This Saturday the No. 18 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs will travel to Manhattan to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 12:00 EST at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and will be televised on ESPN.

Oddsmakers currently have the Bulldogs listed as a 9.5-point road favorite with the total set at 54.5 points. Click here for a full Week 2 betting schedule with game odds and links to our previews.

Vegas Odds & Betting Preview: Mississippi State vs Kansas State

The Bulldogs didn’t disappoint in the anticipated debut of head coach Joe Moorehead. Mississippi State won and covered as a massive 47.5-point favorite in a 63-6 blowout win at home over SF Austin.

The Bulldogs piled up 618 total yards and 25 first downs in the opener and  did so with star quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, a legit Heisman candidate, on the sidelines because of a suspension.

Things didn’t go nearly as well for Bill Snyder’s Wildcats. Kansas State needed two 4th quarter touchdowns to escape with a 27-24 win at home over South Dakota. As you probably guessed, the Wildcats came nowhere close to covering the 23.5-point spread against their FCS counterpart.

It was a sloppy first game for Kansas State’s offense. The Wildcats turned it over 4 times and struggled to convert drives into touchdowns when they did get into South Dakota territory. They didn’t score their first offensive touchdown until there was 7:21 left to play in regulation.

College Football Free Pick & Predictions: Mississippi State -9.5

As much as I don’t like betting against Kansas State as a home dog, I would have to lean towards laying the 9.5-points with the Bulldogs in this one. I know the public is going to be on Mississippi State in this one, especially after how the Wildcats struggled to put away an FCS opponent on their home field, but I just don’t think the number is high enough.

Click on the link for more free college football picks from our expert handicappers.

I thought the Bulldogs hire of Joe Moorehead was one of the most underrated coaching hires of the entire offseason. Moorehead spent the last two years as the OC for Penn State and was the mastermind behind the Nittany Lions revival. This guy knows how to score points and he took over an absolutely loaded Mississippi State team that brought back 17 starters.

A lot of people are going to shrug off the 63 points and over 600 yards of total offense Mississippi State put up because of the opponent, but that’s a remarkable showing with one of the best quarterbacks in the country not taking a single snap. I also think we got a taste of Moorehead’s desire to lay it on his opponents, as the Bulldogs didn’t let their foot off the gas.

Keep in mind that in Moorehead’s first year with Penn State he had them averaging 37.6 ppg, which was a massive improvement over the 23.2 ppg the Nittany Lions averaged the previous season. I don’t think people realize just how potent this Mississippi State offense is going to be.

I certainly don’t think the Wildcats are capable of slowing them down, which is why I’m willing to lay the points. It’s also not just the Mississippi State offense that has me liking this play. The Bulldogs are legit on the defensive side of the field. They got back 8 starters from a unit that only gave up 20.9 ppg and 306 ypg. Their defensive line is one of the best in the country and on par with the likes of Georgia and Alabama in the SEC.

I think Kansas State is a team that wants to run the football. Regardless, neither quarterback who played against South Dakota was all that inspiring. Alex Denton was just 5 of 14 for 91 yards and Skylar Thompson was 8 of 14 for 61 yards. Both threw an interception. I don’t see them being able to run the football with enough success to have any shot here of keeping this close. Give me Mississippi State -9.5.