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College Football Pick
Both of these teams are exceeding preseason expectations by far and are in the mix for the Big 12 title. Kansas State sits at No. 3 in the BCS rankings while Texas Tech is a respectable No. 14. The Wildcats are on a tear, coming off a massive 55-14 win at West Virginia. No one expected that to happen as they were 3-point underdogs going into the game. The Red Raiders had a pretty solid win themselves, winning in three overtimes at TCU. They also took out the Mountaineers the previous week 49-14. In fact, the results for these two teams are very similar in most games except for Oklahoma. KSU won at Norman 24-19, while Texas Tech lost at home, 41-20.
While Collin Klein is playing awesome, Seth Doege hasn't been a fly on the wall either. Doege actually has four more total touchdowns than Klein including 13 in his last two games. Each team is also scoring at the exact same rate with 42.9 points per game. These numbers may look similar, but the Wildcats are still 7-point favorites in most books and the reason for that is their defense. They stopped Landry Jones and Geno Smith and haven't allowed more than 21 points all season. The Red Raiders just gave up 53 points (36 not including OT) to TCU and 41 to Oklahoma. Throw that in with the game being at Bill Snyder Stadium and the spread is reasonable.
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Going back to Klein, he now has his crosshairs on the Heisman trophy after another huge game compiling seven touchdowns. He actually ran the ball more last year, but this year he's been more effective with 5.0 yards per carry for 551 yards and 14 TDs. Not to mention he's also completing 13 percent more passes this year than in 2011. He has 10 passing TDs compared to just two interceptions. Maybe not your typical NFL quarterback, but efficient nonetheless. John Hubert has also been huge in the running game with 658 yards and eight TDs. However, he hasn't surpassed 79 yards or gotten a TD in his last two games. Senior wide out Chris Harper is Klein's favorite target, but Tyler Lockett came onto the scene last weekend with nine grabs for 194 yards and two TDs.
Texas Tech will need to find a way to stop this dual threat attack, something no one has been able to do yet. If they play defense like they did against TCU, it could be a very similar result as the Oklahoma game for the Red Raiders.
As mentioned previously, Doege is slinging the ball at a high rate, completing 70% of his passes for 2,209 yards, 28 TDs and seven interceptions. He has already matched last season's TD total with 200 less completions. While WRs Darrin Moore and Eric Ward have eight TDs a piece, Doege still spreads the ball around a good amount. The Red Raiders have eight receivers who have at least 13 receptions and 156 yards. Jace Amaro leads the team with 394 receiving yards. Even more balanced is their three-headed rushing attack. They have three RBs with between 62 and 68 carries and 315 and 423 yards. Kenny Williams has been the most productive of them leading in YPC to go with three TDs.
Last year's game went almost exactly how you'd expect it to go. Doege threw for 461 yards, but had three interceptions. Klein only threw for 146 yards, but had three rushing TDs. Kansas State ended up winning as road underdogs 41-34. It's hard to look at any of their previous matchups before 2011 as the Wildcats were a much different team a few years ago when they lost by at least 30 points in three straight meetings from 2005 to 2009.
Each school has been solid against the spread this year with the Red Raiders coming in at 6-1 while the Wildcats are a solid 5-1-1. Texas Tech is also 4-1 ATS in their last five road games and Kansas State is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games. The over is 4-0 in their last four meetings and 6-0 in Kansas State's last six home games.
Lot's at stake here this week, both in the Big 12 and Nationally as both teams are in the hunt. It's interesting to note that these two both whipped West Virginia but also interesting to note that Texas Tech was whipped by the Sooners while Kansas State beat them, on the road, while holding them to just 19 points.
Kansas State fields the 12th best defense in the country when using yards per point as a measuring stick. Texas Tech ranks 100th out of 125 teams. That would appear to be the difference in this game. Our model agrees with that, predicting a 12 point Kansas State win. We'd likely become interested in the Kansas State side at -6 or less, which we may very well see before kick off. For now, we'll just put this out as a strong opinion. Kansas State -7
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