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Kansas State vs. Kansas: Expert Pick and Prediction – November 18, 2023

Kansas State vs. Kansas Expert Pick and Prediction – November 18, 2023

KANSAS STATE VS. KANSAS EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – November 18, 2023 — There might be no bigger sign that Kansas matters again in football than the fact that the Jayhawks actually believe they can beat Kansas State.

For years, there’s been an established order to life in the Sunflower State: the Wildcats dominate on the turf and the Jayhawks return the favor on the hardwood. In the Big 12 era, Kansas State has gone 24-4 against Kansas in football, and when someone other than Ron Prince is on the Wildcats’ sideline, the record improves to 24-1. The Jayhawks have been just as dominant in basketball, going 57-7 against K-State in that same stretch.

Related: Dan’s Week 12 College Football Picks 

But Kansas isn’t accepting being terrible at football anymore under Lance Leipold. The Jayhawks probably saw their Big 12 title dreams melt away with a home loss to Texas Tech last week, but Kansas can still make a quality bowl game. The Jayhawks already have their highest win total since 2008, and they’d love to end a 14-year losing streak to the Wildcats.

K-State is still in the race to defend its Big 12 title, but just barely. The Wildcats need Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to lose, which would set up a showdown with Iowa State for the right to play Texas for the crown. K-State also has to figure out how to win away from Manhattan. The Wildcats have just one road win on the season, losing three games by eight or less.

The Odds

Matchup Open Spread Points Moneyline
Kansas State

(7-3 SU, 7-2-1 ATS)

-7.5 -8 O56.5 -340

(7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS) 

U55.5 +8 U56.5 +270


When: Saturday, November 18th at 7 p.m. EST

Where: Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kan.


Public Bets: 63% on Kansas

Public Money: 82% on Kansas State

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of November 16th, 2023.

Kansas State vs. Kansas In-Season Trends

As Wichita Eagle writer Kellis Robinett put it this week, the Sunflower Showdown has been more of a beatdown. K-State has won 14 in a row over Kansas, and usually, it’s been one-way traffic. Only 2009 and 2018 saw the Jayhawks keep things within 10 points, and Chris Kleiman hasn’t treated his in-state rival with any mercy since taking over. In four meetings with Kansas, Kleiman’s average margin of victory is 28.5 points.

Related: UGA vs. Ole Miss Recap

When Kansas falls short, it’s usually because the offense didn’t do its job. Out of its three defeats, two played to the under, and the loss to Oklahoma State came because the Jayhawks couldn’t sustain drives with the run even as the pass shredded the Cowboys’ secondary.


Weather won’t get in the way in the Midwest. Temperatures will sit at 62 degrees with wind at just six miles per hour, making for ideal conditions.

The Difference-Makers

Will Howard has won all three meetings with Kansas, but has never thrown more than two touchdown passes against the Jayhawks. (Photo by Charlie Reidel/AP)

The big question here: who is going to play quarterback for the Jayhawks? Jalon Daniels is out with a back injury and Jason Bean is a question mark after getting hurt in the loss to Texas Tech. Cole Ballard filled in admirably in that game, but he’s now facing the second-best run defense in the Big 12 in Kansas State. The Wildcats will make Ballard beat them rather than let Devin Neal run all over them.

Related: Washington vs. Oregon State Pick and Prediction

Will Howard has never done quite as well as he would have liked against the Jayhawks. He threw for two scores as a freshman and again as a junior, but his numbers weren’t all that strong either time and he missed most of the matchup as a sophomore. This is his last shot to really show Kansas what he can do.

The Pick

If Kansas had a healthy quarterback, this line wouldn’t be eight points. But the Jayhawks don’t have that, and the Wildcats have an excellent run defense. Kansas’ current personnel just doesn’t have enough to handle what K-State brings to the table.

It’s hard to pick a blowout when Kansas has played so well this year and already knocked off Oklahoma in Lawrence. But K-State is healthy and Kansas is not, and the Wildcats’ strengths match up with the Jayhawks. Kansas is getting closer, but it’s not there yet.

Dan’s Picks  

 Kansas State -8  

 Under 56.5

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  1. Pingback:Can #2 UGA Win on the Road Against the #13 Vols? - GODZILLA WINS!

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