The Stanford Cardinal (9-4) meet up with the TCU Horned Frogs (10-3) on Thursday in the 2017 Alama Bowl free total play. Oddsmakers have set the O/U at 49 – at first glance a pretty high number for two teams that have the perception of being defense and run oriented. That ’49’ number has risen from 46.5, so bettors are thinking points are on the horizon. All four games with totals listed in the ’40s’ have gone ‘over’ this week – but when does the trend stop?
Is the Running Game Enough to Force an ‘Over’ 49?
Usually when one of the top rushers in the nation takes the field, it is easy to lean towards the ‘under.’ After all, churning up yardage on the ground and keeping the clock moving is what under plays are made of. When you take into account Stanford’s Bryce Love and his big play ability, the running game becomes almost like a passing attack. Love is 27 yards short of 2,000 on the year and has 33 combined scores on the season. The Cardinal have scored 28+ in three of the last four games and rank 30th in rushing offense while featuring a top 40 scoring attack.
How does TCU contribute re: ‘the over’ in the 2017 Alama Bowl free total play? The Horned Frogs have one of the better offenses in the nation too, ranking 33rd in points scored and 60th or better in total yards, rushing yards, and yards through the air. The Horned Frogs have scored 24+ points in three of the past five games while quarterback Kenny Hill has tossed 6TD to just 1 INT the last three games.
Stanford vs TCU should be fun
— Bill (@williammn34) December 28, 2017
Will We See a Smash Mouth ‘Under’ Fest on Thursday?
The Stanford defense is the epitome of a bend but don’t break unit, ranking 31st in points allowed at 21.5. The Cardinal ‘D’ allows nearly 400 yards of total offense which is actually about average for FBS (73rd). The Cardinal defense can shine when needed. The unit allowed just 7 points in a game against Oregon. 22 to the high powered Washington offense, and 20 to Notre Dame. There’s no reason Stanford isn’t fired up versus a 10-win Horned Frogs team.
The main goal of the TCU defense in the 2017 Alama Bowl free total play is to stop Bryce Love. The running back has gone for 19 TD in his last 10 games. Texas Christian has the horsepower to stop the ground game, giving up just 99.8 yards per game which is 4th best in the country. TCU has allowed 14 points or less in five of the last eight games, and they surrender just 17.6 points on the year, 11th best in the nation.
@TCUCoachP tries to remain undefeated vs Stanford as @TCUFootball takes on the Cardinal at 8p live on @WBAP247NEWS @KTCUTheChoice @siriusxm Ch 199 @tunein Frogs go for win #9 in last 12 bowls. pic.twitter.com/but3rJWElO
— TCU Sports Network (@TCURADIO) December 28, 2017
2017 Alama Bowl Free Total Play
One lesson learned thus far in the bowl season is that totals in the 40’s are a whole lot of points. TCU has the offense to score with Kenny Hill under center and Stanford can do the same if Bryce Love breaks of a few huge runs. Stanford quarterback K.J Costello could be the ‘X’ factor in getting points in the 2017 Alama Bowl free total play as he’s thrown 7 TD to just 1 INT over the last three games.