The Fiesta Bowl on January 3rd features the Oregon Ducks vs. the Kansas State Wildcats in a matchup that looked like it would take place in the BCS Championship Game heading into each team’s 11th game of the season. Both of these teams were 10-0 going into the night of November 17th and Alabama had just lost the previous week.
Unfortunately, both of these teams tasted defeat that night for only time until now before winning their finales and both finishing 11-1. Oregon is a nice sized favorite of -8½ with the total set at a whopping 75½.
OREGON – KSU FIESTA BOWL BETTING LINE:
OPEN: OREGON -9 | CURRENT: OREGON -8.5 | O/U: 75
1. Why Oregon will cover the spread: Oregon will cover this spread if it can run the ball as well vs. a good Big 12 defense as it did vs. lesser Pac-12 teams. The Ducks ranked third in the country in rushing offense and the highest of a non-military academy at 323.2 yards per game, and they led the nation in rushing average at 6.1 yards per carry. They must have continued success vs. a good Kansas State rushing defense that ranked 17th against the run and allowed only 3.7 yards per carry.
A second key for Oregon is its speedy defense keeping Wildcat quarterback Collin Klein in the pocket and forcing him to be a passer, as he is most dangerous when he is improvising on the run.
2. Why Kansas State will cover the spread: Speaking of Klein, Kansas State will cover this game if he returns to the form he showed in his first eight games this season. Klein was the front runner for the Heisman Trophy until he was injured in the ninth game of the year vs. Oklahoma State, and he was very mediocre the rest of the year after that.
Perhaps the long layoff now has him back at full health so that he can carry the offense, and let’s face it, the Wildcats need him to as he basically is the Kansas State offense, unlike Oregon which has so many weapons.
3. Total Talk: These two offenses get all of the headlines and this enormous total may be inflated because of that. However, the two defenses cannot be overlooked either as Kansas State ranked 24th in the land in scoring defense allowing only 21.1 points per game and Oregon ranked 26th at an even 22.0 points. In regards to this game, we think that Oregon simply has too much team speed on both sides of the ball for Kansas State, so we do not expect the Wildcats’ offense to come anywhere near its 40.7-point scoring average in this game.
Now, Oregon finished second in the country with 50.8 points per game, and while the Ducks probably won’t score quite that much, we still think that their speed will be tough for Kansas State to stop. Still, a monstrous total like this needs both offenses to do their part, so we lean ‘under’ as we think Oregon will do more of the scoring.
4. Betting Trends for KSU/Oregon: Kansas State is only 10-21 ATS in its last 31 non-conference games, while Oregon is 5-1 ATS in its last six games after scoring more than 40 points in its previous game.
Oregon 41 – Kansas State 27
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