The Wildcats will be seeking revenge for a 58-17 beatdown the Sooners inflicted upon them back home in Manhattan last year in what was probably the lowlight of an otherwise dream season for Kansas State. Oklahoma is a big -14 favorite at home with the ‘total’ set at 58½.
1. Why Kansas State will cover the spread: Kansas State will cover this spread if it can put some pressure on Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, something it was unable to do in the blowout loss last season when the Wildcats failed to record a sack and, as a result, Jones was able to pass for 505 yards and five touchdowns. A key on offense for Kansas State is running the ball much better than it did in a 35-21 win over North Texas last week where the Wildcats ran for a low (for them) 143 yards on 28 carries in a game they led by only eight points entering the final quarter. A solid rushing attack could be the best defense against Jones and the Oklahoma offense by keeping them off the field.
2. Why Oklahoma will cover the spread: Oklahoma will cover this spread if Jones is as effective passing the ball vs. basically the same Kansas State secondary as last year as he was last season. That would undoubtedly lead to Oklahoma opening up a double-digit lead and the run-oriented Wildcats’ offense is not really equipped to overcome large deficits. A key on offense is the Oklahoma offense holding off the Kansas State front seven and allowing Jones to succeed. That was basically a given last year when Jones was only sacked 10 times all season, but he has already been sacked four times in only two games in 2012.
3. Total Talk: Although Oklahoma is the higher ranked team, we actually think Kansas State has the better chance of accomplishing its keys, which is why we like the Wildcats to cover the spread here. We still expect lots of scoring though. Kansas State was probably simply caught looking ahead to this game last week, as even with the sub-par outing the Wildcats still rank 18th in the country with 251.1 rushing yards per game, and that has led to them ranking 13th in scoring offense with 46.0 points per contest. On the other side of the ball, we do expect the Cats to put more pressure on Jones, as besides the Sooners’ offensive line being a tad more vulnerable this year, Kansas State has recorded eight sacks in the last two games. Now while we feel that will prevent Jones from going off for 500 yards again, he should still have enough success in the air to pass the Sooners to victory at home, but we expect a very close high scoring game.
4. Betting Trends for the game: The road teams are 6-2-1 in the last nine head-to-head meetings, and Oklahoma is 0-5 ATS the last five times it allowed less than 100 rushing yards in its previous game.
Oklahoma 35 – Kansas State 30