West Virginia Vs. TCU Odds Betting Preview, And Pick: Line Moves In Frogs’ Direction

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Games between West Virginia and TCU have typically seen the home side favored by double digits, but the Horned Frogs have had difficulty just winning, never mind covering the spread.

Saturday’s game is a far different version for this series, though, with an inept Mountaineers offense in a spiral and its quarterback under fire. Max Duggan, on the other hand, has the Frogs firing well. Plus, he’s part of an effective ground game.

West Virginia Mountaineers (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS)

The Mountaineers are 0-3 on the road this season (1-2 ATS), and they’ve lost their past three games overall. Wait, it gets worse. Since 2008, they have averaged fewer than 21 points only twice — in 2019 (20.6) and this year (20.8).

So in its past 14 seasons, West Virginia has hit rock bottom in two of the past three campaigns. And this is coach Neal Brown’s third season.

The portents are not good. The West Virginia passing game is better than its rushing attack, but its pass defense is weak.

Reports, however, don’t exactly glow about fifth-year senior quarterback Jarret Doege (pronounced DAY-gee), whose performance against Virginia Tech on September 18 was rated 36.3 by Pro Football Focus. At that point in the season, PFF had him ranked 171st out of 197 quarterbacks.

Through six games, Doege has a 65.2% completion rate on 181 passes, eight yards per attempt, 1,444 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions.

Doege’s current QBR of 141.3 ranks No. 62, per TeamRankings.com,

“His worst season by far,” says Mountaineers website Voice of Motown of the quarterback who transferred from Bowling Green. A bad fit in Brown’s complex air raid offense, it says. His immobility makes West Virginia’s run-pass option predictable and easy to defend. Worse, it wrote, Doege has another year of eligibility remaining.

Ouch. Mountaineers fans might want to avoid the national ESPNU broadcast.

Senior tailback Leddie Brown averages 4.4 yards on 95 carries, with a team-high six TDs. With 32 receptions, Winston Wright is Doege’s favorite target. Yet, none has turned into a score.

TCU Horned Frogs (3-3 SU, 1-4-1 ATS)

Duggan is a 6-foot-2 junior from Council Bluffs, Iowa, who owns a 10th-rated QBR of 169.3. Like Doege, he completes 65% of his attempts, but he gets 9.2 yards out of every toss and has 13 TDs, with two picks. He’s fumbled three times.

And he runs, 61 times for 231 yards and two TDs.

Zach Evans, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound sophomore, averages nearly eight yards on his 74 carries, and he has five TDs.

Kendre Miller, a sophomore out of Mount Enterprise, Texas, has emerged from a pack of reserves with a team-best six TDs. He averages 7.3 yards on 49 rushes. Both Evans and Miller are threats out of the backfield as receivers.

Quentin Johnson (18.7-yard average, 5 TDs), a 6-foot-4 rookie, and junior Taye Barber (16.5 average) are the main targets for Duggan, but three others average 14 yards a catch.

TCU has scored 100% of the time inside the red zone, perfection also achieved by LSU, New Mexico State, Georgia State, and Washington. It turns third downs into firsts at a 54.3% clip, fourth best in the country.

The Frogs are top 10 in quarterback protection and top 30 in picking off passes, and Duggan has a top-10 interception rate. TCU is 10th with a 237-yard rushing average, fifth at 5.8 yards per run, and 12th with 0.527 points per play.

All of that will be too much for West Virginia.

West Virginia at TCU Odds

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West Virginia At TCU Pick

The line, rightfully so, has moved in TCU’s favor after opening -3.5 in Las Vegas.

In our laboratory, two models have the Frogs winning by 13 and 14 points, respectively. Max Duggan will prosper at home against a foe with many issues. TCU controls the game wire-to-wire.

About the Author

Rob Miech

Veteran sportswriter Rob Miech covers soccer and does features for Gaming Today. He has written about college hoops for the Las Vegas Sun, CBS SportsLine and the Pasadena Star-News. He is the author of four books, including Sports Betting for Winners.

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