Kansas State vs. TCU Betting Odds, Picks: How to Bet Big 12 Battle
Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images. Pictured: Adrian Martinez (Kansas State)
Kansas State vs. TCU Odds
I would do absolutely anything to repeat the 3:30 p.m. ET window last week. While Alabama and Tennessee put on an offensive display, TCU was in the midst of a comeback to keep its Big 12 sleeper hopes alive. It turned out to be the most thrilling few hours we could ask for.
After trailing by multiple scores, TCU came back and held on to beat Oklahoma State in overtime.
The Horned Frogs find themselves in another must-win situation against Kansas State this weekend.
The other popular sleeper pick going into the season in the Big 12, Kansas State, has lived up to expectations so far with a 5-1 record.
With major Big 12 championship implications on the line, this one sets up as the premier game of the weekend.
In the midst of an Adrian Martinez revival, Kansas State has quickly become a serious Big 12 contender. Martinez has zero interceptions on 138 attempts, a massive difference in efficiency after throwing 30 interceptions in four years at Nebraska.
While his efficiency hasn't translated to a high Passing Success Rate for Kansas State (92nd in the nation), Martinez has been a massive help in establishing an identity behind an effective run game that has gashed opponents week in and week out.
Not only does KSU feature one of the best running backs in football in Deuce Vaughn, but Martinez has also been a man possessed on the ground. The duo has combined for 1,207 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The rushing attack's success can be attributed — in part — to a dominate offensive line that is 37th in Line Yards and 30th in Stuff Rate.
The Wildcats get another chance to run wild, as they go against a TCU defense that has been regressing since the start of the season. Creating minimal pressure from their defensive line, the Horned Frogs rank 66th in Defensive Line Yards and 105th in Defensive Stuff Rate.
On the other end, Kansas State's Defensive Finishing Drives will be the key metric to watch, as it is about even with TCU in this category.
We witnessed TCU put up points in a hurry to crawl back out of a deficit in its last game out, so this is a metric that KSU will have to command to make sure lightning doesn't strike twice.
TCU proved it can compete with the Big 12 elites, but it wasn't because of its defense. While the secondary has been elite at limiting the pass, the rest of the unit has been abysmal.
Teams have run all over the Horned Frogs, a theme we may see once again from Kansas State. After looking worn down in their last game out against Iowa State, Martinez and Vaughn are now well rested coming off of a bye week.
Until that side of the ball can improve, the Horned Frogs will need to rely on the offense to optimize every possession they get — which is exactly what they have been doing.
After beginning the season in the midst of a battle with Chandler Morris, Max Duggan has firmly taken control of the job by continuing to dominate under center. Duggan has thrown for 1,591 yards, 16 touchdowns and one interception this season.
Reconnecting with his star receiver has paid dividends, as Quentin Johnston has been a man amongst boys in the open field. Averaging over 14 yards per reception, he will continue to be the main focal point of this offense that specializes in explosiveness.
Kansas State vs. TCU Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Kansas State and TCU match up statistically:
Kansas State Offense vs. TCU Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
TCU Offense vs. Kansas State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||74||94|
|Seconds per Play||28.4 (106)||27.0 (79)|
|Rush Rate||64.2% (10)||52.8% (70)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Kansas State vs. TCU Betting Pick
While I am more than pleased with my +1800 TCU Big 12 championship ticket, I am no longer as confident in it as I used to be.
The defense has been free falling off of a cliff, resulting in unsustained, shootout victories that could really go either way. Both Kansas and Oklahoma State were more than capable of running away with their respective games against the Horned Frogs.
Coming off of a much-needed bye week, both Martinez and Vaughn will be well rested to take advantage of the TCU rush defense. TCU's fantastic open-field tackling unit will prove little use when Martinez and Vaughn are both averaging more than five yards per carry.
TCU will need to rely on its offensive scoring output once again. That's a metric that will be tested this time around, as Kansas State is just as equally as good at keeping opposing offenses out of the end zone thanks to an elite Defensive Finishing Drives rank.
Take Kansas State at +3.5 or higher in what will be the premier game of the weekend.