Editor's note: With LSU featuring no scholarship quarterback on the roster for Tuesday's game as well as other key opt-outs, the odds have seen significant movement since the time of this writing.
Standing alone as the final entry on the bowl game schedule, it’s the TaxAct Texas Bowl.
The LSU Tigers have had a tumultuous season amid the ousting of Ed Orgeron and several key injuries and opt-outs. The Tigers were still able to qualify for a bowl thanks to their elite recruiting, and even came close to knocking off Alabama at one point along the way.
The Kansas State Wildcats remain as steady as ever and opt-outs won’t be a concern as the entire senior class plans on playing.
Check out our Kansas State vs LSU college football picks and predictions for the Texas Bowl on Tuesday, January 4 to find out.
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Kansas State opened as a +2.5 underdog but has been bet all the way to -3.5 at the time of this writing. That has since skyrocketed to KSU -7 with LSU being very shorthanded. The total jumped from 46.5 to 48 before settling at 47.5 on gameday.
LSU vs Kansas State predictions
Predictions made on 12/31/2021 at 10:45 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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LSU vs Kansas State game info
• Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
• Date: Tuesday, January 4, 2022
• Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
LSU vs Kansas State betting preview
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.
LSU: Damone Clark LB (Out), Neill Farrell Jr. DL (Out), Major Burns CB (Out), Eli Ricks CB (Out), Derek Stingley Jr. CB (Out), Maason Smith DL (Out), Ali Gaye DE (Out), Kayshon Boutte WR (Out).
Kansas State: Skyler Thompson QB (Probable), Joe Ervin RB (Questionable), Jahron McPherson DB (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 16-5 in Kansas State’s last 21 games as the favorite. Find more NCAA betting trends for LSU vs. Kansas State.
LSU vs Kansas State picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
Kansas State will be intent on making a statement with a chance to nab a victory over a vaunted SEC program. Opt-outs and motivation won’t be a concern with this team, as the entire senior class is expected to be ready for the Texas Bowl. Assessing motivation is as important as ever in this make-shift 2021 bowl season, and it appears as though the Wildcats have a significant advantage in that department.
Handicapping the LSU side of things is difficult because the Tigers will be playing with both a makeshift lineup and coaching staff. At the time of this writing, it’s uncertain who will be under center for the Tigers. Starter Max Johnson transferred, Myles Brennan is still injured, and T.J. Finley left for Auburn before the season. Things are so desperate that LSU is seeking a waiver to grant Garret Nussmeier the right to play in a fifth game without burning his redshirt.
Expect LSU to keep the ball on the ground early and often in this contest, with an interim coaching staff and possibly a walk-on at quarterback. The Tigers can try to go to the ground game, but Kansas State is better on both sides of the football in that aspect. LSU ranks only 117th nationally in rushing yards per game, while Kansas State is excellent at defending the rush. The Wildcats are 27th nationally in rushing yards per game allowed and have allowed only 3.6 yards per rush.
Chris Klieman has maintained a level of stability with this Kansas State program that should allow them to persist through the uncertainty surrounding this bowl season. The Wildcats want the game to be played slow and ugly, and this Texas Bowl has all the makings of fitting right into their style. There’s a reason the line is moving significantly in their favor.
Prediction: Kansas State -3.5 (-115)
We said above that we expect this game to be slow and ugly. Despite dealing with a slew of injuries and opt-outs, LSU still managed to field a respectable defense that allowed only 25.3 points per game. Kansas State will look to keep the ball on the ground at a high percentage as they always do. The Tigers still possess SEC beef up front and allowed only 3.8 yards per carry on the season, so they shouldn’t give up points in bunches. Deuce Vaughn is a true weapon, but LSU has had a month to prepare to limit him as the lone dangerous threat in this offense. Quarterback Skyler Thompson is expected to be limited with an ankle injury.
There’s a reason the Under is 16-5 in the Wildcats’ last 21 games as the favorite. They’ll look to build a lead and then control the time of possession. The defense will be at full strength and LSU is operating with a duct-taped-together offensive lineup with a ground-first mindset. This has all the makings of an Under.
Prediction: Under 48 (-110)
We’re rocking with the Under as our best bet. Both teams will look to run the ball as much as possible, which will keep the clock churning and the points at a minimum. Neither offense strikes fear into defensive coordinators’ hearts. LSU is still very talented defensively, while Kansas State will be highly motivated to shut down a hampered SEC foe.
Pick: Under 48 (-110)
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