Les Miles' LSU Tigers will open their 2013 season opposite the Big 12's TCU Horned Frogs. This evening's Cowboys Classic clash between LSU and TCU is scheduled to kickoff at 9:00pm ET at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; it will be broadcast live on ESPN. The latest Week 1 College Football Picks from 5Dimes are favoring LSU at -4 against the spread and -195 on the money line ($195 wins $100). The Over/Under in tonight's game is set at 49 points.
TCU suffered through its worst season since 2004 last year as it finished with a 7-6 record. The reasons behind the regression were multiple but a move to the Big 12 certainly played a part as did the loss of quarterback Casey Pachall after the fourth game of the season.
The Horned Frogs were 4-0 when Pachall was suspended due to a DWI charge; they went 3-6 the rest of the way.
Pachall is back with the team this year and he gives the TCU offense a major boost. The senior field general threw 25 touchdowns to seven interception in 2011 and he had 10 touchdowns to one pick through four games last year.
TCU's defense should also be improved with nine starters back from last season's team. The Horned Frogs have always been a defensive power under Head Coach Gary Patterson, but they were pedestrian at times last year. This year's unit will resemble the kind of defensive group fans have come to expect from TCU.
LSU will provide it a stiff test, though, with eight offensive starters returning to Baton Rouge. However, it is not certain whether or not leading rusher Jeremy Hill will play tomorrow.
Hill was suspended earlier this summer after his involvement in a bar fight, but Head Coach Les Miles reinstated the sophomore on August 7th. Patterson criticized the move after it was revealed Miles actions were spurred by the rest of the team expressing their desire Hill return to the roster.
Whether or not that creates any tension in tonight's game remains to be seen, but Patterson had no problem saying what he thought about a suspension that included zero missed games.
Whether Hill plays or not, most pundits expect the Tigers to get the win on today. LSU is considered the more talented and deeper team and it has a history of performing well under Miles in season openers. The Tigers are 8-0 in kickoffs with Miles on the sidelines and they won those games by an average of 21.6 points.
LSU vs TCU Week 1 College Football Picks:
LSU Tigers -4 (-110), Over 49 (-110), -195 (Moneyline)
TCU Horned Frogs +4 (-110), Under 49 (-110), +168 (Moneyline)
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