This article is part of our College Football Picks series.
Big 12 Championship Betting Preview: TCU vs. Kansas State Picks and Predictions
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The Horned Frogs pulled off the unthinkable by going an undefeated 12-0 during the regular season. They are fresh off cruising to a 62-14 victory at home against Iowa State, a week after pulling off a late fourth-quarter comeback win at Baylor. TCU is led by QB Max Duggan who is a darkhorse Heisman candidate and the team expects to have superstar WR Quentin Johnston back in the lineup.
Meanwhile, Kansas State has flown under the radar this season and is currently ranked #10 in the country. They've won three in a row on their way to a 9-3 record, including an impressive 47-27 win over Kansas in their regular season finale. QB Will Howard has taken over for an injured QB Adrian Martinez and will draw another start against TCU. Although the passing game has improved of late, the Wildcats' most dynamic playmaker is RB Deuce Vaughn who is averaging 107.9 rushing yards per game.
Kansas State vs. TCU Odds for the Big 12 Championship
Spread: -2.5 TCU (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Total: 62.0 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Moneyline: Kansas State +115, TCU -135 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Kansas State has taken three of the last five games against TCU over the last five years. Don't put too much stock in that trend though as these are the best versions of the Horned Frogs and Wildcats that we've seen in many years. TCU was able to beat Kansas State at home by the score of 38-28 in Week 8. TCU actually trailed in that game by the score of 28-17 at halftime before shutting out Kansas State in the second half. Interestingly enough, Howard was the QB who played the majority of the snaps for Kansas State in that loss.
On the season, both of these teams have been fantastic against the spread with TCU at 9-2-1 and Kansas State at 9-3. This game opened up with TCU favored -2.5 and has not moved as this is a tough one to predict. The total opened up at 60.5 and has moved to 62. Both of these teams have efficient offenses with TCU's Offensive YPP at 6.9 (tied for 6th in the nation) and Kansas State's Offensive YPP at 6.3 (tied for 29th in the nation). Neither of these defenses are top-tier, so I tend to lean toward the over for this game. During conference play, the Horned Frogs gave up an average of 26 points per game while the Wildcats yielded 23 points per game.
Kansas State vs. TCU Betting Pick This Week
A common narrative will be that TCU has much more to play for with a potential berth in the College Football Playoff on the line and I tend to agree which is why I like the money line play of TCU -135. With the line at just -2.5, I think it's also in play as a win with a field goal would be a winning bet. The over in the low 60's is also intriguing as these two teams combined for 66 points when they last met and their offenses have only gotten better since then. I don't expect either of these two teams to start slow as both are coached well and will be highly motivated for a conference championship.
Kansas State vs. TCU Best Bets: Over 62.0; TCU -135 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Kansas State vs. TCU Prediction
I'm expecting this to be one of the more competitive championship games this weekend and there will be a ton of eyes watching on Saturday Morning. Max Duggan has been nearly perfect this season with 34 total touchdowns and just three interceptions. Siding with the experienced Duggan seems like a better bet than going with Will Howard who has never played in a game of this magnitude. At the end of the day though, TCU has more depth and playmakers which will have them pulling away late in the game like they did in their first meeting.
I'll say the Horned Frogs beat the Wildcats, 40-30.