The No. 11 Baylor Bears (8-2, 5-2 in Big XII) roll into Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium Saturday to play the Kansas State Wildcats (7-3, 4-3) at 5:30 p.m. ET. Baylor-Kansas State airs on Fox Sports 1.
Baylor upset the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners 27-14 as 4-point home underdogs this past weekend. The Bears had 153 more total yards than the Sooners, seven more first downs, and led in time of possession 35:19-24:41. Baylor is 7-3 against the spread (ATS) and 6-4 Over/Under (O/U) with the 47th-toughest schedule, according to USA TODAY’s Jeff Sagarin.
Kansas State won its fourth straight Saturday by beating the West Virginia Mountaineers 34-17. The Wildcats have a balanced offensive attack led by senior QB Skylar Thompson and RB Deuce Vaughn. Thompson has a Big XII-high 164.4 passer efficiency rating and Vaughn has the second-most rushing TDs in the conference (13). Kansas State is 6-3-1 ATS and 5-5 O/U with the 34th-ranked strength of schedule, according to Sagarin.
The Bears won their third straight game over the Wildcats last season 32-31 but failed to cover as 5.5-point home favorites.
According to Pregame.com, nearly 65% of the market is on Baylor, causing oddsmakers to lower Kansas State’s spread to the current number. Also, there’s been one-way traffic heading towards the Under. More than 80% of the money is on the Under, which has steamed the total down from the 52.5-point opener.
Chris Klieman succeeded legendary former Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder in 2019. Since then, Kansas State has covered two-thirds of its Big XII games (16-18-1 ATS) and two-thirds of its home games (12-6 ATS). Also, the Wildcats are 4-3 ATS vs. ranked teams in Klieman’s tenure.
Baylor head coach Dave Aranda took over the football program after former head coach Matt Rhule went to the NFL in 2020. Since the beginning of last season, Baylor is 8-6-2 ATS in conference play and 3-4-2 ATS in road games.
Kansas State is perhaps the best non-ranked team in the country and the line properly communicates that. For instance, Baylor and Kansas State’s predicted points added (PPA), yards per play, Havoc rate, 3rd-down conversion rate, and red zone scoring differentials are nearly identical. Kansas State has even played a tougher schedule. But, the Bears are ranked and the Wildcats aren’t.
Furthermore, typically there’s value in fading ranked teams on the road in conference games. Especially in this case. This could be a hangover game for Baylor after spoiling Oklahoma’s undefeated season in a one-sided victory last weekend. Also, Kansas State is 4-1-1 ATS as a favorite with a +5.5 spread differential. You can disagree with the sportsbooks making Kansas State a favorite but the House usually wins.
Oddsmakers understand there isn’t much of a difference between these two teams. However, the Wildcats are a slight favorite because they are at home. And Kansas State has remained a favorite despite Baylor being the more popular side. I expect Baylor to get even more public money as this game nears the kickoff. This is a coin-flip game so give me the home team the market is undervaluing.
PICK: Kansas State moneyline (-115 on FanDuel)
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