Date/Time: November 23rd, 12:00 PM ET
Television: FOX Sports 1
Spread: Kansas State -3.5
Here at Bang the Book, we are always keeping our eyes open for the best games to bet on each and every week. Of all of the games on the Week 13 docket, the one we are zeroing in on is the game where the Kansas State Wildcats host the Oklahoma Sooners at 12:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 23rd.
We’ve dropped a couple games in a row here for our college football pick of the week, but we are coming back this week with one of the sharpest looking plays on the board.
Kansas State is actually laying points against a ranked opponent, and we all know what the rule of thumb is when an unranked team is favored over a ranked team. What is interesting is the fact that the oddsmakers are actually insinuating that this is a game in which the Wildcats are the better of the two clubs, as they are favored by more than the value of just home field advantage. That’s a huge key for us, as it looks just far too easy to take the points with the 18th ranked team in America.
In actuality, the Sooners are going down in this game, and we think they are going to end up going down hard.
Just go back and look at what Oklahoma has accomplished of late. The team did beat the number last week at home against the Iowa State Cyclones, but it was romped the week before by the Baylor Bears, challenged by the Texas Tech Red Raiders, forced to play tough in the second half against the lowly Kansas Jayhawks, was whipped by the Texas Longhorns, and only beat the TCU Horned Frogs by a field goal. The team is just 3-2 SU in its last five games, and two of those games were de facto bye weeks against ISU and KU.
The numbers for this offense just aren’t all that good. The team has only put up more than 38 points twice this season, and both of those high point totals came against very bad teams. The unit ranks 100th in the land in passing at 187.6 yards per game, and as we have seen for the most part, QB Blake Bell can’t play from behind. That means that Oklahoma has to win this game with its rushing attack. It can do that for sure, as it isn’t a mistake that this team is averaging 236.4 yards per game on the ground this year, but it is going to be tough against a defense which is a heck of a lot better than you probably think it is.
The defense for the Sooners is still very young, and the unit hasn’t done much of note as we see it. There were four games this year played against even remotely legitimate foes, and Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Texas, and Baylor combined to all put up at least 21 against this unit. Kansas State shouldn’t struggle to get into the 30s in this game, and if that turns out to be the case, this could become a bad outing for the Sooners, who don’t have the offense to go on the road and keep up.
Head Coach Bill Snyder has done a remarkable job this year with these Wildcats, who had every excuse in the world to go into the tank after not only losing QB Collin Klein to graduation last year, but then losing the opening game of the season to the North Dakota State Bison at home. After starting off with three straight losses in the Big XII, things could have fallen apart as well, but Kansas State has rolled off four straight wins since that point. Even those last two losses against the Oklahoma State Cowboys by four and the Baylor Bears by 10 don’t look so bad, as those were two of the biggest challenges of the season for any team in the Big XII.
Go up and down the schedule and see what Kansas State did against the same teams that Oklahoma played. The results look a lot better for the Wildcats than they do for the Sooners. The Cats don’t get much respect defensively, but they should. They are holding foes to just 23.3 points per game this season, and this has been a legitimate schedule that they have had to play this year.
Without Klein, keeping the offense moving has been a challenge. Kansas State ranks 64th in total offense at just 407.6 yards per game, but that average is creeping up with each passing week. QB Daniel Sams and RB John Hubert are going to have to have big days on the ground for the Wildcats to succeed in this one, and with these two totaling over 1,500 rushing yards already in just 10 games, we have a great feeling that this is going to be a day where the two combine for nearly 200 yards.
The bottom line here is that Snyder is a darn good coach, and he was able to go on the road last year and beat a much more high-powered Oklahoma outfit in Norman. Of course, that was before any of us knew that KSU was going to challenge for a spot in the National Championship Game, and it was before we knew who Klein really was. But Hubert rumbled for 130 yards and a TD on this day against Oklahoma, and he might be in for another good one on Saturday. If he is, the Wildcats could be poised to pick up their biggest win of the season, one which could put the job for Head Coach Bob Stoops into a bit of jeopardy in Norman.
Week 13 College Football Pick of the Week: Kansas State Wildcats -3.5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.