College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Kansas State vs. Oklahoma State: Will Wildcats continue to roll?

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Kansas State vs. Oklahoma State: Will Wildcats continue to roll? article feature image
Credit:

Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Deuce Vaughn.

  • Kansas State faces Oklahoma State in a Big 12 duel.
  • The Wildcats are coming off a dominant second half vs. Nevada, while the Cowboys just defeated Boise State on the road.
  • Mike McNamara previews the game and provides his best bet.

Kansas State vs. Oklahoma State Odds

Kansas State Odds +5 (-110)
Oklahoma State Odds -5 (-110)
Moneyline +190 / -235
Over/Under 46 (-115 / -105)
Time 7:00 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Big 12 season gets underway on Saturday with four conference openers taking place throughout the day. Every game should be a quality matchup, but this contest between Kansas State and Oklahoma State is the one I’m most excited about.

The visiting 3-0 Wildcats head to Stillwater coming off a dominant home victory over Nevada a week ago. Meanwhile, the Cowboys head home — still unbeaten — after narrowly escaping Boise State late last Saturday night.

Both teams have had to battle their fair share of adversity to start the year, particularly with regard to injuries. Despite all of that, each group has found ways to win and both teams should enter Saturday feeling good about where they stand.


Kansas State vs. Oklahoma State Betting Preview

Saturday, Sept. 25
7:00 p.m. ET
ESPN+

Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State Offense

In quarterback Will Howard’s first start of the season last week against Nevada, he performed very respectably. Howard completed 7-of-10 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown, and took what the defense gave him.

As expected, the Wildcats leaned heavily on star running back Deuce Vaughn, who carried the ball 23 times for 127 yards. Howard also provides a bit of a run option of his own, and he’ll need to continue to use his legs Saturday night to keep the Oklahoma State defense honest.

This offense certainly misses injured starting quarterback Skylar Thompson, but with Vaughn as the focus and Howard picking his spots, it can still be an effective unit.


Wildcats Defense

The Kansas State defense continues to be a great comeback story after a dreadful 2020. Last week against future pro Carson Strong, the Wildcats held up just fine. Strong was limited to 262 yards on 40 attempts and the Wolf Pack did absolutely nothing on the ground.

Spencer Sanders will be the first true dual-threat quarterback this unit will face, but they’ve passed every test with flying colors to this point. The Wildcats rank third nationally in Defensive Pass Rush, and should be able to force some pressure when Sanders does drop back to throw.

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Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State Offense

It’s been an absolute struggle for the Cowboys’ offense through three games of play this year.

The wide receiver group was already somewhat unproven to begin the season, but with injuries to Tay Martin,  Jaden Bray and Braydon Johnson, Mike Gundy literally had to play walk-ons in pivotal spots last week in Boise.

When asked about the wide receiver situation in a press conference earlier this week, Gundy said, “I’ve never, ever, that I know of in 31 or 32 years as coach, started two true freshmen at one position and we’ve done it a couple of times this year. So I’ve never been in this situation.”

The personnel issues at wide receiver have put pressure on veteran QB Sanders and the Cowboy backfield to carry the offense on the ground.

Last week in Boise, senior RB Jaylen Warren rushed for 218 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard scoring run in the first half.

There’s a chance the Pokes could have one or two receivers back on Saturday night, but expect another heavy dose of Warren and Sanders in the run game.


Cowboys Defense

As shaky as the Oklahoma State offense has been to start the year, the Cowboy defense has been the complete opposite.

Last week against a potent Boise offense, the Cowboys sacked quarterback Hank Bachmeier four times and forced two turnovers. Jim Knowles’ defense continues to get thrown into unfavorable situations before battling its way out.

The defense will be tested again Saturday night with Vaughn and the Wildcats coming into town.

Oklahoma State’s pass rush has been a key weapon for them thus far in three contests, so when Howard does look to throw expect Knowles to dial up a lot of pressure.

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Kansas State vs. Oklahoma State Matchup Analysis

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

Kansas State Offense vs. Oklahoma State Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 4 42
Line Yards 11 76
Pass Success 31 82
Pass Blocking** 91 30
Big Play 32
Havoc 69 98
Finishing Drives 62 30
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Oklahoma State Offense vs. Kansas State Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 76 58
Line Yards 111 61
Pass Success 102 81
Pass Blocking** 64 3
Big Play 20
Havoc 117 20
Finishing Drives 58 27
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 56 118
PFF Coverage 25 88
Middle 8 94 64
SP+ Special Teams 106 89
Plays per Minute 126 45
Rush Rate 72.7% (6) 61.8% (28)

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


When you look at how these two teams match up on both sides of the ball, I give the edge to both defenses.

Kansas State will look to lean on Vaughn and try to wear down the Oklahoma State front throughout the course of the game.

The Cowboy secondary — anchored by safety Kolby Harvel-Peel — will make it very difficult for Howard to find open receivers. Vaughn is certainly capable of breaking a home run out of the backfield, but the Wildcats could struggle to sustain drives.

When the Cowboys have the ball, expect Kansas State to jam the box and force Sanders to beat them through the air.

Until I see any sort of consistency from this Oklahoma State offense, I will continue to expect them to struggle to move up and down the field.

Kansas State’s defense ranks inside the top 30 in both Havoc and Finishing Drives, so nothing should come easy for the Pokes.


Kansas State vs. Oklahoma State Betting Pick

This line opened with Oklahoma State favored by over a touchdown and has since dropped down to 6 as the week has gone on. I grabbed some Kansas State +7.5 right away when I saw that initial number, but certainly still feel good about the Wildcats and the points as things currently sit.

Barring a totally lopsided turnover margin in the Cowboys favor, I don’t see a path in which Oklahoma State pulls away in this game. Kansas State boasts the best defense the Cowboys have faced thus far and against inferior units the Cowboys have really struggled to move the ball.

My official pick will be on the Wildcats and the points, but I don’t hate a play on the under at 46.5 at all either. I firmly expect a hard-fought, lower-scoring, close battle in Stillwater on Saturday night.

Time will tell which team can find a way to generate enough offense to pull this one out, but I feel good about the Wildcats being right there late into the fourth quarter.

Pick: Kansas State (+6)

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