College Football Betting Preview: #2 Baylor Bears at Kansas State Wildcats

#2 Baylor Bears at Kansas State Wildcats
Thursday, November 5, 2015, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports 1
Bill Snyder Family Stadium – Manhattan, Kansas
Opening Line: Baylor -16
Current Line: Baylor -17 1/2
Opening Total: 70
Current Total: 69 1/2
Opening Money Line: Baylor -925 / Kansas State +625
Current Money Line: Baylor -925 / Kansas State +625

Baylor is a 17.5 point road favorite at Kansas State Thursday.
Baylor is a 17.5 point road favorite at Kansas State Thursday.

Despite being #2 in both polls, the 7-0 Baylor Bears are only #6 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings behind one loss Alabama and Notre Dame. The main reason is because Baylor has had a very soft schedule so far with with only one win over an FBS school with a winning record, 5-4 Texas Tech. Baylor travels to 3-4 Kansas State Thursday night, but the schedule gets a lot tougher with games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU in the next three weeks. All of those teams are ranked in the top 15 of the playoff standings.

Baylor is 4-0 in the Big 12 and a half game behind 5-0 Oklahoma State and TCU. Kansas State is 0-4 in Big 12 play and tied for 9th with West Virginia ahead of only 0-5 Kansas.

Kansas State leads the series against Baylor 7-5, but the Bears have won 3 straight games in the series. Baylor won 38-27 last year in Waco. The Wildcats are 4-1 in Manhattan against the Bears.

Baylor is coached by Art Briles. The Bears have road wins over SMU 56-21 at Kansas 66-7. Baylor has home wins over Lamar 66-31, Rice 70-17, West Virginia 62-38 and Iowa State 45-27 two weeks ago along with a neutral site win against Texas Tech 63-35 in Arlington, TX. Baylor was off last week.

The Bears were 35.5 point favorites against Iowa State and the total was 74.5. The game was played in a torrential rain storm because of the remnants of a massive hurricane off the Mexican coast.Baylor jumped out to a 35-0 lead and looked they would easily score 50 points or more for a seventh straight game to start the season. Iowa State scored a late touchdown in the second quarter. The Cyclones made it a little interesting and pulled to within 35-20 early in the fourth. Baylor scored 10 straight points to go up by 25. Iowa State added a late touchdown to make the final score 45-27. The teams combined for 6 turnovers including 4 by the Cyclones. Baylor is 4-2 ATS and the total is 5-2 this season.

Kansas State is coached by Bill Snyder. The Wildcats have home wins over South Dakota 34-0 and Louisiana Tech 39-33, and a road win at UTSA 30-3. Kansas State has  road losses at Oklahoma State 36-34 and Texas 23-9 two weeks ago, plus home losses to TCU 52-45 and Oklahoma 55-0. The Wildcats were also off last week.

Kansas State was a 7 point underdog against Texas and the total was 46.5. This game was also played in the same conditions as the Baylor-Iowa State game in Waco played at the same time. Texas jumped out to a 16-0 lead. Kansas State pulled to within 16-9 in the third quarter, but would get no closer. Texas put the game away with a fourth quarter touchdown. The Longhorns had 373 total yards and Kansas State had 242 yards. Kansas State is 3-4 ATS and the total is 4-3 this season.

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Baylor is outscoring teams 61-22 this season. The Bears lead the nation in scoring. Baylor is averaging 686 yards per game on offense including 348 passing and 338 rushing yards. The Bears lead the nation in total offense, are #3 in rushing and are #10 in passing. Baylor is allowing 382 total yards per game on defense including 231 passing and 151 rushing yards. The Bears have forced 18 turnovers and has 10 of their own. The Bears average 82 penalty yards per game and opponents average 76. Baylor is 57/76 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 48/130. The Bears have forced 15 sacks and allowed 6 this season.  Baylor is 38/42 scoring in the red zone with 33 touchdowns and opponents are 16/19 with 13 touchdowns. The Bears have a defensive touchdown this season and have allowed a kick return for a touchdown.

Quarterback Seth Russell has completed 59.5% of his passes for 2,104 yards with 29 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, and has rushed for 402 yards on 49 carries with 6 touchdowns. Russell suffered a season ending neck injury in the Iowa State game. Freshman Jarrett Stidham is the new starter. He has thrown for 331 yards with 6 touchdowns, and also has a rushing touchdown.

Running back Shock Linwood has 121 carries for 974 yards and 9 touchdowns, plus 3 catches and a touchdown. Terence Williams has 61 carries for 417 yards and a touchdown. Johnny Jefferson has 61 carries for 399 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 3 catches. Devin Chafin has 23 carries for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Receiver Corey Coleman has 47 catches for 962 yards and 18 touchdowns. Jay Lee has 22 catches for 507 yards and 6 touchdowns. K.D. Cannon has 25 catches for 379 yards and 3 touchdowns.

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Kansas State is being outscored 29-27 this season. The Wildcats are averaging 313 total yards a game on offense including 157 passing and 156 rushing yards. The Wildcats are #121 in total offense and #116 in passing nationally out of 128 teams. On defense, K-State is allowing 425 total yards including 298 passing and 126 rushing yards. The Wildcats are #119 in pass defense and #30 in rush defense. K-State is #92 in total defense. Kansas State has forced seven turnovers and has eight of their own. Kansas State averages 47 penalty yards per game and opponents average 57. The Wildcats are 34/82 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 43/100. KSU has forced 17 sacks and allowed 17 this season. The Wildcats are 27/30 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns and opponents are 18/21 with 13 touchdowns. Kansas State has a kick return for a touchdown this season, and has allowed 2 pick sixes.

Quarterback Joe Hubener has completed 45.5% of his passes for 866 yards with 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 73 carries for 240 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns. Hubener was injured against Oklahoma State and receiver Kody Cook had to come in as the emergency quarterback. Cook also came in against Oklahoma in the blowout. He has thrown for 128 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, along with 32 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown. Hubener is probable for undisclosed reasons, but Cook could see action as well. Jesse Ertz was supposed to be the starter but is out indefinitely with a knee injury suffered in the first game of the season.  Another quarterback Jonathan Banks is out indefinitely with an illness.

Running back Justin Silmon has 60 carries for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with a catch. Charles Jones has 42 carries for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 3 catches for 82 yards. Winston Dimel has 21 carries for 50 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 2 catches for 80 yards.

Receiver Deante Burton has 15 catches for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dominique Heath has 15 catches for 192 yards and a touchdown. Kody Cook has 10 catches for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kyle Klein has 10 catches for 110 yards. Six defensive backs are listed on the injury report.

Baylor is 7-1 ATS after gaining 450 total yards or more, 5-1 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 5-1-1 after a bye week, 4-1 in in Big 12 games, and after a straight up win, 22-7-1 after scoring more than 40 points, 21-7 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 20-7-1 against teams with losing records, 22-8 on fieldturf, 19-7 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 5-2-1 against teams with losing home records, 10-4 in November, 7-3 after an ATS loss, and 34-16-1 overall.

Kansas State is 5-1 ATS against teams with winning road records, 4-1 in November, 11-3 after a straight up loss, 15-5-1 after a bye week, 21-8-1 against teams with winning records, 38-15-1 in Big 12 games, 7-3 at home, and 9-4 on fieldturf. The home team has covered the last 4 games in this series. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five games. Kansas State is 4-1 ATS at home against Baylor.

While the loss of Russell will hurt obviously, I think Stidham will be fine simply because of the system. Baylor still has tons of talent at the Skill positions including Linwood and Coleman. Coleman is a Heisman contender. I think the Bears will be angry after being snubbed in the playoff rankings and take out their frustrations on the rebuilding Wildcats. Kansas State simply doesn’t have the firepower to get into a shootout with Baylor and the defense isn’t strong enough to stop them.

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