Ohio State Buckeyes vs. TCU Horned Frogs Point Spread – Pick

Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 8PM EDT
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: ABC

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: OSU -12.5/TCU +12.5
Over/Under Total: 56.5

The Ohio State Buckeyes take on the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday in week three action involving ranked teams in a game that could have long-standing championship repercussions. It’s the first-ever regular season meeting between these two college football factories, with Ohio State obviously the more-successful program. They are hoping for another run at the College Football Playoff this season, playing their final game without suspended head coach Urban Meyer. So far it hasn’t mattered, but maybe against a more-talented Horned Frogs team, it will manifest. Texas Christian overcame a tough start on Friday to beat SMU, 42-12, and comes off the longer week, not at their home-stadium, but a lot closer than the Buckeyes. Ohio St. has taken care of business both weeks and on Saturday, they won and covered the spread with a 52-3 thumping of Rutgers.

The final score of TCU’s win in week two only tells part of the story. Following a perfunctory 55-7 win over the FCS’ Southern, TCU looked poised to smoke a SMU team that had their butts handed to them the previous week by the Conference USA’s North Texas Mean Green. The game opened in a comedy of errors for the Horned Frogs, as SMU jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a big run play, followed by a safety following another error. TCU was having procedural problems, with chaos ensuing on special teams and on offense, as well. A lack of concentration was palpable.

Granted, there was a prolonged weather delay that took some pep out of TCU’s step to start the game. Mistakes were numerous early against a pumped-up SMU team where the game probably meant a little more. At the end of the day, it didn’t take long for superior talent to manifest, with the Horned Frogs running away with the easy win. They also covered the spread, so there’s really not much to say at the end of the day perhaps. When looking back on TCU’s season, their week two game against SMU where they may have started slow won’t amount to a hill of beans. The lightning-delay was long and it was very wet on the field. Still, this is Ohio State we’re talking about and some of the things we saw on the field last Friday would not translate well in this spot.

Nevertheless, it was hard to not be impressed with some of TCU’s talent, a pillar upon which their recent success as a program is built. Game-changing talent showed with KaVontae Turpin showing his big-play ability as a pass-catcher and on special teams. His long punt return for a TD got the ball rolling for TCU against SMU. New starting QB Shawn Robinson has a learning curve, with this being his first spot in the big-time. He can still lean on a thick supporting cast of talent, including a stocked backfield.

When you’re a ranked team and your season opens with games against Southern and SMU, only so much can be gleaned. There are a lot of reasons for that. Texas Christian may not have been fully-concentrated in games where they were favored by a combined 73 points. Still, those little defensive gaffes we saw against SMU were alarming. They have allowed 19 total points in their first two games, so let’s go easy. But the adjustments they made against the Mustangs last week won’t come as easy this week against the exponentially more-dimensional Buckeyes’ offense. That seems to be the formula for the TCU defense in recent seasons—stingy against the rest of the pack and readily-exploitable for the more-elite teams they face.

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Ohio State certainly figures to be the goods again this season, but for all intents and purposes, they face their first test this week with TCU. Against Oregon State, they allowed a somewhat-concerning 31 points, with the Buckeyes’ 70 points overshadowing it to some extent. Against Rutgers, only a field goal was yielded. Against TCU, we should get a better idea if their defense is on the right track for the 2018 season to help carry this campaign a long way. And so far, the suspension of their head coach has probably had a galvanizing affect and will here with this being a competitive game and Meyer’s last game where he will not be on the sideline.

The Ohio State offense looks a lot like the old one, despite changes at the quarterback position. So far this season, we have seen Dwayne Haskins getting a lot of the work, spelled by youngster Tate Martell, who was 10-for-10 on Saturday through the air, while leading the team with 95 yards rushing. Haskins threw four TDs on 20-for-23 passing and we again see there is room for a lot of people to thrive in this offense. The running-game looks deep with the returning duo of Mike Weber and JK Dobbins. And the experienced trio of receivers Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin, and Johnnie Dixon all got in the end zone on Saturday.

Both teams have massive athleticism on the defensive side of the ball. Against the more-potent offenses they face, however, there might be issues. Both of these teams are a little heavy of the offensive side of the equation. That seems like a fair assessment. TCU looks dicey on “D,” and will be tested big-time this week. That also goes for Ohio State’s defense. If Oregon State is scoring a lot of points, then TCU will, as well. This might almost seem overly-obvious, but I picture a lot of points and I’m going over.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting “over” 56.5 points in the Ohio State vs. TCU game. Did you know… that you could be wagering on this and other games at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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