Baylor vs. Kansas State College Football Odds, Picks & Predictions: How Will the 11th-ranked Bears Respond as Underdogs on Saturday?

Baylor vs. Kansas State College Football Odds, Picks & Predictions: How Will the 11th-ranked Bears Respond as Underdogs on Saturday? article feature image
Credit:

Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Al Walcott.

  • Baylor vs. Kansas State opened at Kansas State -1, but the line has moved further in the Wildcats' favor, elevating K-State to -2.5 as of writing.
  • Just one week removed from Baylor's 13-point upset over previously undefeated Oklahoma, No. 11 Baylor now plays the role of 2.5-point underdogs vs. Kansas State.
  • Below, find updated college football odds for Baylor vs. Kansas State, including our full matchup analysis, betting guide, picks and predictions for Saturday's Big 12 matchup.

Baylor vs. Kansas State Odds

Saturday, Nov. 20
5:30 p.m. ET
FS1
Baylor Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2.5
-115
50
-105o / -115u
+105
Kansas State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2.5
-105
50
-105o / -115u
-125
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Baylor will look to keep its Big 12 Championship hopes alive with a win in Manhattan against a red-hot Kansas State team. The Wildcats have won four straight, but none have come against the upper-echelon of the Big 12.

Are they ready to pass a more difficult test? Can Baylor avoid the hangover after its upset win over Oklahoma? Those are two of many storylines ahead of this conference clash.

Baylor Bears

Dave Aranda has done a tremendous job with Baylor in his second year in Waco. The Bears currently sit at 8-2 overall and in sole possession of second place in the Big 12, trailing both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State by one game.

However, since they own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Oklahoma, they simply need to win out (at Kansas State, Texas Tech) and hope the Sooners lose to either Iowa State or Oklahoma State in order to make the Big 12 title game.

Baylor could also get there by splitting its final two games if Oklahoma loses out. The same logic does not apply with Oklahoma State since the Cowboys own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Baylor. That is, unless Baylor wins out and Oklahoma State loses out.

Baylor’s strength is its dynamic rushing attack, led by Abram Smith, who has rushed for more than 1,200 yards on the season with a gaudy 7.1 yards per carry clip. Trestan Ebner also provides solid depth in the backfield, and quarterback Gerry Bohanon can run when needed as well.

Overall, Baylor ranks No. 1 in the country in Rush Success Rate. As a result, it’s enjoyed plenty of success on early downs, which puts the offense in manageable third down situations.

The passing attack has struggled at times with consistency and efficiency, but they’ve hit plenty of explosive plays through the air, primarily with Tyquan Thornton.

This is an Aranda-coached team, so it’s no surprise it wants its identity to be hard-nosed defense. Baylor has been outstanding overall on defense, especially against the run.

However, the secondary has struggled a bit at times. For the season, Baylor ranks below average in Pass Defense Success Rate.

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Kansas State Wildcats

The Wildcats come into this game with a 7-3 record. While they can finish tied for second place in the Big 12, they don’t have any shot of going to the conference championship game due to tiebreakers.

Who is Kansas State? The best way I can describe the Wildcats is they are just absolutely rock solid. They are a top-30 team with a top-30 offense and defense.

Senior quarterback Skylar Thompson and running back Deuce Vaughn lead an offense that can do a little bit of everything. A stout offensive line doesn’t hurt matters.

On the other side of the ball, the run defense is very sturdy up front. And while the secondary does have some holes, the entire defense really locks down in the red zone. There’s a bit of bend-don’t-break without much breaking.


Baylor vs. Kansas State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Baylor and Kansas State match up statistically:

Baylor Offense vs. Kansas State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 1 35
Line Yards 12 13
Pass Success 64 89
Pass Blocking** 3 62
Big Play 13 62
Havoc 80 28
Finishing Drives 36 21
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Kansas State Offense vs. Baylor Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 34 17
Line Yards 28 37
Pass Success 46 75
Pass Blocking** 59 71
Big Play 19 84
Havoc 94 14
Finishing Drives 37 39
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 74 116
Coverage 57 79
Middle 8 52 50
SP+ Special Teams 40 92
Plays per Minute 108 127
Rush Rate 61.3% (20) 59.% (38)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Baylor vs. Kansas State Betting Pick

I’m not as big of a believer as some in Baylor, especially away from home. The Bears have only two road wins this year:

  • at Kansas
  • at Texas State

Yikes.

This is also a team that has laid an egg on the road after its two biggest wins of the year over Iowa State and Texas. And it’s not like those pair of wins were uber-impressive.

The Bears were outgained by more than 200 yards against Iowa State but pulled out a close win thanks to a kick return touchdown. And they needed to come back from a double-digit deficit in the second half against Texas.

They also thoroughly beat a BYU team that some of the staff had an extreme amount of familiarity with after coming over from Provo in the offseason. That was a very unique advantage, so I took that result with a grain of salt.

That leaves Baylor with wins over Texas State, Kansas, Texas Southern, West Virginia and Oklahoma. Yes, it deserves credit for that win over the Sooners last week, but I thought that was more of an indictment on Oklahoma more than anything else.

Bottom line, Baylor is a good football team but not as good as the market thinks, in my humble opinion.

Bohanon is also regressing. After a hot start (11 TD, O INT) over subpar competition, he has five touchdowns and six interceptions over his last four games. That spells bad news against a Kansas State defense that teams have to attack through the air.

Ultimately, this is a great situational spot for Kansas State at home on Senior Day against a Baylor team coming off a huge upset win.

Additionally, I like the matchup on both sides of the ball. Kansas State can slow down Baylor’s elite rushing attack, and I don’t trust Bohanon to fully exploit Kansas State’s weaknesses in the secondary. Also, Thompson can find success against this Baylor secondary.

Keep in mind that Baylor’s defense has struggled a bit on early downs but has played extraordinarily well on third and fourth downs. That’s usually not a sustainable formula, so we could see some regression coming its way.

I’m backing the underrated Wildcats, who continue to not get enough respect in the market. There’s a reason this team has covered all but two games this year — one against Iowa State and another with their third-string quarterback against Oklahoma State.

Speaking of which, those quarterback injuries early in the season are deflating Kansas State’s season-long offensive numbers a bit.

If you’re looking at the total, keep in mind that these two teams are more run-heavy than not. They also both play at a slower pace. I think it’s under or nothing in regards to the total.

Pick: Kansas State +1

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