Kansas State vs. Missouri: Expert Pick and Prediction – September 16, 2023
KANSAS STATE VS. MISSOURI: EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – September 16, 2023 — For the defending Big 12 champion, there’s been a noticeable lack of respect shown toward Kansas State this season.
The Wildcats brought back eight starters on offense, including quarterback Will Howard. They looked very good in handling a solid Troy squad, ending the Trojans’ 12-game winning streak.
And yet, K-State comes in giving just four points to Missouri — a team they beat by 28 last season in Manhattan.
The Tigers also come in 2-0, but they haven’t looked nearly as impressive as the Wildcats. Missouri looked pedestrian against Middle Tennessee, outside of Luther Burden’s 117 receiving yards.
Even against a team that had just faced Alabama, the Tigers couldn’t get any separation, only surviving with a fourth-down stop in the final quarter.
Maybe it’s the fact that the public’s last memory of K-State against an SEC foe was a 45-20 loss to Alabama. But Missouri’s not on that level, making this line a head-scratcher.
(0-0 SU, 0-0-0 ATS)
(0-0 SU, 0-0-0 ATS)
When: Saturday, September 16th at Noon EDT
Where: Faurot Field, Columbia, Mo.
TV: SEC Network
Public Bets: 78% on Kansas State
Public Money: 86% on Kansas State
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of September 13th, 2023.
Kansas State vs. Missouri In-Season Trends
On one hand, Missouri doesn’t lose non-conference games at home. The Tigers have won 13 in a row outside of SEC play at Faurot Field, with the last non-league loss coming in 2017.
On the other, Missouri doesn’t play anyone of K-State’s caliber at home. Of the Tigers’ 13 wins, only one — West Virginia in 2019 — came against a Power 5 opponent. Missouri’s only faced three P5 opponents out of conference at home since joining the SEC, and the other two — Purdue and Indiana — both left victorious.
Meanwhile, K-State has looked excellent ATS away from home. Last year, the Wildcats played five true road games and went 4-1 ATS, winning all four of those games outright. The Wildcats also tend to put up points when they face Power 5 foes: all but one of K-State’s 11 P5 games last year saw at least 27 points on the board.
Weather shouldn’t become an issue here. With temperatures in the mid-70s, it’s finally going to feel a lot closer to fall and football weather in the Midwest. Both teams should find ideal conditions for this contest.
How K-State chooses to attack Missouri will make a big difference here. Last season, the Wildcats barely put the ball in the air because they didn’t have to against the Tigers. Missouri couldn’t move the ball on the ground, and they couldn’t stop K-State’s rushing attack. DJ Giddens hasn’t done a lot yet for the Wildcats, but he should get touches in this game.
On the other side, it has to be Burden for the Tigers. K-State’s run defense completely shut Missouri down last year, and things look no better for the Tigers this season. They’ll have to get Brady Cook going through the air, something that didn’t happen last year.
Kansas State is perennially underlooked. The truth is that Chris Kleiman has built a solid program in Manhattan, and the Wildcats have proven they’re an upper-echelon Big 12 team. Missouri hasn’t shown anything like that to this point. The Tigers played fairly well against South Dakota, then barely escaped against Middle Tennessee.
K-State’s win over the possible Sun Belt champ looked a lot more impressive than Missouri edging a team that got trucked by 47 at Alabama. This former Big 12 rivalry wasn’t a close contest last year, and I don’t think Missouri has made up the gap.
Kansas State -4
Kansas State TTO 26