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Tulane vs. Kansas State Odds, Picks: Adrian Martinez, Wildcats to Have Big Day?

Tulane vs. Kansas State Odds, Picks: Adrian Martinez, Wildcats to Have Big Day? article feature image
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Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Adrian Martinez (Kansas State)

  • Kansas State takes on Tulane in college football's Week 3 on Saturday afternoon.
  • Adrian Martinez and company shutout South Dakota and dropped 40 on Missouri so far this season.
  • Here's how Cody Goggin is betting this matchup.

Tulane vs. Kansas State Odds

Saturday, Sept. 17
3 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Tulane Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+13.5
-105
49.5
-110o / -110u
+460
Kansas State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-13.5
-115
49.5
-110o / -110u
-650
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

After looking at the names on the sheet and their 2021 records, you may expect this to be an easy Kansas State victory, where the Wildcats again just suffocate the opponent’s offense.

Tulane’s offense may have some more firepower than last year and give Kansas State some problems.

The Green Wave defense leaves much to be desired, though, and may give Adrian Martinez his first opportunity to open up the Wildcats’ passing game.


Tulane Green Wave

Green Wave Offense

We haven’t truly seen what Tulane will look like this season. After struggling through a 2-10 season last year, 18 starters return for Willie Fritz’s seventh year in New Orleans.

In the first two weeks of this season, the Green Wave have already matched their win total from a season ago, with a 42-10 win over UMass and a 52-0 victory over Alcorn State.

These are both games that Tulane was expected to win easily. UMass is No. 130 in SP+ and ranks 129th on both sides of the ball. Alcorn State ranked 75th in SP+ in FCS prior to playing Tulane last weekend.

Now that Tulane is facing a much tougher task in Kansas State, we will get to see if this team is improved in 2022.

Green Wave Defense

Tulane struggled defensively to begin the year in 2021, but it was No. 2 in total defense in the AAC in the second half of the year. This has carried over to the start of this year against two much weaker opponents.

Tulane has asserted its dominance over these two teams and has only allowed 10 total points over two games. Following these performances, the Green Wave rank first in Passing Defense Success Rate and fourth in Rushing Defense Success Rate, unsurprisingly. 

Stepping up in class to face Kansas State will be much more difficult, though. Tulane’s defense ranks 88th in SP+ and will likely have a tough day trying to stop Deuce Vaughn and the Wildcats.


Kansas State Wildcats

Wildcats Offense

A week ago Kansas State absolutely destroyed Missouri, 40-12. This final score was slightly misleading, as the post-game win expectancy showed only a 15.6-point margin, per Bill Connelly. 

The Wildcats’ offensive numbers last week were not super impressive, as that game was out of hand quickly. It seemed like they just put it in neutral once they got out to a big lead.

Kansas State ranked in the 25th percentile for Success Rate and 32nd percentile in yards per play.

After touchdowns on their first two drives, the Wildcats finally punted, and then their special teams unit helped out with a punt-return touchdown. By that point, it was 20-3 already in the second quarter, and this game was essentially over.

If you were to look at Success Rate metrics, they would show the Wildcats are 63rd in Success Rate because they are 123rd in Passing Success Rate so far.

I think that this K-State offense is better than its numbers look to this point, as it just switched to an even more conservative and run-heavy offense near the end of games. The Wildcats have run the ball 65% of the time this season, which is the ninth-highest mark in the country.

It hasn’t yet clicked for Martinez in this new offense, but he should improve as he goes. Last week, Martinez went 9-for-20 while passing for 101 yards. He will need to play much better in order for the Wildcats to match the 23rd-best Offensive Success Rate that they had last season under Skylar Thompson.

Against a Tulane defense that probably isn’t very good, I expect Martinez to have his best game yet. If the Green Wave hang close, Martinez may find himself having to win the game through the air.

Wildcats Defense

The second half last week is where this defense had its moment.

K-State intercepted Mizzou quarterbacks Brady Cook and Jack Abraham on four straight drives in the second half. This helped power Kansas State to the 13rd ranking this season in Passing Defense Success Rate. Currently, this unit is ranked as the 13th-best defense by SP+.

Tulane is ranked as the best offense that Kansas State has faced yet. The Green Wave are the 35th-best offense, per SP+, while the Mizzou Tigers are 45th following their defeat last weekend.

Knowing that Mizzou would have scored more if it weren’t for multiple bad turnovers, there is the potential that Tulane can score more than expected in this one.

The Wildcats ranked 53rd in Defensive Success Rate a season ago, including an abysmal 93rd against the pass. 

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Tulane vs. Kansas State Matchup Analysis

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

Tulane Offense vs. Kansas State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 88 35
Line Yards 104 12
Pass Success 25 13
Pass Blocking** 6 59
Havoc 26 8
Finishing Drives 23 16
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Kansas State Offense vs. Tulane Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 7 20
Line Yards 25 13
Pass Success 125 1
Pass Blocking** 62 43
Havoc 73 64
Finishing Drives 45 2
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 14 74
PFF Coverage 10 5
SP+ Special Teams 10 82
Seconds per Play 27.3 (88) 30.4 (121)
Rush Rate 61.0% (25) 69.3% (7)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Tulane vs. Kansas State Betting Pick

Tulane’s offense is being underrated because of its strength of schedule, but even against those weaker opponents, the Green Wave have shown that they can put some points on the board.

Kansas State’s defense is solid, but has benefitted from facing weak offenses and forcing a lot of turnovers in its first two games.

Martinez and this Wildcats offense will need to have their best week through the air in order to put up enough points to stay ahead of the Green Wave.

Consequently, I’m playing over 47 points in this one, with value up to 48.5.

Pick: Over 47.5 Points (Play to 48.5)

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