by Tyler Wright – Wannamakeabet Staff Writer
Stanford and TCU, two very solid ball teams. On the TCU side you have one of the nations top running defenses only giving up 6 rushing touchdowns on the season and an average of just under 100 rushing yards a game. That’s solid. On the Stanford side you have one of the nations elite players in Bryce Love who has racked up nearly 2000 yards rushing along with 17 rushing touchdowns. That’s solid as well. But I want to talk about a few things that might not pop up on the trend sheet or stat line that might be worth noting.
Stanford currently sits at +2.5 or +3 depending on the outlet you use. I like Stanford In this spot for a couple reasons. Their stats against the competition they play is one thing I take into account. Both teams are very good football teams, but to me, Stanford just plays tougher competition throughout the year and the way they hold their stats against that competition is why I feel they are the play in this one.
Coach David Shaw is hard enough to game plan against if you give him one week to prepare during the regular season. Give him nearly a month to strategize against your team and that takes the challenge to a whole new level. In 7 years at Stanford Shaw is 4-2 in postseason football, 73-21 during season play. He’s a great coach there’s no doubt playing that. Not taking anything away from coach Patterson of TCU sporting a 9-6 post season record is very respectable in its own right.
Its no secret that Stanford is one of those west coast teams that just doesn’t get the recognition it may deserve, they don’t get the prime time slots that east coast teams get and this is just the nature of the sport. That doesn’t make them a lesser ball team by any means. In fact one could argue that west coast football is a hidden gem for casual betting because of this reason. They play a tough respectable schedule in a respective football conference and have the post season record under their belt to command respect.
In my opinion this year a 9-4 Stanford is a better bet than a 10-3 TCU. The PAC-12 conference is better top to bottom this year than the big 12, and David Shaw should out coach Gary Patterson. Throw in the crazy ability or Bryce Love backed by the solid play of Cameron Scarlett shows enough offensive fire power to put up numbers with TCU. Stanford game planning and discipline should be the edge in this one. Stanford has won 9 of its last 13 against AP ranked opponents and has won 5 of its last 6 neutral site games. Coming in at 7-3 on neutral site turf I look for Stanford to win this one outright, but take the points as insurance.