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Valero Alamo Bowl: #13 Stanford Cardinal at #15 TCU Horned Frogs

Can Stanford Crack Through TCU's Tough Defense?

At 9 p.m. E.T. on Thursday, Dec 28, the #13 Stanford Cardinal (9-4) will be at #15 TCU Horned Frogs (10-3) as the two teams meet in the Valero Alamo Bowl. In the Pac-12 North, Stanford finished first with a 7-2 record and then lost to USC in the title match 31-28. TCU finished second in the Big 12 with a 7-2 mark and met Oklahoma in the championship game, which the Horned Frogs lost 41-17. Our Stanford plays TCU 2017 Alamo Bowl pick has the Horned Frogs at -3.0 and the over/under listed at 48.5.

Stanford Overview

The Stanford offense relies on the running game a lot. The Cardinal ground attack yields about 201 YPG, while about 185 are gained through the air. The team is averaging 32.0 PPG. Sophomore QB K.J. Costello passes just enough to keep teams off-balance. His completion rate is 59.2%, and he’s thrown 11 TDs and two picks. JJ Arcega-Whiteside comes to this game with six TD catches, and Kaden Smith arrives with five. RBs Bryce Love and Cameron Scarlett are the primary ground gainers with Love rushing for 1,973 yards and averaging 8.8 YPA while scoring 17 times. Scarlett, who has eight TDs and 385 yards on 86 carries, is averaging 4.5 YPA.

On defense, Stanford is allowing 21.5 PPG. They are giving up 399 YPG to opponents, which includes 171 yards on the ground. The Cardinal team brings 16 picks to this game and 27 PD. They also have 30 sacks and 66 TFL. They can punish offenses, but are also capable of giving up the big play.

Cardinal Summary

  • Productive offense based on rushing
  • D has trouble containing opponent ground attack
  • Need a decent passing game to stay competitive

TCU Overview

The Horned Frogs have been good for 33.2 PPG. Of their 414 YPG of offense, 176 is gained through the ground attack. Senior QB Kenny Hill (67.2 COMP%, 21 TDs, 6 INTs) is accurate and commanding. He has five receivers with 20 or more receptions including Jalen Reagor with 28 catches for seven scores. John Diarse, who has caught three TD passes, has 543 yards on 33 receptions for an average of 16.5 per catch. Three running backs have amassed a total of 19 touchdowns with Darius Anderson scoring eight times while gaining a total of 768 yards on 128 carries for an average of 6.0 YPA. Dual threat Kyle Hicks has 133 rushes for 597 yards and four TD and has 22 catches for 266 yards and one score.

TCU is holding opponents to 17.6 PPG and 329 YPG. Teams are averaging only 100 YPG rushing. That’s not great news for Stanford, which puts a run-based offense on the field. The Horned Frogs defense has 11 FF, 88 TFL, and 40 sacks. This is a defense that can shit teams down.

Horned Frogs Summary

  • The Frogs out a diverse offense on the field
  • A lot of depth
  • QB Hill is in command

Three Alamo Bowl Takeaways

Here are our three main takeaways for our Stanford plays TCU 2017 Alamo Bowl pick-

  1. QB edge to TCU
  2. Slight D edge to Horned Frogs
  3. Depth goes to TCU

Our Valero Alamo Bowl Pick

Although both teams seem to be fairly evenly matched, TCU does have a better rush defense than Stanford. Plus, there are the issues of depth and variety on offense, which may hamper the Cardinal team. Our Stanford plays TCU 2017 Alamo Bowl pick is the Horned Frogs at -3.0 and over 48.5.

Summary Stanford at TCU Picks- TCU at -3.0 and over 48.5


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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