suffice to leave the Cyclones in the dust. Take for instance TCU QB Kenny Hill; the Texas A&M transfer accrued 470 total yards and three total TDs – not enough to save the day against the Razorbacks, but numbers like those should do the trick versus Iowa State.
The only possible saving grace for the Cyclones would be that Hill and TCU’s defense fall prey once again to the inconsistency that marred them against the Razorbacks. Like a broken Geiger counter, Hill made poor reads and threw into coverage. More notably, he threw an interception that was returned 47 yards for a TD. The defense allowed 41 points to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on September 3rd, and while it was instrumental in giving the Horned Frogs a transitory lead versus Arkansas, it unraveled thenceforth.