As of Saturday morning, most betting shops had Iowa St. (3-2 straight up, 2-3 against the spread) listed as a 6.5-point favorite for tonight’s Big 12 showdown at Kansas St. The total was 50.5 points, while Chris Klieman’s team was +215 on the money line.
We had Kansas St. for winners in its opener vs. Stanford and again two weeks ago as a double-digit ‘dog in a 37-31 home loss to Oklahoma. That spread cover vs. OU improved the Wildcats to an incredible 19-5 ATS in their last 24 games as home underdogs dating back to late in the 2010 campaign.
K-St. is #7 in the nation at defending the run, so it’s going to be tough for Iowa St. star RB Breese Hall, who has 551 rushing yards and eight TDs with a 5.3 YPC average, to put up his usual numbers.
This K-St. squad is so much better when star QB Skylar Thompson is healthy. He returned from a two-game absence to complete 29-of-41 throws for 320 yards and three TDs without an interception against the Sooners.
Thompson was injured when Iowa St. blasted K-St. 45-0 in Ames last year. That result gives K-St. a big revenge angle here.
The Wildcats have beaten the Cyclones in eight of the last 10 head-to-head meetings, including a 27-17 win at this venue two years ago. Iowa St. hasn’t won at K-St. since 2004.
PREDICTION: I’m on K-St. buying the half-point from +6.5 to the key number for a +7 play for a couple of units. I’m also on the Wildcats on the money line (+215) for one-half unit.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
–Arkansas star safety Jalen Catalon, a third-team All-American in 2020, is ‘out’ today vs Auburn. Catalon has 46 tackles, four passes broken up, two interceptions with 83 return yards, 1.5 tackles for loss and one QB hurry through six games.
–Oklahoma St. was listed as a 3.5-point underdog at Texas as of this 10:50 a.m. Eastern this morning. The Cowboys have cashed tickets at a 16-9 ATS clip in their last 25 games as road underdog since October of 2007.
–Syracuse has been a money-making machine lately. Dino Babers’s squad covered the spread for the fifth consecutive game in last night’s 17-14 loss to Clemson as a 13.5-point home underdog. The Tigers fell to 0-6 ATS.
–California has covered the spread in six straight games as an underdog after Friday night’s 24-17 loss at Oregon as a 13.5-point road underdog. The Golden Bears are an incredible 13-1 ATS in their last 14 games as road ‘dogs. During Justin Wilcox’s five-year tenure, Cal is 9-3 ATS as a double-digit underdog. The Ducks found themselves down 17-10 with less than 12 minutes remaining, but they pulled even on a 20-yard TD pass from Anthony Brown to Jaylon Redd with 11:23 remaining. Brown scored the go-ahead points on Brown’s 11-yard TD run with 4:50 left.
–The ‘under” has cashed in five straight games for Troy going into today’s game at Texas St. at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. The total is 48.5 points.
–San Diego St. remained unbeaten last night by winning 19-13 at San Jose St. in double overtime. The Spartans ended a five-game ATS losing streak by getting the money as nine-point home underdogs. On the first possession of the second OT, the Aztecs’ Trenton Thompson intercepted Nick Nash’s pass into the end zone for TE Derrick Deese. Then backup QB Lucas Johnson hit Jesse Matthews for a 24-yard, game-winning scoring strike.
–The ‘over’ has hit in five straight for Missouri and its games are averaging combined scores of 75.3 points per game. The five recent combined scores for the Tigers have been 83, 86, 75, 87 and 63 points. They host Texas A&M today with a total of 59.5.
–The ‘over’ is a perfect 5-0 for Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers are double-digit favorite at ODU. The total is 67 points.
–I’m on Georgia -13.5 in the first half vs. Kentucky.