Odds are out for the biggest games of the college football season. Covers Expert Bruce Marshall gives you his insight into some of the marquee matchups and predicts where the odds could move before kickoff.
NCAAF Week 7: Saturday, October 12: Baylor (+5) at Kansas State
Past history: Baylor is 2-1 SU but 1-2 ATS in three meetings since 2010, with the home team winning SU in each and the underdog covering in each. All three games have gone “over” as well. The Bears knocked K-State out of a shot at the BCS title game with a 52-24 upset win last November 17 at Waco.
Early look at Baylor: The Bears barely skipped a beat post-RG III in 2012 behind QB Nick Florence, who had filled in for an injured Griffin previously. Now it’s up to junior QB Bryce Perry, who has passed the ball only 14 times in limited previous work. A completely rebuilt OL must gel quickly, but by now it is apparent that HC Art Briles knows what to do with his offenses, and homerun RB Lache Seastrunk is getting peripheral Heisman mention. The stop unit leaked badly last season when ranking 119th nationally, but several playmakers return (especially at the LB spots) for defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, whose platoon did manage to rise to the occasion in late-season wins over K-State, Oklahoma State, and then UCLA in the Holiday Bowl.
Early look at Kansas State: Underestimate veteran HC Bill Snyder at your risk. Replacing do-everything QB Collin Klein would seem to be a tall order, but Snyder and offensive coordinators Del Miller & Dana Dimel think they have two viable candidates in soph Daniel Sams and former juco star Jake Waters. The entire starting OL returns in tact as do most of the skill-position weapons, including RB John Hubert & WR Tyler Lockett. More concerns rest with a “D” that must replace nine starters, but Snyder’s stop units have always been functional, and SS Ty Zimmerman is an established playmaker.
Where the line will move: Both have offered plenty of spread value lately (Baylor 13-4 vs. line last 17 since late 2011, Snyder’s K-State 18-8 the past two seasons), so those trends that might impact movement vs. other foes and likely nullify one another in this game. While the Wildcat “revenge” factor could influence the price, a more telling factor will be how quickly the new QBs on each side are able to get comfy, which are more likely to be reflected in any price adjustments for this mid-October game.