Texas vs. Kansas State Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Longhorns in Low-Scoring Big 12 Battle
Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Brennan Eagles.
- Texas heads to Manhattan without two team captains and coming off a tough loss to Iowa State.
- Kansas State has lost four in a row after a strong start to the season, a run that came after losing quarterback Skylar Thompson.
- Roberto Arguello lays out how he’s betting this game, including a teaser and a parlay.
Texas vs. Kansas State Odds
|Texas Odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Kansas State Odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-265 / +210 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||51.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 12 p.m. ET|
The Texas Longhorns travel to the Little Apple on Saturday to match up with the Kansas State Wildcats in a game between two teams looking to find some positive momentum.
The Longhorns lost a heartbreaker at home last Friday to Iowa State, which practically eliminated them from Big 12 Championship contention. Following the loss, team captains Caden Sterns and Samuel Cosmi opted out for the rest of the season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Wildcats won their first Big 12 game in a stunner at Oklahoma, then followed that with three consecutive wins over Texas Tech, TCU and Kansas. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, after losing senior quarterback Skylar Thompson to injury in the Texas Tech game, the offense hasn’t been the same with freshman Will Howard under center.
The Wildcats have lost four straight Big 12 games, including their most recent game in which they blew multiple two-possession leads in the fourth quarter against a Baylor team that hadn’t beaten a Big 12 team besides winless Kansas.
Despite losing key players to opt-outs this week, expect the Longhorns to march to victory on the road in a low-scoring game.
If the Longhorns win in Manhattan on Saturday, their defensive line needs to lead the way by stopping the run and forcing the Wildcats to win with their freshman quarterback. Texas ranks third among Big 12 teams by allowing 3.5 yards per rushing attempt with a total of 129 yards per game on the ground. After facing the best rushing attack in the Big 12 last week, Texas held Iowa State’s rushing attack (averaging 5.6 yards per carry in conference) to just 3.7 yards per carry.
Linebacker Joseph Ossai leads the defensive line ranked fourth in the country by Pro Football Focus with 14 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. While Ossai gets the most attention, defensive tackle Ta’Quan Graham, nose tackle Keondre Coburn and defensive end Moro Ojomo have all played well and improved as the season has progressed. If the Longhorns can stop the run on early downs and force Howard to make plays, expect Ossai to add to his team-leading four sacks.
Offensively, the Longhorns will replace Cosmi at left tackle and may be without starting center Derek Kerstetter due to an ankle injury. The key for the offense will be limiting Kansas State’s best defensive line, specifically edge rusher Wyatt Hubert, who leads the Big 12 in sacks with 7.5. If Hubert is held in check, I like the chances of Texas winning with senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger, receiver Brennan Eagles and several capable running backs making too many plays for Kansas State’s offense to match.
Kansas State Wildcats
If Kansas State wants to upset Texas, the Wildcats will need a big game from star running back Deuce Vaughn. Vaughn is a freshman from Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock, Texas, just a few minutes north of Austin, and should be plenty motivated to put on a show against his hometown team and send off the Wildcat seniors with a win on Senior Night. Vaughn, who has been compared to former Wildcat standout Darren Sproles, leads Kansas State with 517 rushing yards (4.6 yards per carry), five rushing touchdowns, 21 receptions and 389 receiving yards.
After losing senior quarterback Thompson to injury in the Texas Tech game, the offense hasn’t been the same. His QBR in three games was a solid 71.6, but Howard’s sits at a middling 51.2. Excluding the game against Kansas, Howard has yet to complete more than 52% of passes in a game as a starter or throw for more than 185 yards.
The Kansas State defensive front needs to wreak Havoc against a Texas offensive line that may be down two starters. Hubert needs to have a big game, and his teammates up front — defensive tackle Drew Wiley (4.5 sacks), defensive end Bronson Massie (2.5 sacks) and linebacker Daniel Green (2.5 sacks) — have to hold their own and make plays to keep the Longhorn offense in check.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Expect the Longhorn defensive line to win at the line of scrimmage and corral the Wildcats’ offense. While the Texas offense has underachieved this year, I think it makes enough plays to win a competitive low-scoring game.
A concerning development for Longhorns bettors: Reports surfaced of Texas holding several key players and some starters out of practice on Tuesday because of COVID-19 precautions. There haven’t been any positive tests reported yet, but keep an eye on this leading up to kickoff. As a result, I recommend waiting nearly until kickoff when Texas will have further updates about whether there will be key absences.
I lean toward Texas -7, but there is better value elsewhere on the board. I like the value of a teaser play here by teasing Texas from -7 down to -1 and teasing the under from 51.5 to 57.5 at -110. For more bold bettors, I like the value of Texas moneyline (-265) and under 51.5 in a parlay at +165 (down to +150).
Pick: Teaser — Texas -1 (down to -2.5) and Under 57.5 (down to 56) -110 | Parlay — Texas Moneyline | Under 51.5 +165 (down to +150).