Iowa St. vs. TCU NCAAF Week 13 Top Picks: Horned Frogs Still Facing Uphill Battle

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Wide receiver Quentin Johnston #1 of the TCU Horned Frogs carries the ball against cornerback AJ McCarty #19 and linebacker Matt Jones #2 of the Baylor Bears. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

Despite being undefeated heading into the Week 13 NCAAF betting clash with Iowa State, the TCU Horned Frogs are dealing with a second-class status with networks and the CFP selection committee.

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Iowa State Cyclones vs. TCU Horned Frogs

Saturday, November 26, 2022 – 04:00 PM EST at Amon G. Carter Stadium

While there is no truth to the rumor the College Football Playoff Selection Committee is already crafting reasons why they put a 1-loss USC team into the mix over an undefeated TCU squad, there is some validity to the committee wishing the Horned Frogs would hurry up and lose.

Not having a TCU team to worry about would certainly make the CFP committee’s job easier, but the Horned Frogs don’t appear anxious to cooperate, as they sit two wins away from reaching the playoffs, beginning with this week’s matchup against the Iowa State Cyclones.

Frogs Favored by Books, but Not by Networks

Let’s face it: There aren’t going to be a lot of people even interested in seeing the Horned Frogs take on the Cyclones, and the networks have done everything they can to put the contest in a Saturday time slot designed to reduce whatever interest there might be.

In advance of the latest CFP rankings coming out Tuesday evening, the three teams ahead of TCU last week – Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan – are being televised in the noon Eastern slot while 2-loss LSU and 1-loss USC get Saturday’s prime-time treatment.

One thing the Horned Frogs could do to overcome their second-class woes would be to beat the college football odds on the game, which currently chalk TCU in the 10-10½ range, while every book agrees on a 47½-point total.


Iowa State’s Bowl Game

One way the Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell can get his team up for the contest is to make them treat the contest with TCU as their bowl game, which it is since the team is sitting 4-7 on the season and seeing a 5-year run of bowl invites come to an end.

It has been an extremely frustrating 1-7 run for Iowa State on the Big 12 schedule. Six of the seven setbacks have been by a touchdown or less, and the Cyclones have watched fourth-quarter leads disappear in four of the defeats. Such was the case this past weekend. Favored by 4 at home by the best online betting sites, the Cyclones moved ahead of Texas Tech 10-7 about four minutes into the final quarter, only to watch the Red Raiders immediately go on a long scoring drive in a 14-10 final.

From Chaos Comes Order… and Victory

It has been quite the opposite for TCU this year. Not only have Sonny Dykes and the Horned Frogs won all 11 games to date, they have made their contests good theater with exciting wins late in the game.

That was certainly the case last Saturday down in Waco, where TCU staged a dramatic comeback in the final few minutes for a 29-28 win over defending Big 12 champion Baylor. The Horned Frogs closed -2 at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review).

The winning field goal by the Horned Frogs came with the clock ticking down the final seconds and TCU out of timeouts, a case of practice makes perfect since running his field goal unit onto the field with time running out is something the team works on each week.

Cyclones Have Won Last 3

TCU won the first three matchups between the teams, one of those triumphs in a 2005 bowl game, and Iowa State has won the last three meetings to leave the Horned Frogs with an 8-5 all-time advantage (5-5 as Big 12 opponents).

The Cyclones pounded on the Horned Frogs a year ago in Ames, with Breece Hall rumbling for over 240 yards on just 18 carries in a 48-14 rout that easily covered the 16 points Iowa State backers were laying.

  • The Cyclones have bested the spread in five of the last six matchups, three of those as the underdogs.
  • Each of the last three meetings exceeded the totals.

Can Cyclones Spoil TCU’s CFP Hopes?

There is rain in the Ft. Worth forecast all week long and into Saturday morning, but the weather is the least of TCU’s worries at this point.

Topping the list of Dykes’ concerns are keeping his team from thinking about the 11 previous wins and treating this game as if it was for the National Championship, even if it comes against an Iowa State team that is 4-7.

This time next week, the Horned Frogs will still be undefeated, but the winning college football picks are to take the Cyclones plus the points and play the total on the low side.

If you're a resident of Texas looking to wager on this matchup, you can find the most reputable Texas betting sites at Bookmakers Review.

NCAAF Pick: Iowa State +10½ (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Iowa State +10½ (-108)
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NCAAF Pick: Under 47½ (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Under 47½ (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.