The Red Raiders took down Texas 37-34 in overtime in a stunning upset as seven-point underdogs.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats beat Oklahoma outright in an even-more stunning upset as 13.5-point dogs.
Clearly, both teams are playing with confidence. Especially both quarterbacks. But which team has more moxie in this game? And is it unlikely to assume that Texas Tech can pull off another touchdown-plus underdog upset?
Let’s break it down. Read on for our Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Kansas State Wildcats Broncos odds, picks, and predictions.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State opened as 7.5-point favorites and the line has basically held steady at eight. A few TTU +8.5 numbers popped but those quickly evaporated.
The under has taken some small sharp money but expect this number to remain just below the key number of 58.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Kansas State Wildcats Prediction & Pick
The Red Raiders run a prototypical Big-12 air-raid attack. They pass at the eighth-highest rate nationally while quarterback Donovan Smith averages only about 6.5 YPA and a 7.1-yard aDOT.
Smith did well against Texas but it’s clear he’s not perfectly polished. He’s now had six Turnover Worthy Plays in his last three games. Five of those ended up as interceptions. Hopefully, new offensive coordinator Zach Kittley – the guy who turned Western Kentucky into a historically effective offense – will help his efficiency numbers.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats rush at the 13th-highest rate in the FBS. They will run through, around, and over you. They were top 10 in Rush Success Rate last season and are seventh through four games this season. The offensive line took some hits but returned the most important pieces and all-world running back Duece Vaughn is back.
The addition of their new quarterback, Adrian Martinez, is a welcome addition to this style of play. Martinez is a great dual-threat quarterback, having rushed for 525 yards last season, and is already up to 300 yards in just four games this year. The Wildcats are more dynamic and explosive with Martinez under center.
Even more intriguing is that each team’s defensive strengths match up with the opponent’s offensive strengths.
Texas Tech excels at rush defense. Four of the top five defensive linemen from last season returned, which works perfectly in DC Tim DeRuyter’s 4-2-5 offense. The team is ninth in Defensive Line Yards and 14th in Rush Success Rate allowed.
Meanwhile, Kansas State excels in pass defense, ranking 16th in Pass Success Rate allowed and 22nd in PFF’s Coverage grades.
However, Texas Tech has been an efficient defense all-around. They’re top-25 in both Pass Success Rate allowed and PFF’s Pass Rush grades. Kansas State has faltered against the Rush and in causing Havoc.
I think that will be the difference in this game. Plus, Kansas State isn’t built to blow teams out. They will run the ball and play exceedingly slow, currently ranking 95th in seconds per play.
I think Texas Tech is worth playing at anything over a touchdown.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Kansas State Wildcats Key Matchups
Key Matchup: Texas Tech’s Offensive Line vs Kansas State’s Pass Rush
Texas Tech has not been good on the offensive line. They rank outside the top 100 in both Offensive Line Yards and PFF’s pass-blocking grades.
However, Kansas State’s pass rush has been poor too, ranking 82nd in PFF’s Pass Rush grades.
If Kansas State can get home, however, that could be huge for the Wildcats. We know Smith can be turnover prone, and any sort of Havoc may frustrate him.
But if he’s kept clean, he can do things like this:
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) September 24, 2022
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