Missouri Tigers vs. Kansas State Wildcats Preview and Pick

#5 Missouri Tigers (9-1) -7, 69 O/U at Kansas State Wildcats (5-5) +7, 69 O/U KSU Stadium, 12:30 PM Eastern, Saturday
by Badger of Predictem.com

The Missouri Tigers look to move up from No. 5 in the BCS standings this Saturday when they travel to Manhattan, Kansas, to face Big 12 Conference foe Kansas State. The Tigers will need to stay focused and get past the Wildcats first, because a win would set up a Big 12 showdown the following week verses Kansas.

Missouri (9-1, 5-1 Big 12) is coming off a solid victory last week over Texas A&M, 40-26, their fourth win in a row following their only loss of the season to Oklahoma back in week six.

Kansas State (5-5, 3-4) on the other hand is coming off an embarrassing loss to Nebraska, 73-31. How embarrassing you ask? The 73 points the Wildcats gave up are the second highest total theyve given up in school history, with only their 75-28 loss to Oklahoma back in 1971 being worse.

Oddsmakers opened the game with Missouri as an 8-point favorite, and an over/under total of 68. The Tigers are also a -260 on the money line, while Kansas State is +220 if youd like to take the Wildcats with a money line bet.

Missouri has been led all season by its offense and quarterback Chase Daniel. Daniel needs just 8 completions, 222 yards and 3 touchdowns to break the same school records he set last year, and it most likely will come in Saturdays game in Manhattan. Because of Daniel the Tigers offense is a tough one to stop, as they roll up 514.2 yards per game (ranked 4th in the NCAA) and 41.8 points per game (7th).

Kansas State also has a strong offense, as the Wildcats amass 433.3 yards (39th) and 36.1 points (21st) each time they step on the field. Running back James Johnson is poised to break the 1,000-yard mark (currently at 857) and quarterback Josh Freeman is close to passing for over 3,000 yards (2,841), so the Wildcats are also very successful when they have the ball in their hands.

Its when Kansas State plays defense that they having been struggling. Not only did the lay down for 73 points last week, but the unit also let the team down two weeks ago in a 31-20 loss at Iowa State, the Cyclones first Big 12 win of the season. Statistically, the Wildcats are not that bad on defense, its just been a matter of consistency. Although, they do give up an average of 250.9 yards per game through the air (94th in NCAA), which isnt a good combination considering Missouris propensity to throw the ball and throw it well.

Missouris defense has been good enough this season, allowing just 22.1 points per game (31st) on 377.2 yards (58th). But with the way the Tigers offense has been playing, the defense just has to control the opponent and not stuff them completely, something they have been able to do with the exception of one game.

Neither team is missing players due to injury, and with the weather expected to be mild, the intangibles for this game are few. The only worry is the possibility of a trap-game by the Tigers if they look past the Wildcats to next weeks game verses Kansas.

The Tigers have been a solid pick for sports bettors, as they are now 7-2 ATS and 4-0 ATS on the road. Their two losses against the number have come in two of their past three games though. They are also a solid 7-2 verses the total, including the past three games and four of their last five. Their only non-over on the total was a whooping 74 in their game verses Texas Tech.

Kansas State is 5-4 ATS, but just 2-2 verses the number at home. They did cover three games in a row before their two embarrassing losses at Iowa State and Nebraska. They are a solid 5-3 verses the total, including a 3-1 mark at home.

Last year the Tigers beat the Wildcats 41-21.

The Tigers opened as an 8-point chalk, and the line has dropped to 7 points, so the early money has been on the home-dog Wildcats. The total has also moved from 68 to 69, so the lack of defense is making the public take the over.

Badgers Pick: On paper, this one has the appearance of a classic trap-game a home underdog, by more than a touchdown, coming off a really embarrassing display and ready to atone for that embarrassment. But something inside me just cant get past the ability of the Tigers and their offense. I fully expect a track meet up and down the field, but in the end the Tigers skill and talent pull away for the win. Take Missouri minus the points.