Kansas State vs Missouri Odds & Prediction: Target This Week 3 Total
Via Ed Zurga/Getty Images. Pictured: Luther Burden III #3 of the Missouri Tigers runs against the South Dakota Coyotes in the first half at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2023 in Columbia, Missouri.
Kansas State vs Missouri Odds
An old Big 12 rivalry gets renewed when Kansas State takes the short trip to Columbia to take on Missouri.
The defending Big 12 champions are off to a fantastic start to their season, beating Southeast Missouri State, 45-0, and then blowing out Troy last weekend to end the Trojans' 12-game win streak dating back to last season.
The Wildcats' schedule is actually pretty favorable, as they could legitimately be undefeated before their Nov. 4 date with Texas in Austin, but it's crucial that they get by Missouri on Saturday before they start Big 12 play.
Missouri survived a scare a home at home over the weekend, narrowly beating Middle Tennessee, 23-19, at home.
The Tigers came into the season without much hope of challenging in the SEC West coming off a 6-7 season. They have a very difficult schedule, and getting to a bowl game may be more difficult this season, so this game is very important.
Find a pick and prediction for Kansas State vs. Missouri in this NCAAF betting preview for Saturday, Sept. 16 below.
Will Howard takes over as the main quarterback for Kansas State this season after Adrian Martinez moved on.
Howard played in seven of the final eight games of the season, and even though Kansas State went 6-1 with him under center, he really wasn't that effective of a passer.
Image via PFF.
The combination of Martinez and Howard last year has Kansas State ranked 68th in Passing Success Rate and 63rd in EPA/Pass, but the Wildcats offense is built on being effective on the ground.
Howard actually wasn't that effective as a runner, either. He gained only 22 yards on 35 carries, and he's carried the ball only eight times this season. Kansas State was very reliant on Deuce Vaughn to be the incredible running back he was last season. His backup, DJ Giddens, was no slouch either, as he averaged 5.8 yards per carry.
Giddens is now the starter and has already run for 180 yards and forced 12 missed tackles this season.
He also has the benefit of playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the country. Kansas State had an above-average offensive line last year, but the unit returned all five starters and should see a pretty big jump after ranking 45th in PFF pass-blocking grade.
The Wildcats shut the Southeast Missouri State in the opener and followed that with an impressive performance against Troy, holding the Trojans to just four trips inside the Wildcats' 40-yard line and a 22% Success Rate.
KSU returned only five starters on defense, but top tackler Austin Moore and his 8.5 tackles for loss are back. However, losing three starters in the secondary is a big loss.
Missouri might've toppled Middle Tennessee, but the biggest storyline so far is how conservative head coach Eli Drinkwitz has been this season.
So far in '23, Mizzou has punted on…
4th&1 from its 45
4th&1 from the opp's 44
4th&2 from its 40
4th&2 from its 41
4th&3 from the 50
1 of 4 teams not to attempt a 4th down conversion yet. MTSU scored 14 pts and had 60% of their yards after 2 of these, too. Yikes.
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) September 10, 2023
There's really no reason for this conservative play because Missouri has a lot of production back on offense.
Brady Cook is still under center after a difficult season in which he put up a PFF passing grade of just 66.7 with 17 big-time throws and 18 turnover-worthy plays, but his best ability is as a runner. Cook averaged 4.2 yards per carry on the ground with six touchdowns and had a 78.4 PFF rushing grade.
Missouri also returns its top back, Cody Schrader, who averaged 4.4 yards per carry and forced 23 missed tackles. Kansas State finished outside the top 50 in EPA/Rush Allowed last season, so Missouri could find some success on the ground even if it did struggle against Middle Tennessee.
Cook may have to beat Kansas State through the air because that's where the Wildcats are weakest. Although Cook lost his top two pass-catchers from last year, five-star wideout Luther Burden III is now the main target in his sophomore season.
GET UP AND GET IT LUTHER BURDEN III pic.twitter.com/hanc91xVmA
— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) September 10, 2023
The Missouri defense was impressive last season and should be even more stout this year as most of its production returns.
The Tigers ranked 26th in Success Rate Allowed, 10th in Havoc, and most importantly for this matchup, among the top 20 in EPA/Rush Allowed.
The front seven gets mostly everyone back, but its top two defensive ends are gone, so they likely won't put up the Havoc or rush-defense numbers they did last year.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Kansas State and Missouri match up statistically:
Kansas State Offense vs. Missouri Defense
Missouri Offense vs. Kansas State Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||10||118|
|Seconds per Play||25.1 (39)||27.9 (83)|
|Rush Rate||55.3% (36)||65.7% (13)|
Kansas State vs Missouri
Betting Pick & Prediction
The market has really swung in Missouri's favor throughout the week. Kansas State opened as a 5.5-point favorite and has already been bet down to -3.5 at the time of writing with a lot of sharp money coming in on the Tigers.
Kansas State still has a top-tier rushing attack, especially with the entire offensive line returning from last season. Missouri was stout against Middle Tennessee's rushing attack, but after losing two-star defensive ends, it's going to be difficult to shut down Kansas State for four quarters.
K-State is running a bit of tempo this season, ranking 39th in seconds per play. If the Wildcats go ahead early, they will force the Tigers to not only pick up the pace but throw the ball more, which could actually benefit the Tigers since that's where the Wildcats are weakest defensively.
I have 51.2 points projected for this game, so I like the value on over 47.5 points or better.
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