Nevada vs. Kansas State Betting Odds, Prediction, Pick: Expect Wildcats to Roll in Week 3 (September 18)

Nevada vs. Kansas State Betting Odds, Prediction, Pick: Expect Wildcats to Roll in Week 3 (September 18) article feature image
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Icon Sportswire/Getty Images. Pictured: Deuce Vaughn

  • Kansas State takes on Nevada in Week 3 college football action on Saturday.
  • The Wolf Pack boast a playmaker at quarterback in Carson Strong, but Deuce Vaughn will pose a challenge on the other side.
  • Check out Mike McNamara's full betting guide with odds, a pick, and a predictions for the game below.

Nevada vs. Kansas State Odds

Saturday, Sept. 18
2:05 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Nevada Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-1.5
-110
50.5
-110o / -110u
-120
Kansas State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+1.5
-110
50.5
-110o / -110u
+100
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

After two full weeks of play, there are exactly 50 remaining undefeated FBS teams in the country, and two of them square off this week in the “Little Apple.”

The Nevada Wolf Pack head East, fresh off a dominant win over Idaho State. Kansas State comes off a win over Southern Illinois in a contest that was probably a little bit closer than it would have liked. I am very excited for this matchup and believe it to be one of the more underrated games on the Week 3 slate.


Nevada Wolf Pack

Not much has gone wrong for the Wolf Pack in their first two games of the season. Nevada invaded Berkeley to start the year and pulled off a 22-17 comeback victory over the Golden Bears.

After a blowout win last week, Nevada looks to get to 3-0, which would give the program tons of momentum heading into conference play.


Wolf Pack Offense

When Nevada has the ball, all eyes are on junior quarterback Carson Strong. Through two games, Strong has already thrown for nearly 700 yards, accumulating six touchdown passes in that span to only one interception.

Strong has complete control of the Wolf Pack offense, and with his explosive arm, it is not surprising to see him surging up the board in NFL mock drafts.

One major concern for this offense is an offensive line that currently ranks 115th in pass blocking. The offensive line group will need to be much better on Saturday against a Kansas State front that will look to apply pressure on Strong.


Wolf Pack Defense

The defensive results thus far have been a bit of a mixed bag for the Wolf Pack. Nevada was able to come up with several big late stops in the comeback against Cal.

That said, this defense has really struggled in slowing down opponents on the ground, ranking 120th in Rush Success and 121st in Line Yards.

Deuce Vaughn will certainly be the most explosive back the Wolf Pack have faced thus far, so this unit could be in for a long day if they cannot start generating more of a push up front.

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Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State started the year on a very strong note with a pretty dominant win over Stanford in Arlington.

Last week, the big storyline was sixth-year QB Skylar Thompson going down with a non contact injury. Fortunately, it does not sound like Thompson will be lost for the year, which would have been a huge bummer for a kid who has battled adversity throughout his career.

Thompson will be unavailable this week, so Chris Klieman hands the reigns over to Will Howard, who did see action in nine games a year ago.


Wildcats Offense

Howard struggled after entering the game unexpectedly against Southern Illinois. In addition to throwing a pick-six, Howard coughed up a fumble and only completed 8 of his 17 attempts.

Klieman and the rest of the KSU coaching staff raved about his development throughout the offseason, so I expect to see a much better performance this week following a full week of practice getting No. 1 reps.

Deuce Vaughn makes this 59 yard TD run look way too easy pic.twitter.com/JqfG3RpkSQ

— Clint The K-State Fan (@Thekstatefan2) September 9, 2021

The reason this Wildcat offense can be explosive is because of the man that wears No. 22 in the backfield.

Vaughn is averaging 6.2 yards per rush on the ground to start 2021 and has already found the end zone four times. With some uncertainty at the QB position, you can expect a heavy dose of Vaughn against a Wolf Pack defense that is vulnerable on the ground.


Wildcats Defense

Defensively, the Wildcats have shown some significant signs of improvement after an unexpectedly poor 2020 campaign. Kansas State did not surrender a single point to Stanford until the fourth quarter, and last week the Wildcats combined for five total sacks on SIU QB Nic Baker.

That will be the formula they will look to replicate against Carson Strong.

This defense ranks 12th in Havoc thus far in the year, and with a fired up home crowd behind them, they will certainly look to force more takeaways on Saturday.


Nevada vs. Kansas State Matchup Analysis

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

Nevada Offense vs. Kansas State Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 59 39
Line Yards 57 67
Pass Success 16 92
Pass Blocking* 115 16
Big Play 44 37
Havoc 11 12
Finishing Drives 102 27
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Kansas State Offense vs. Nevada Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 14 120
Line Yards 22 121
Pass Success 66 59
Pass Blocking* 85 64
Big Play 53 46
Havoc 103 47
Finishing Drives 87 33
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 78 31
PFF Coverage 11 23
Middle 8 12 105
SP+ Special Teams 87 34
Plays per Minute 52 125
Rush Rate 34.6% (126) 69.6% (8)

Data via College Football Data (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF & SportSource Analytics.


Nevada vs. Kansas State Betting Pick

With the uncertainty at quarterback for Kansas State following the Thompson injury, I get why this line opened with Nevada as a short favorite.

However, I do not believe Howard will need to be Superman — or anything close to that — for the Wildcats to have some success offensively.

Vaughn should be able to run rampant against a suspect Nevada rush defense, and I believe Howard will perform much better coming off a full week of preparation.

On the other side of the ball, I think you’ll see the Wildcats get really creative in their blitzing to make things as difficult as possible for Strong. In 46 passing snaps against California, the Nevada OL allowed pressure 20 times (43%). The Kansas State front, led by Bronson Massie and Felix Anudike-Uzomah can certainly come close to matching that number.

In what Vegas makes pretty close to a coin-flip game, I think there is a value on the Wildcats on the moneyline. Give me the home team to make just enough plays offensively to get it done at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Pick: Kansas State ML  +105

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