Texas Tech vs. TCU odds, line: Picks and predictions from legendary expert who's 8-2 on Red Raiders, Horned Frogs games

In what has become a compelling and competitive Big 12 rivalry, TCU hosts Texas Tech on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The loser is likely out of the conference title race, while the winner will have a landmark win to build on. The Frogs are coming off a last-minute win against Iowa State, while Texas Tech fell short at home against powerful West Virginia. There has been a ton of line movement in this game already. The latest Texas Tech vs. TCU odds list the Horned Frogs as 7.5-point favorites, down one from the opener. The Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, opened at 62.5, but has since dropped all the way to 58.5. Before you make your Texas Tech vs. TCU picks, listen to what SportsLine expert Micah Roberts has to say.

Roberts has worked in the Las Vegas sportsbook industry for 20 years, including a 13-year run as Station Casinos' book director. Armed with an unmatched network of sources, he crushed college football for SportsLine members in 2016, going 70-44 on the season. 

Moreover, Roberts has been locked in on the tendencies of these two clubs. He is looking to build on an incredible record of 8-2 in games involving Texas Tech or TCU over the past two seasons.

In this same matchup last season, Roberts advised SportsLine members to back favored TCU (-6) at Texas Tech, predicting the Frogs' improving defense would be the difference. In one of the best defensive performances of the entire season, TCU rolled to a 27-3 win over the high-powered Red Raiders. Anyone who followed Roberts' advice booked an easy winner. 

Now, Roberts has scrutinized Texas Tech vs. TCU from every possible angle to reveal a strong point-spread pick that he's sharing only at SportsLine. 

Roberts knows that with a strong returning roster and a relatively favorable schedule, many observers picked TCU to compete for the Big 12 title and possibly a berth in the four-team College Football Playoff. Both goals are in serious jeopardy now after the Frogs lost to Ohio State, 40-28, in a national showcase game two weeks ago. Last week, they appeared flat and never recovered in a 31-16 loss to Texas

Now, TCU likely needs to win out in order to have a chance at the conference title. Quarterback Shawn Robinson has been mostly solid, but he left last week's game against Iowa State with a shoulder injury. Robinson is expected to play against Texas Tech, while return specialist KaVontae Turpin, who also has been banged up, is listed as probable.

Just because TCU will be highly motivated doesn't necessarily mean it'll cover Thursday.

Two of the past three meetings between these programs have been decided by three points. And the Red Raiders have the nation's top-ranked offense at 589.4 yards per game, while their 48.4 points per game is No. 8 nationally. 

Freshman quarterback Alan Bowman is completing 69 percent of his passes and has thrown for 1,680 yards with 11 touchdowns against three interceptions. He had 397 passing yards and two touchdowns in an upset of Oklahoma State two weeks ago. 

We can tell you Roberts is leaning toward the over, but he has also unearthed the crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He's only sharing at SportsLine.

Who covers in Texas Tech vs. TCU? And which crucial x-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you should jump on, all from a seasoned expert who is hitting 80 percent of his picks involving these teams.

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