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TCU at Minnesota Spread, ATS Pick & TV Info

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 14-point underdogs when they host the TCU Horned Frogs this Thursday night. The season-opener for both teams will kick off at 9:00 PM ET from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The college football oddsmakers have listed the game total at 57.5 points.

Breaking Down The TCU Horned Frogs vs Minnesota Golden Gophers Spread, My ATS Pick & TV Info

TCU Horned Frogs vs Minnesota Golden Gophers
Date: Thursday, September 3, 2015 
Start Time: 9:00 PM ET 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
Odds: TCU -14
Game Total: 57.5
TV Info: ESPN  
Stream:  Watch ESPN

Can TCU Cover the 14-Point Spread Against The Golden Gophers?

TCU needs to play tough D to backup Boykin.

TCU opens the college football season ranked number 2 in the nation. Not only is TCU ranked number 2 in the nation, their quarterback, Trevone Boykin, is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this season. TCU’s offense averaged 46.5 points per game in 2014. That ranked TCU second in college football in points scored per game.

The offensive line returns 4 starters with 74 starts among them. That’s an incredible number. The fact that Boykin and the offensive line return should make the Horned Frogs’ opponents shudder. It’s going to be difficult to keep TCU from not scoring at least 40 points per game in almost every contest in 2015.

But, there could be problems on the defensive end that would prevent the Horned Frogs from covering the spread. TCU coach Gary Patterson is known as a defensive coach. The defense allowed an average of 19 points per game last season. That isn’t bad. TCU also beat Minnesota 30 to 7 in 2014. The defensive line will be tough, but TCU lost both of its starting linebackers in Patterson’s 4-2-5 scheme. The defensive backfield has some holes to fill as well.

Can Minnesota Cover the 14-Point Spread Against The Horned Frogs?

The Golden Gophers need to get opposing QB Boykin off his game early.

Is Minnesota’s defense good enough to slow down Boykin and cover your ATS bet? The Golden Gophers’ D could be. Minnesota returns 4 starters in the secondary. The defensive line and linebackers are good enough to keep TCU’s rushing attack from taking over the game. But, even if the Golden Gophers keep TCU from scoring 40, it doesn’t mean that they’ll even be close to winning this matchup.

Minnesota’s offense needs to get into gear in order for the Gophers to have any shot of keeping it close. Minnesota’s short passing game should be much more effective now that QB Mitch Leidner is a junior. The Gophers also worked on the no huddle offense during the spring, meaning that Leidner should be able to exploit what’s a young TCU defense.

As good as TCU looks on paper, this is not an easy call. Minnesota can take a look at game film from last season and try and exploit Boykin’s weaknesses. The Horned Frogs lost enough on defense to give Minnesota and Leidner some hope. TCU should win the game but not by more than 2 touchdowns.

My Against the Spread Pick is Minnesota. The final score will be: TCU 30, Minnesota 17