Sportsbooks Line TCU For 7.5 Wins In 2024, Will Frogs Go Over Or Under?

The college football preseason is just around the corner and sportsbooks released odds on the TCU Horned Frogs' season win total in 2024.
Nov 11, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Josh Hoover (10) passes against the Texas Longhorns during the second half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 11, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Josh Hoover (10) passes against the Texas Longhorns during the second half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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If bookmakers are to be believed – which, according to quarterly revenue reports across the country, they are – the TCU Horned Frogs are most likely rebounding from a 5-7 campaign. TCU's most recent regular season win total is 7.5 with a lean to the under. In a new-look Big 12, is a 7-5 campaign the most likely outcome for TCU this season?

If you're looking for TCU's win total forecast and interested in jumping to conclusions about how wrong I am this year, click ahead in the table of contents below. If you are interested in how we figure win totals and what they mean, read on.

What Do Regular Season Win Totals Mean?

Before we get into the schedule and forecast, let's understand what this number is, and what it isn't. Lining TCU for 7.5 wins doesn't mean the sportsbook says TCU will go 7-5 or 8-4.

Take the number (7.5) and consider what odds are placed on it. In this case, -150 to the under and +122 to the over, per FanDuel Sportsbook. There's plenty of conversion calculators readily available if you want to do your own research on other teams and odds. Under -150 implies a 60% chance TCU wins seven or fewer games. +122 suggests a 45.05% chance they win eight or more.

But wait! That adds up to 105.05%! The remaining 5.05% is the "vigorish" the sportsbook places to make income on all bets, win or lose (think of it as sales tax).

Doing some fancy math removes the vig and, really, we're looking at a 42.9% chance TCU wins 8+ games and a 57.1% chance it wins seven or fewer games.

How Are Season Win Totals Calculated?

Looking at the schedule and tallying "win, loss, win, win..." is flawed and not how sportsbooks line win totals (nor how we should assess those!). Rather, each game is given a probability. For example, say for TCU's Week 4 game at SMU, the Horned Frogs are lined with a 45% chance to win. To calculate that as a loss would be flawed.

Say in Week 5 at Kansas, they have a 48% chance to win. Rather than tally TCU with an 0-2 stretch there, you would turn those probabilities into decimals and add them to get .93. The next week, they may have a 77% chance to beat Houston. Add that in and we're at 1.70 average wins.

Going down the schedule, sportsbooks may have arrived at 7.28 average wins, which was converted into Under 7.5 (-150).

Alright, now let's get into TCU's win total.

Frogs Land Favorable Schedule

With so few games on the college football slate, teams rarely are what their schedule says they are. So many factors go into wins and losses, the final record often lies about a team's real strength. For proof, look no further than TCU's 2021 and 2023 campaigns. It finished 5-7 both times, but one was far superior to the other.

In 2024, the scheduling gods looked favorably on TCU. The Horned Frogs play the nation's 58th-toughest schedule – the third-easiest in the Big 12 and 11th-easiest among Power Conference teams.

An opening act at Stanford and Long Island (LIU) give TCU an exceedingly good chance at starting 2-0. In fact, I'd tab it as the expectation. The Cardinal are in Year 2 of a long rebuild ahead for Troy Taylor & Co. and project for just 3.5 wins. On the national scale, Stanford ranks 78th (Phil Steele), 79th (Athlon), and 74th, per my preseason ratings.

Of course, a cross-Metro rivalry with SMU will be tough, as the two have split the last four meetings since 2019.

In Big 12 league play, TCU handles Arizona (who turns over an entire coaching staff), Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and UCF at home. The Frogs avoid Kansas State, Iowa State, and West Virginia (who has taken five of six from TCU since 2018). The road slate features three teams outside the top 50 nationally (Stanford, Baylor, Cincinnati).

And with the departure of Oklahoma and Texas, TCU removes two potential College Football Playoff teams from its schedule.

Improvements Throughout The Roster, Staff

TCU brings in a lot of exciting new pieces, most notably defensive coordinator Andy Avalos. Avalos was ousted from Boise State as the head coach and now returns to his defensive roots. He brings a 4-2-5 scheme to Fort Worth as TCU transitions away from the 3-3-5 of Joe Gillespie. The Frogs were unable to create turnovers (115th in takeaways) or get to the passer (79th in sack rate).

Cal linebacker Kaleb Elams-Orr and Tulane APEX Devean Deal should both be Day 1 impact players out of the transfer portal. Namdi Obiazor likely transitions to a more traditional linebacker with the addition of Deal.

Offensively, the Horned Frogs added top Boise State receiver Eric McAlister to an already-talented position group. McAlister hauled in 873 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games last season before succumbing to injury. He, alongside returners JP Richardson (537 yards & 3 TDs) and Savion Williams (573 & 4) make up one of the Big 12's best receiving rooms.

Alabama center James Brockermeyer and Florida State tackle Bless Harris are two likely new starters on the offensive line that also came in via the portal.

Kyle Lemmermann, the nation's top kicking prospect, takes over as place kicker.

The One Big Question

TCU's roster is rather complete for having a tempered outlook. The secondary needs some more experience and the offensive line brings in at least three new players that didn't start for TCU last year.

But there's one big question mark: Quarterback.

Chandler Morris is off to North Texas after being benched for Josh Hoover. Hoover, now a sophomore, had moments of playmaking ability, but ultimately threw eight picks in seven starts and went just one appearance turnover-free. If 62% completion at a middling 7.4 yards a try and a 15:9 TD:INT ratio is deemed satisfactory in Fort Worth, TCU's ceiling is severely capped.

Inbound freshman Hauss Hejny has a ton of promise, but would likely benefit from a year in town before being thrown to the fire. Vanderbilt QB Ken Seals is a veteran, but is also just a 60% career passer with nearly as many interceptions (22) as touchdown passes (28).

In the Big 12, and with the roster TCU has, the Frogs will only go as far as their quarterback takes them.

TCU Regular Season Win Total Assessment

This season, I project an average 7.3 regular season wins for TCU.

At 7.5 lined regular season wins, I'm not running to the counter to bet this total. Instead, let's take a more granular look at potential outcomes for the Frogs.

TCU's non-league slate is what line its strength of schedule so low. All three are winnable, Stanford and LIU exceedingly so. SMU has questions surrounding its star QB, Preston Stone, who suffered a serious knee injury late in the 2023 season. SMU also has bonus rest, coming off a bye when TCU does not.

However, I believe the conference slate is more difficult than what's being let on. TCU plays six of the projected top eight Big 12 teams (in terms of odds to win the league). Utah and Kansas – two of the top three – come on the road. Home games against an improved UCF and a veteran Oklahoma State team are very difficult, although the Frogs are 3-0 in their last three home dates with the Pokes.

Arizona has a high variance of outcomes. Though it loses the entire coaching staff, starting QB Noah Fifita and star WR Tetairoa McMillan return and make the offense incredibly dangerous; plus, getting Arizona in Week 12 gives the new coaching staff time to gel.

The bottom line is, prepare for a lot of close games this season. After winning six one-score games in 2022, TCU finished 0-4 in one-score games in 2023. In general, teams can be expected to go roughly .500 in the long-term in one-score games, barring exceptional individual cases of coaching malpractice.

There are no unwinnable games on this schedule. But given the law of averages and the likely large density of close score games this coming season, 7-5 seems a lot more likely than 8-4.

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Brett Gibbons


Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s covered college sports for Fansided, Stadium Journey, and several independent outlets over the past five years. A graduate of BGSU, Brett currently works on-site at Google as a project lead for content curation products.