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TCU Horned Frogs vs. Oklahoma Sooners Point Spread - Pick

TCU Horned Frogs (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (11-1 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Big 12 Championship Game
Date/Time: Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 12:30PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: Fox

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: TCU +7/OKLA -7
Over/Under Total: 63

The TCU Horned Frogs take on the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday in the Big 12 Conference Title Game at AT&T Stadium. Last Friday, the Horned Frogs won their tenth game of the season with a 45-22 win over Baylor. They now look to exact revenge over an Oklahoma team that beat them on November 11, 38-20. Oklahoma stayed on the winning track on Saturday with a 59-31 win over West Virginia. After the absence of a conference title game in the Big 12 for a handful of seasons, it looked like it was hurting Big 12 teams to not have that late high-quality win to get them into national contention. Ironically, with Oklahoma having to beat TCU again and already in the top-four of the CFP, this game could only prevent a Big 12 team from being in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma can't afford to lose this game and it's not an easy one.

On the 11th, Oklahoma hammered away at TCU with Rodney Anderson who had 151 yards rushing, 139 yards receiving, and four touchdowns. Baker Mayfield had 333 yards and 3 TD throws. Texas Christian will need to contain those two a lot better this week. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill was not on-point in that first matchup and they didn't run the ball with much impact. Since that game, TCU has won two straight. Against a bad Baylor team on Friday, the Horned Frogs led only 21-19 going into the second half, before pulling away. And though it was against a ragged Bears' "D," the offense kicked it into gear and hope for more of that this week.

Though they were 24.5-point favorites, the Horned Frogs needed the game on Friday. Quarterback Kenny Hill was working his way back from a concussion and looked sharp on 325 yards passing with 3 touchdowns. He also ran one in on the ground. Jarrison Stewart came out of nowhere and caught a TD pass on 72 yards receiving, with Desmon White and Jalen Reagor adding nice production aerially. On the ground, they are without top back Darius Anderson, as they now rely on Hill, Kyle Hicks, and versatile back Sewo Olonilua. All told, they have been good for 34.5 points a game this season. They have some balance and while not as consistently-explosive this season as the Sooners' offense has been, they can be pretty dangerous on a given week.

The TCU defense isn't great, but at the same time, the Oklahoma game was the only time the "D" really let them down in any kind of real way. In their other loss, they gave up 14 to Iowa State, with the offense being the culprit in the upset-loss. They have been very good against the run this season, though that didn't manifest against the Sooners in their first game less than a month ago. This is a defense that has given up less than 16 points a game on average this season. Again, Oklahoma is a different animal and we saw that the first time around. They need all their playmakers on this side of the ball to have a good game this week.

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Any chance TCU has of Oklahoma overlooking them after beating them so easily the first time is dashed purely by the high stakes of this matchup. If Oklahoma wins, they go to the College Football Playoff and if they lose, they are on the outside looking in. Oklahoma took control quickly against the Mountaineers on Saturday, carrying a 45-10 lead into the locker-room after a big first half. After not starting for his antics against Kansas, Baker Mayfield threw 17 passes and completed 14 of them for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Rodney Anderson, who has really heated up in the second-half of the season, ran for 4 touchdowns. Through the air, CeeDee Lamb, Mark Andrews, Myles Tease, and Grant Calcaterra all caught TD passes. This group is a top-five scoring offense at 44 points a game and has gotten better over the course of the season.

The 31 points Oklahoma allowed to West Virginia was on the high side for them, but a lot of that occurred after the Sooners had built a 45-10 first-half lead. They have been exploitable at times this season, but that's part of doing business in the Big 12 and playing the high-powered teams they've played. They get a nice pass-rush with defensive ends DJ Ward and Kenneth Mann, along with edge-rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. Corner Parnell Motley is a difference-maker, along with Steven Parker and William Johnson in the back. At the second level, Emmanuel Beal is a very active linebacker who is in on a ton of plays, along with Kenneth Murray, and Caleb Kelly. What really counts is the 20 points they allowed to TCU the first time around. Anything similar this week would almost surely result in an easy win.

TCU has rebounded nicely since losing to Oklahoma on the 11th. And things are a little more against them in Norman, where the first game was. A pretty salient case can be made for them performing better this week. It's often curious this time of year how heightened urgency can often be a hindrance. Oklahoma has a ton to play for, but that doesn't necessarily translate to on-the-field results. After all, TCU worked hard to get to this spot and would like to exact revenge and secure a higher bowl profile. I just see Oklahoma being on a higher level overall and they should score a fairly-definitive win in this high-stakes spot.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Oklahoma Sooners minus 7 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the TCU vs. Oklahoma game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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