This week’s game between the No. 9 Kansas State Wildcats (9-2, 7-1) and the No. 5 Baylor Bears (10-1, 7-1) looks to be a key Big 12 matchup. This game will feature the Big 12’s third-leading passer, Petty (2,893 yards, 25 TDs), and the second-leading receiver, Lockett (1,193 yards, 8 TDs). It will begin Saturday at 7:45 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN.
The Bears have been victorious the last two times against the Wildcats, including a 35-25 win when they last met. Reese had a standout performance the last time they played, catching five receptions for 184 yards and two TDs. Goodley also had a great game with 129 yards and a TD on four catches. Hubert had a solid performance running the ball for Kansas State, rushing for 90 yards on 15 carries.
Baylor is a nine-point favorite against the Wildcats. The matchup has an estimated Over/Under (O/U) of 67 points. The Bears enter the game with records of 10-1 Straight Up (SU) and 7-4 Against The Spread (ATS) this season. In the past five games, Baylor is 4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS. They average a Division I-best 57 points per game at home, making them one of the nation’s most dynamic offenses. A focal point of Baylor’s offense is the passing game, where they rank sixth in the country with 340.2 passing yards per game. Turning to the Bears defense, there are several areas to keep an eye on. Expect the Wildcats to have a tough time running against the 10th-ranked Bears run defense, which gives up just 108.1 yards per game on the ground. A vital part of the game will be if the Wildcats can protect their quarterback from Baylor’s hungry defense. It averages the fifth-most sacks at home with 3.8 per home game. The Bears are one of the best in the country at scoring in the fourth quarter, averaging 9.7 points. Look for Baylor to run an up-tempo, fast-paced offense at home. They rank first in the nation with an average of 91.8 plays per game.
In the other locker room, the Wildcats head into Week 15 with records of 8-3 ATS and 9-2 SU. Over their last five games, the Wildcats have a SU and ATS record of 4-1 for those betting with them. Odds are Kansas State will continue to rely on its passing attack, where its 281.6 passing yards per game ranks 22nd in the nation. Switching gears to the Kansas State defense, there are certain areas where it measures up well against the Bears. The Bears are matching up with Kansas State’s defense at an inopportune time. Over the last five games, Kansas State’s opponents have only averaged 184.4 yards through the air. Teams need to stay focused in the first quarter against the fast-starting Wildcats, who average 8.5 points in the first 15 minutes during road games. Yellow flags will likely be a common sight during any game with Baylor. The Bears are one of the most penalized teams in the country with 9.9 calls per game.
Predictions: SU Winner – BAY, ATS Winner – BAY, O/U – Under
Kansas State is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games.
Baylor is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Kansas State’s last 6 games.
Baylor is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games.
Kansas State is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road.
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Baylor’s last 10 games.
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kansas State’s last 7 games on the road.
Baylor is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home.
Kansas State is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Baylor.
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Baylor’s last 6 games at home.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Kansas State’s last 5 games when playing Baylor.
Baylor is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Kansas State.
Baylor is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Kansas State.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Baylor’s last 5 games when playing Kansas State.
Kansas State is 8-0 SU when leading at the half this season. Baylor is 9-0 SU when taking a lead into halftime.
Kansas State is 8-0 SU when leading at the start of the 4th quarter this season. Baylor is 9-0 SU when leading after three quarters.
Kansas State is a perfect 5-0 SU in games where it wins the turnover battle, and only 2-2 SU in games where it loses the turnover battle.
Baylor is 2-1 SU in games where it wins the turnover battle, yet undefeated (3-0 SU) in games where it loses the turnover battle.
Baylor has drawn an average of 8.4 penalties on opponents over its last five games, but Kansas State is 7-1 SU this season when penalized at least 8 times in a game.
Dating back to last year, Baylor is 15-2 SU against Big 12 opponents, while Kansas State is 12-5 SU against conference foes.
Among all FBS teams, the Baylor offensive passing game is ranked sixth in the nation, while the Kansas State pass defense is only ranked 57th. The Wildcats passing attack is ranked 22nd, compared to the 103rd-ranked pass defense of the Bears.
The Kansas State passing attack is ranked fifth in the Big 12, compared to the seventh-ranked pass defense of Baylor.
The Baylor rushing attack is ranked only 20th in the country, while the Kansas State run defense is ranked 19th. The Wildcats rushing game is ranked just 92nd, compared to the 10th-ranked run defense of the Bears.
When analyzing just in-conference ranks, Baylor seems to have the overall advantage in the run game. Its second-ranked rushing attack will face the fourth-ranked run defense of Kansas State, while its first-ranked run defense will look to contain the seventh-ranked rushing game of the Wildcats.
Kansas State has allowed 29.8 points per game on the road, which is ranked only 73rd in the nation. Baylor has scored 57.0 points per game at home (ranked first overall).
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.