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tcu utah

The TCU Horned Frogs and the Utah Utes have pointed to this game all season long. Now they’ll meet to decide the Mountain West championship, and possibly a lot more.

NCAA football betting: Texas Christian Horned Frogs @ Utah Utes

Online Betting Odds: TCU -6

The Horned Frogs could have looked ahead to this game last Saturday night in Las Vegas, but coach Gary Patterson’s team didn’t miss a beat. TCU hammered UNLV, 48-6, in yet another standout performance by the Horned Frogs’ elite defense. There’s no question that TCU has a national-championship-caliber gang of 11 on that side of the line of scrimmage. The Frogs have allowed just 10 total touchdowns in nine games this season, and they’ve allowed more than one touchdown in only two of their nine outings. TCU’s defense has allowed just two touchdowns in its last five games and has held each of its last five opponents to seven points or fewer.

Another reason to bet on TCU is that the Frogs – who lost at Utah in 2008, in a game with virtually identical conference-championship implications – will be able to plays this game on a Saturday afternoon. The 2008 loss in Salt Lake City, a wrenching 13-10 defeat on a last-minute touchdown drive by the Utes, came on a Thursday night. TCU had to deal with short rest and a night game, and Utah took advantage of that fact. This year, the longer rest period plus the daytime start (3:35 p.m. Eastern time) will make it easier for TCU to handle a hostile crowd at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Why To Bet On Utah

After pulling out a tough win at Air Force this past weekend, it’s clear that this Utah team knows how to win with Wynn. Jordan Wynn is the Utes’ newest star quarterback. The sophomore took over the starting job in the middle of last season as a freshman, and he quickly grew into the position. This year, he’s become the unquestioned leader of the Utah offense and hasn’t lost a game in two months of action. Utah beat TCU two years ago because its quarterback, Brian Johnson, didn’t lose his nerve in tense situations. Wynn shows signs of being that kind of quarterback. Meanwhile, TCU signal caller Andy Dalton – while immensely gifted and able to light up the scoreboard on his best days – is still profoundly inconsistent. TCU scored only six points in the first half against Colorado State on Oct. 2 and just three points in the first 28 minutes of the first half against Brigham Young on Oct. 16. TCU has gotten off to slow offensive starts in many games this season, and if that happens again on Saturday, the Utes are definitely good enough to take advantage of that deficiency on the part of the Horned Frogs.

How The Game Will Play Out

TCU’s outlook is simple, and accordingly, so is the basis for predicting the game. If Andy Dalton plays really well, TCU will win comfortably. If Andy Dalton plays very poorly, Utah will win decisively. If Dalton is so-so, the game will be close, with a few key situations creating the margin between victory and defeat. The verdict is that Dalton will play a so-so game but fail to meet the moment when his team really needs something special. TCU is giving way too many points. Perhaps the Horned Frogs win, but the feeling here is that Utah will win outright, probably by a field goal.

TCU Utah Betting Pick: Utah