Texas vs Kansas State Odds & Picks: Longhorns to Cover Short Spread
Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Bijan Robinson (Texas)
Texas vs Kansas State Odds
There will be plenty on the line in the "Little Apple" when Texas and Kansas State square off on Saturday night. This game has massive implications in the Big 12 title race, with the winner putting itself in strong position behind TCU to get to the Big 12 Championship game.
Kansas State enters this contest coming off of a 48-0 beatdown of Oklahoma State.
Texas was on bye last week, but blew a 14-point, second-half lead to the aforementioned Cowboys in its most recent outing.
Can KSU continue to build off of last week's momentum? Or can the Longhorns get back on track with their backs firmly against the wall?
Steve Sarkisian just can't win a close game early in his tenure in Austin. The Longhorns have lost their past five Big 12 road games, four of which have been decided by one possession.
Despite the road struggles, this team is vastly improved from a year ago and is a couple of plays away from being ranked in the top 10. It will be interesting to see if the Longhorns can right the ship and finish strong, or if things will snowball down the stretch like last year.
I believe this season will be different in large part due to the offensive weapons Sarkisian has at his disposal.
Bijan Robinson is as good as any back in the nation and Xavier Worthy remains one of the best deep-ball threats in America.
Kansas State's defense has been vulnerable to big plays, so if Quinn Ewers can find his deep ball, Texas should be in line for some explosives down the field.
On the other side of the ball, Texas has been much improved with the addition of longtime TCU coach Gary Patterson. This unit ranks inside the top 25 nationally in Defensive Rush Success and Line Yards, two key statistical categories when facing a player like Deuce Vaughn.
Whether it ends up being Will Howard or Adrian Martinez for KSU, look for Texas to bring plenty of pressure to get the Wildcats' offense off schedule.
Chris Klieman has done a nice job with the Wildcats this season, and his team is playing as well as any in the conference.
Saturday night presents an opportunity for KSU to take control of second place in the league and give itself a great chance at a rematch with TCU in Arlington.
Since Martinez went down with a knee injury, Howard has taken over and performed well in his absence. Martinez is close to returning, so it will be interesting to see who ultimately gets the nod in this one.
Vaughn continues to be a home-run threat out of the backfield, and he is incredibly shifty after contact.
One intriguing part of this game will be the battle in the red zone. Kansas State has been efficient in scoring touchdowns all season, but Texas check in very respectably in Defensive Finishing Drives.
When Texas has the ball, the battle in the trenches will be massive. The Wildcats have been able to get pressure from their front four against most opponents.
The Longhorns possess a big and physical offensive line that has given Ewers ample time to throw all season. I question whether the Wildcats' secondary can hold up against this Texas receiving corps, so getting pressure will be paramount for Kansas State to get some timely stops.
Texas vs Kansas State Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Texas and Kansas State match up statistically:
Texas Offense vs. Kansas State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Kansas State Offense vs. Texas Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||50||80|
|Seconds per Play||24.9 (32)||28.1 (100)|
|Rush Rate||53.3% (66)||61.4% (15)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Texas vs Kansas State Betting Pick
Texas has rebounded well from both previous losses earlier this year, and I expect that to be the case again on Saturday night.
Kansas State's defense has dominated teams that are one-dimensional, but when an offense can combine a strong rushing attack with a competent passing game, its results have wavered.
Robinson and Vaughn are two of the best running backs in the country, but I expect Robinson to have a much easier time finding lanes to plow through.
The Longhorns' defense has been good against the run, and unlike Oklahoma State, this group will make either Howard or Martinez consistently beat them through the air.
Lastly, look for Ewers to bounce back in a big way after really struggling in windy conditions in Stillwater.
Give me Texas to finally put away a game on the road and keep its Big 12 hopes alive in the process.