Vegas NCAAF Betting Preview & Game Odds: Texas Tech vs Kansas State

The Texas Tech Red Raiders have arrived in must-win territory as they get set to face the Kansas State Wildcats this weekend. Game time is set for 7:00 EST on Saturday, November 23 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Fans can catch all of the action on FS1.

If we check our Week 13 college football odds, we see that the Red Raiders are favored by a slim 2.5 points at home. There is also an over/under of 55 points.

Texas Tech vs Kansas State Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview

Big 12 play has not been kind to Matt Wells in his first season at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have dropped four of their last five games, putting them at 4-6 overall and just 2-5 in conference play. In fairness, three of their six losses have come by three points or less, including a 2-point heartbreaker against rival TCU last week. Alas, in order to become bowl eligible, the Red Raiders must beat Kansas State this week and win on the road against Texas next week. Otherwise, Texas Tech will be sitting at home during bowl season.

Kansas State, on the other hand, has already secured a bowl bid. It’s actually a good thing that K-State has reached six wins because the Wildcats have lost back-to-back games. For what it’s worth, both losses have come by four points or less, so they could have easily gone the other way. Nevertheless, losses to Texas and West Virginia have knocked Kansas State to 6-4 overall and 3-4 in Big 12 play, taking away any chance of the Wildcats playing in the Big 12 title game, which didn’t seem so far fetched a few weeks ago. Now Chris Klieman and the Wildcats are just trying to guarantee a winning record and improve their chances of playing in a high-profile bowl game.

The Wildcats also wouldn’t mind continuing their recent domination over Texas Tech. K-State has won three straight games against the Red Raiders, not to mention seven of the last eight meetings between the two schools. Texas Tech’s only win over K-State this decade came in 2015. They’ve fallen short every other year since 2011, including a 21-6 Kansas State win last season.

Free College Football Against the Spread Pick: Texas Tech -2.5

I’m going to break with convention with this game. Usually, in a game with this close of a spread, I’d lean toward the team that’s better defensively, which is undoubtedly Kansas State. However, I think a desperate Texas Tech team that’s playing at home and capable of scoring a high volume of points finds a way to get it done. Even if it’s a close game, the Red Raiders only need to cover 2.5 points, so I’ll take my chances that they’ll be able to cover.

More than anything, I don’t have much faith in the Kansas State offense. The Wildcats have been held to 20 points or less in four of their seven Big 12 games, which isn’t something that should happen in this conference. The 48-point outburst against Oklahoma looks more and more like an aberration every week. The Wildcats couldn’t even top 20 points at home against a porous West Virginia defense last week.

K-State is usually a strong rushing team, but they’ve been average at best for most of the season. James Gilbert and Jordon Brown have both posted solid numbers, but neither has stood out that much. The Wildcats are still reliant on quarterback Skylar Thompson, who leads the team in rushing touchdowns. At the same time, Thompson continues to underwhelm as a passer. To his credit, he’s been steady and avoided mistakes. But he doesn’t carry the offense on his back, which is why the Wildcats can’t be trusted to surpass 20 points, even against a lackluster Texas Tech defense.

On the other side, I have a growing faith in the Texas Tech offense to move the ball and put points on the board. The Red Raiders have scored at least 30 points in five of their last six games, even cracking that barrier in most of their losses. Jett Duffey continues to get better week by week, throwing four touchdown passes last week against TCU. He’s not afraid of pushing the ball down the field and challenging defenses. 

More importantly, Duffey has been much better with ball security than he was when he played last season. After throwing eight touchdowns and six picks last year, Duffey has 14 touchdown passes to just three interceptions in 2019. He is also a great athlete who can keep plays alive with his legs and pick up yards on the ground. While the K-State defense has been solid most of the season, they haven’t played too many quarterbacks with Duffey’s combination of passing proficiency and mobility.

In the end, I’d be surprised if Kansas State prevents Texas Tech from reaching the 30-point marker. If the Red Raiders fall short, it won’t be by much. At the same time, I can’t trust the Wildcats to score much more than 20 points. Put those two trends together and it equals a close Texas Tech win at home. As long as the spread is less than a field goal, I’ll take my chances with Texas Tech being able to cover.

Read More Like This