This Saturday the No. 18 Kansas State Wildcats (2-0) will travel to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-0). Kickoff is set for 7:30 EST at Vanderbilt Stadium and will be televised on ESPNU.
Oddsmakers currently have the Wildcats listed as a short 3.5-point road favorite with the total at just 47.5 points. Click here for a complete list of the Week 3 betting lines and links to more game previews.
Kansas State vs Vanderbilt Vegas Game Predictions & Betting Preview
The Wildcats haven’t had any problems to start out the season. Kansas State rolled Central Arkansas 55-19 as a 34.5-point favorite and then cruised to a 55-7 victory over Charlotte as a 32.5-point favorite. Both of those two were at home, as the Wildcats will get their first test on the road.
Vanderbilt has had an equally impressive start to the year. The Commodores opened with an impressive 28-6 road win at Middle Tennessee as a slim 2.5-point favorite. They then had their way in a 42-0 win over FCS foe Alabama A&M, though they didn’t cover as a 48-point favorite.
Free College Football Pick Against the Total: OVER 47.5
I have a lot of respect for both of these teams and just don’t see a ton of value in the spread. I would lean with K-State, but don’t feel confident betting against this Commodores team at home. My early lean would instead be on the total and this one going over the mark of 47.5 points.
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For starters, this is a really low total for today’s college football. I just think it’s a bit of an overreaction to how well both of these defenses have played against poor competition. Not to say that both won’t continue to put up strong defensive numbers, I just think the talent offense is going to prevail in this one.
The Wildcats limiting Central Arkansas and Charlotte is of no surprise. In fact, the 168 yards K-State limited Charlotte to was only marginally less than what Eastern Michigan held them to (280 yards). As for Vanderbilt’s shutout of Alabama A&M, UAB held that same team to 7-points and 183 total yards and they didn’t have a football team last year. Holding Middle Tennessee to just 6-points was impressive, but the Blue Raiders only managed 363 yards the next week against Syracuse.
Now let’s turn our attention to the offense. Vanderbilt has really taken some big strides on this side of the ball. Keep in mind last year they went from averaging a mere 281 yards/game in their first 7 and then put up 468 yards/game in their last 5. Plus another 314 on a good NC State defense in their bowl.
I think K-State will be able to limit their running game, which will keep them from grinding out the clock. The good news is they can attack the Wildcats through the air. Junior QB Kyle Shurmur hasn’t disappointed after his strong finish to last year. He’s completed 76% of his attempts for 498 yards with 7 TDs to 0 INTs.
As for Kansas State, they have scored 50+ in each of their first two games. The thing is, this was an offense that was expected to be this good with an experienced senior QB back for the great Bill Synder. This is a team that most had projected scoring closer to 40 ppg. Mason has improved the Commodores defensively, but it will be tough for them to contain the balanced attack of the Wildcats.
I could see both of these teams scoring into the 30s if things go right. That’s a heck of a lot of wiggle room needing to just hit 48 for the win.