It’ll be a battle for the Governor’s Cup in the Big 12 this week as the Kansas Jayhawks host the Kansas State Wildcats. Kickoff will be at 3:00 EST on Saturday, October 28 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas. Fans can watch the game on FS1.

Oddsmakers have the Wildcats as 24.5-point favorites in this rivalry game. The over/under is set at 59.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 9 betting odds and links to game previews.

Kansas State vs Kansas Vegas Preview & Game Predictions

It has been another nightmare season for the Jayhawks. Kansas is just 1-6 and has been shutout in each of the past two weeks by Iowa State and TCU. The Jayhawks have even lost to two MAC teams. Going winless in Big 12 play is a real possibility, although the season could be somewhat salvaged with a win over their in-state rivals.

K-State is also reeling, losing three in a row and four of their last five. The Wildcats need three wins in their final five games in order to make a bowl game, and they still play three games against ranked teams. However, things haven’t been all bad. K-State nearly upset Oklahoma last week, losing by a touchdown. They also lost to Texas by one-possession, so they have remained competitive, even in their losses.

Historically, Kansas has a huge advantage in this rivalry. However, the last quarter-century has been owned by the Wildcats. Since 1991, Kansas State has won 21 of 26 meetings, including the last eight.

Free NCAAF Betting Prediction: Kansas State -24.5

This is a big spread to cover in a rivalry game, especially since K-State isn’t the most explosive offensive team in the Big 12. However, the Jayhawks the flat-out abysmal. The Wildcats would have covered the spread in this game in five of the last seven games between these two teams, so I’m comfortable swallowing the points and leaning toward K-State to cover.

The Jayhawks haven’t scored since the 3rd quarter of their game against Texas Tech on October 7. I don’t know if that drought will continue, but the Wildcats do have a solid defense, so Kansas getting shutout again wouldn’t be a huge surprise. 

Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.

Last week against TCU, the Jayhawks had just four first-downs and 21 total yards. The TCU defense had four sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Such a performance had to be demoralizing for the Jayhawks. The silver lining is that Kansas didn’t turn the ball over against the Horned Frogs. However, they committed nine turnovers in their previous three Big 12 games.

The Kansas State offense will also get a boost this week with the expected return of quarterback Jesse Ertz, who missed the last two games. While he’s not exactly an accomplished passer, he’s a dual-threat quarterback who can be a handful for opposing defenses. Between Ertz and running back Alex Barnes, the Wildcats could have a field day running the ball.

The Kansas defense is one of the worst in the country, allowing nearly 45 points per game. In Big 12 play, the Jayhawks are allowing more than 52 points per game. Even if the Wildcats aren’t that explosive in the passing game, they can still expect to have a good day offensively.

When you consider how bad the Jayhawks are defensively and how they’ve been shutout the past two weeks, 24.5 points doesn’t seem like a huge spread. Any emotional lift Kansas may get from this being a rivalry game won’t be enough. K-State should steamroll their in-state rivals and easily cover the spread.