Bill Snyder is a favorite among college football bettors, but the Kansas State Wildcats could very well be outclassed by Gus Malzahn’s dynamic Auburn Tigers offense. The Wildcats have slowed down the Baylor Bears in the past, so they definitely have a reputation as a team that can play up to some elite competition. That makes Thursday night’s game in Manhattan full of intrigue as the Tigers and Wildcats square off in front of a raucous crowd.
Auburn vs. Kansas State College Football Preview
Date/Time: Thursday September 18, 7:30 p.m. ET
College Football Betting Odds from WagerWeb
College Football Betting Favorite: Auburn -8.5
Auburn is already 2-0 against the spread with fairly easy covers against both Arkansas and San Jose State. Gus Malzahn is now 14-2 against the number as the head coach of Auburn. The Tigers were 6-0 ATS away from Jordan-Hare Stadium last season. Bill Snyder is an ATS juggernaut, now 26-12-1 since returning to the Kansas State sideline in 2009.
The Auburn Tigers offense hasn’t missed a beat without Tre Mason and Greg Robinson and that’s really not all that surprising. Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant have ripped off chunks of yardage and Nick Marshall will wind up in the Heisman discussion by the end of the season. The Tigers scored 104 points over their first two games and have converted 68 percent of their third down opportunities. The Tigers should have a speed advantage on the outside and that should play right into what they want to do offensively. On defense, the Kansas State Wildcats present the first mobile quarterback that the Tigers have seen and it’s the first chance the Tigers have to be exposed regarding the loss of Dee Ford. Gus Malzahn has enough evidence to show Auburn why they need to take this game against the Wildcats seriously.
Kansas State Wildcats:
The Kansas State Wildcats haven’t looked particularly impressive so far this season with a four-point win over Iowa State and a blowout win over Stephen F. Austin. The Wildcats have a knack for playing up to their competition, however, and they’ll take on a superior opponent this week. Jake Waters has six touchdowns and has been part of nearly 70 percent of Kansas State’s offense so far this season. Tyler Lockett will need a big game for his draft tape as the team’s top wide receiver has just seven catches through two games. The Wildcats will be tested on defense as a group that returned just three starters from the front seven takes on the Auburn offense. Bill Snyder relies on a lot of junior college transfers year after year and those players are always an unknown, especially when they take on competition from the SEC.
Free Pick: Auburn -8.5
This number should absolutely be higher than it is, but Bill Snyder’s reputation in games like this is keeping this number much lower than expected. The Tigers bring an offense that is very hard to defend, even though the Wildcats had extra time to prep. There’s not a lot of reason to believe that Kansas State can win a slugfest if they have to and it’s very unlikely that they can hold Auburn down for all that long.
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