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Kansas State vs TCU Odds, Big 12 Championship Game Picks & Predictions

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 6 mins

Kansas State vs TCU Odds, Big 12 Championship Game Picks & Predictions

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It’s been a dream season for TCU, with the Horned Frogs running the table to get to 12-0 and all but guarantee a spot in the College Football Playoff. Now it’s time to see if they can answer the bell one more time ahead of the postseason Saturday in a Big 12 championship game matchup with Kansas State. 

Another victory would give TCU its first-ever outright Big 12 title and first solo conference championship since the Horned Frogs won the Mountain West back in 2011. But this Kansas State team is filled with confidence and has been itching for a rematch ever since the Horned Frogs scored a 38-28 comeback victory in late October. 

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The Wildcats secured their first Big 12 title game appearance since 2003 with a 47-27 win over Kansas to finish the regular season. It’s a solid resume – all three losses were against teams currently inside the top 20 of the CFP rankings. And while there’s not exactly one major statement win, the Wildcats proved they meant business with beatdowns like a 48-0 win over Oklahoma State and 31-3 win over Baylor. 

The Horned Frogs should be in the playoff regardless. It’s nonsensical to punish teams for losing conference championship games while rewarding teams that weren’t good enough to get there. But TCU still has a (slim) chance to move up to the No. 1 or No. 2 seed depending on how Georgia and Michigan perform in the SEC and Big Ten title games. And while they’d likely still be in with a loss, dropping down to the No. 4 seed for a potential first-round matchup with Georgia would not be ideal. 

Kansas State vs. TCU Spread Pick

Oddsmakers on college football betting sites have this one very close, with the Horned Frogs favored by -2.5. TCU was a -3.5 favorite for the first meeting in Fort Worth. While this is technically a neutral-site matchup, AT&T Stadium in Arlington is less than 20 miles from TCU’s campus, so it should amount to another big home crowd advantage for the Horned Frogs. 

This is one of the toughest conference championship games to call. TCU is 9-2-1 against the spread this season and answered the doubters at every turn. But the Horned Frogs haven’t been favored by more than 10 points since Week 2, which shows how good they’ve been at winning the margins. 

The Wildcats have been more convincing in recent weeks. They’ve covered four of the last five games with ease on Kansas betting apps and look to be playing their best football of the season. A mid-year injury to Nebraska quarterback transfer Adrian Martinez has now turned into a positive – he’s healthy enough to possibly see a few snaps as a change-up for current starter Will Howard, which gives TCU defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie a lot to think about. 

In a game with two teams this evenly-matched, given how the first meeting went, we like the Wildcats to hang tough and cover +2.5 on sports betting apps.

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Kansas State vs. TCU Moneyline Pick

The Horned Frogs were headed for their first loss of the season before a drastic second-half turnaround against the Wildcats. TCU trailed 28-17 at halftime and outscored Kansas State 21-0 over the final two quarters. We suspect things could go differently this time. 

First of all, the Wildcats had a lot of success on the ground in the first meeting. They just didn’t fully commit. They averaged 5.3 yards per carry but only rushed 30 times for 158 yards. TCU racked up 215 rushing yards but only averaged 3.8 yards per carry. 

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Martinez went down with an injury for the first time in that game, which surely added to the second-half collapse as Howard saw his first snaps of the season. The Wildcats also lost the turnover battle 2-0 and saw TCU convert 10 of 19 third down attempts. Kansas State was just 3 of 9 on third down, and all these factors allowed the Horned Frogs to control possession and come out with a win. 

Kansas State truly has nothing to lose in this game – the Wildcats aren’t getting into the CFP with a victory and can only improve their postseason stock. They also should have plenty of confidence given the way that first half went in the initial matchup. 

We like Kansas State to pull off the upset and win outright for a +115 hit on the moneyline on betting sites.

Kansas State vs. TCU Over/Under Pick

The Big 12 championship game total is right in the sweet spot, currently set at 61.5 for two teams that combined to score 66 points the first time around. 

The Wildcats’ quarterback situation has been touch-and-go for a few weeks, but the offense has never performed better. Howard has been excellent under center in four starts since he was forced into action against the Horned Frogs. He’s thrown 13 touchdown passes with two interceptions over the last five games as Kansas State’s offense has gained at least 405 total yards in all of them. 

On the other side, the Wildcats have struggled against the run in recent weeks and TCU will have success pounding the rock. 

This should be a wild back-and-forth battle, perhaps the most entertaining of the weekend. We like the total to go over 61.5 in the Big 12 title game. 

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About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.