The Houston Cougars visit the Kansas State Wildcats for an early Saturday contest. The Wildcats are looking to become bowl-eligible, but do have the Texas Longhorns on tap. But Houston can be dangerous at times and Kansas State will have to be focused. The Cougars just gave Texas all it wanted in a 31-24 loss. The Houston vs Kansas State betting odds have the Wildcats favored by 16 points and a total of 60.5 points.
Location: Bill Snyder Family Stadium
Line: Kansas State -16
Cougars Defense Not Getting It Done
Houston (3-4) can move the football. The Cougars are averaging 408.6 total yards and scoring 28.9 points per game. The team’s running game isn’t anything special, gaining 3.8 yards per carry against teams allowing 3.9 yards. But the passing game is solid, with the Cougars averaging 290.9 yards against teams allowing 228.3 yards per game. Houston averages 7.6 yards per pass against teams allowing 7.0 yards per pass.
But the Houston offense has been quite good enough to offset a defense that is allowing 31.3 points per game to teams averaging 28.3 points. The Cougars are slightly below average against the run and the pass. But the real problem for Houston’s defense is allowing a point for every 13.4 yards the opponent gains. That ranks No. 90 in the country.
The NCAA football schedule is kind to Houston for its last four games of the season, so the Cougars may be able to get to six wins on the season. Houston has played better the last few weeks, upsetting West Virginia as 3-point underdogs and then battling Texas to the wire. The Cougars are 4-3 against the spread and in totals.
Kansas State Tough at Home
The Wildcats are coming off a 41-3 thumping of TCU as 5.5-point home favorites. That moves Kansas State is 4-0 straight-up and against the spread in home games this season. The Wildcats are 13-5 ATS at home the last three seasons and 16-5 as a favorite.
Kansas State’s offense is solid, with the Wildcats averaging 36.9 points against teams allowing 26.9 points per game. The Wildcats like to run the ball and they do it well, gaining 232.9 yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry against teams allowing 4.3 yards. Kansas State can throw the ball, gaining 242 yards per game, but prefers to run. The Wildcats run the ball 41.3 times per game and pass 31.7 times.
The defense is allowing just 18.1 points per game to teams averaging 26.2 points. The Wildcats are especially tough against the run, allowing 109.4 yards per game and 3.7 yards per rush. Kansas State is slightly better than average against the pass. The Wildcats allow one point for every 20 yards of offense allowed, ranking them in the top 20 in the nation.
Kansas State is 5-2 straight-up and against the college football betting lines while going 4-3 in totals.
What to Expect
The Cougars are going to have problems trying to run the ball against Kansas State. They shouldn’t even try to run and just let Donovan Smith do his thing at quarterback. It almost worked against Texas, where the Cougars gained just 14 rushing yards and threw for 378. Defensively, the Cougars are going to have to sacrifice pass defense a little bit to try and stop the run.
For Kansas State, the Wildcats are going to run and continue to do so until the Cougars show they can stop the rush. That’s not going to be easy for Houston, but it hasn’t been easy for any defense lately. The Wildcats have rushed for at least 220 yards in each of their last four games.
Who to Bet On?
The Houston vs Kansas State betting odds of KSU -16 are spot on. The game gives you a little bit of a pause when looking at the point spread. But there are two questions to answer before placing a wager on the side. How much did the Texas game take out of Houston and are the Wildcats going to be caught looking ahead a little bit? If Kansas State is looking past Houston, that could be the difference between covering the scores and odds on the game or not. You really can’t blame the Wildcats if they are. Texas is the only ranked team on their schedule right now, so it’s a chance to show what they can do.
The Houston vs Kansas State betting odds on the total might be a shade low given the over/under records of both teams so far. It’s a tough game to call, but games with a total higher than 60 are just 34-47-1 this season. That puts a bit of value on the under in this one.
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