Kansas State vs Alabama Odds
Alabama and Kansas State will travel to New Orleans to compete in the Sugar Bowl on Saturday.
Alabama enters this bowl game after a disappointing 10-2 season but riding a three-game winning streak. Despite the Crimson Tide’s typical “College Football Playoff or bust” mindset, two key players on both sides of the ball have decided to play instead of opting out.
On the betting side, the Tide finished 5-7 against the spread and went under in seven games this season.
Kansas State comes into this matchup after a 10-3 season and on a four-game winning streak, including a win over TCU in the Big 12 Championship.
How should we bet this game between the Big 12 champs and a perennial college football powerhouse? Let’s dive in.
In his fourth season with the program, Chris Klieman’s Wildcats broke through and won a conference championship over previously undefeated TCU.
Behind versatile running back Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State averaged 33.2 points per game and averaged 6.2 yards per attempt while putting up a 43% Success Rate and 4.28 Points per Opportunity.
The Wildcat offense averages 27.2 pass attempts per game and 210.5 passing yards per game. Will Howard emerged as the team’s starter when Nebraska transfer Adrian Martinez went down with a midseason injury and has led the way every game since Nov. 12 tilt with Baylor.
Howard has completed 61.6% of his passes for an average of 8.7 yards per attempt. As a team, the Wildcats own a 42% Passing Success Rate and average 3.3 20-yard passes per game.
Kansas State leans heavily on the running game, averaging 40.9 rush attempts per game. Vaughn leads the way with 1,425 rushing yards on 271 attempts and has played a key role in the team’s Rushing Success Rate of 45%.
This K-State offensive line averages 3.29 Line Yards per attempt and gives up a 16.2% Stuff Rate. This unit also allows defenses to cause Havoc on just 13% of plays.
A key item to keep an eye on is the pace Kansas State utilizes. The Wildcats average 27.8 seconds per play, which ranks 98th nationally.
Defense is a key strength of this team, as it is allows an average of 20.1 points per game and 5.3 yards per attempt. The Wildcats allow opponents a Success Rate of 38% and give up 3.33 Points per Opportunity.
Their biggest weakness on defense is their inability to generate Havoc. K-State produces Havoc on just 15% of plays, which is good for 95th in FBS.
It’s rare for a Nick Saban team to finish the regular season with two losses and not appear in the SEC Championship game, but here we are.
Despite the fact that the Crimson Tide did not reach the conference championship, they still averaged 40.8 points per game and 6.8 yards per play.
However, Alabama saw 13 players enter the transfer portal, including wide receivers Traeshon Holden and Jojo Earle, along with starting guard Javion Cohen.
In a fairly surprising move, Bryce Young has chosen to play in this bowl game. Alabama averages 34.7 pass attempts per game and 278.3 passing yards per game, so Young’s presence will be big for the Tide.
Young has completed 64.1% of his passes and averages 8.4 yards per attempt. As a team, Alabama owns a 48% Passing Success Rate and averages 3.67 passes of at least 20 yards per game.
Alabama’s rushing attack is led by Jahmyr Gibbs and Jase McClellan, who each eclipsed 600 rushing yards on the season. The Tide, as a team, averaged 5.6 rushing yards per attempt and boasted a 47% Rushing Success Rate.
Their offensive line averaged 2.95 Line Yards per Attempt, gave up a 19.3% Stuff Rate and allowed defenses to create Havoc on just 14% of plays.
In another shocking move, star pass rusher Will Anderson has chosen to play in the bowl game. Anderson, who ranks second on Alabama’s all-time sacks list, will put plenty of pressure on the Wildcats’ passing game if their running game can’t get going.
As a team, Alabama allows an average of 18.0 points per game and 4.5 yards per play. It’s allowed a 38% Success Rate, 3.58 Points per Opportunity and generates Havoc on 19% of plays, as all three marks rank inside the top 50 nationally.
Kansas State vs Alabama Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Kansas State and Alabama match up statistically:
Alabama Offense vs Kansas State Defense
Kansas State Offense vs. Alabama Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||12||34|
|Seconds per Play||26.0 (55)||27.8 (98)|
|Rush Rate||50.5% (91)||60.0% (19)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics
Kansas State vs Alabama Prediction, Picks
The public and sharps appear to be mostly aligned in this matchup. As of this writing, 67% of bets and 66% of money support Alabama.
In a typical bowl season, this would be a game where Alabama’s motivation would be a key question for the team after it fell short of its season-long goals. However, the presence of both Young and Anderson prevents that argument. The two stars’ intentions to play have moved the line from -4 all the way up to -6.5.
The line movement is intimidating and there’s a decent chance that both Young and Anderson are pulled from the game early, but this line has not reached the talent differential for these teams.
I’m laying the points with Alabama and would do so all the way up to 10.
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