Kansas State Football Betting Preview for 2019 Season

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For 2019, the Kansas State Wildcats don’t have huge expectations, at least on a national level, with the second-worst odds (40 to 1) to win the Big 12 at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

Kansas State fizzled out in the final season of Bill Snyder as it failed to make a bowl game for the first time since 2009. That’s how successful Snyder was and something new coach Chris Klieman has to live up to after leading North Dakota State to four FCS championships in five years.

22.5 ppg Won’t Cut it in Big 12

Klieman has a lot to do in his first season in addition to trying to replace a legend in Snyder. Improvement starts on the offensive end after managing just 345 yards and 22.5 points per game, both worse than in-state rival Kansas.

Those numbers can’t happen again, especially with the fan base already skeptical of the hire. Returning talent should help, but quarterback Skylar Thompson’s passing numbers have to improve after throwing just nine touchdowns and four picks on 6.7 yards per attempt. Sure, he also ran for 373 yards and five touchdowns, but in this offense-heavy conference, you need more from quarterback.

That said, the Wildcats will likely again take a run-first approach with Ball State transfer James Gilbert, who is the only one guaranteed to get carries behind what should be a solid line, though he’s battled injuries the last couple years.

Right tackle Dalton Risner is gone, but they return plenty experience at every other spot. For Thompson to improve, the receiving corps also has to be more consistent. If Hunter Rison plays, that’d be a big help, though Dalton Schoen (520 yards) provides experience and freshman Malik Knowles is expected to be a factor.

Linebacker a Concern After Spring Injuries

The defense was usually a constant under Snyder and that has to be the case with Klieman after allowing a solid 25.4 points per game last year. That should be more than possible with an experienced line led by end Reggie Walker (7.5 sacks), as well as Wyatt Hubert and Trey Dishon.

Linebacker is the biggest issue after Justin Hughes tore his ACL in the spring. They have guys with experience, but depth is a real concern.

The secondary has options and some experience in A.J. Parker and Denzel Goolsby, but no one really stands out in terms of talent. Those positions could be a revolving door throughout the season, which usually isn’t a good thing.

6 Wins and a Bowl Game For on the Table

Kansas State will get its feet wet the first couple games, but the early trip to Mississippi State will likely lead to another loss. The good news is that the Wildcats could string together a few wins early in conference play.

The trip to OK State is winnable, while back-to-back home games against Baylor and TCU need to be wins if they want to make a bowl. Of course, that also means the second half of the schedule will be tough, yet getting only four road games in the Big 12 helps Klieman a lot in his first season.

Because of that, K State should return to a bowl and hit six wins if all goes well. That should be possible assuming the offense improves in another year of Thompson. There are questions on the defensive side, but with a lot of teams in a similar situation to K State, they should find a way to four conference wins, especially with five games at home.

2019 Kansas State Wildcats Football Schedule

Aug. 31 vs. Nicholls State
Sept. 7 vs. Bowling Green
Sept. 14 at Mississippi State
Sept. 28 at Oklahoma State
Oct. 5 vs. Baylor
Oct. 19 vs. TCU
Oct. 26 vs. Oklahoma
Nov. 2 at Kansas
Nov. 9 at Texas
Nov. 16 vs. West Virginia
Nov. 23 at Texas Tech
Nov. 30 vs. Iowa State